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City Council votes no on barriers

New policy prevents city from using physical barriers

Posted: October 30, 2008 10:14 p.m.
Updated: January 1, 2009 5:00 a.m.
 

On the heels of public outcry over Benz Road barricades, the Santa Clarita City Council agreed it would never again put up barriers or gates to block traffic on public streets.

But the 3-2 vote, with Councilwoman Marsha McLean and Mayor Bob Kellar dissenting, met with public criticism from many who live in high-traffic neighborhoods.

"Why do you want to tie city staff's hands?" said Nadine Teter who lives on Linda Vista Street in Canyon Country. "Allow them to use every tool possible to solve whatever problem they have now and in the future."

McLean agreed.

"I don't think we should be closing the door on possible solutions," she said, later adding: "I can't support this."

In its Tuesday vote, the City Council retained the right to revise the policy, which cannot be applied to neighborhoods that have physical barriers.

Councilman Frank Ferry, who presented the item to the council, said Thursday that the new policy clearly outlines what tools are available for city staff.

"When a community comes to them now, they have a clear that the council will not gate or barricade a road," he said.

However, the policy allows the city to employ other methods to slow vehicles, including stop signs and speed humps.

Ferry introduced the policy after a September City Council meeting at which hundreds of residents complained about concrete barriers the city installed at Alaminos Drive and Benz Road in Saugus.

"I've been consistent from day one that I do not think that any public roads should ever be closed down," Ferry said Tuesday.

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