Canyon Country Magazine recently polled residents of the Sand Canyon area via email regarding commuter traffic. We were not surprised at the many responses from people who find the increased traffic both a headache and a danger. But what was surprising was the volume of common thoughts about solving the problem. Here we present to you a brief look into what the neighborhood is saying. It is clear that respondents would like to see something done. What follows are excerpts from the numerous responses, worded the way we received them:
*I feel like I take my life in my hands when I try to turn onto Sand Canyon from our street, Alamo Canyon. I’m positive when this road was put in the designers never would have imagined the amount of traffic and the speeds.
*We suspect an internet traffic routing app is to blame for this sudden increase in vehicle numbers. A sharp increase in cars illegally passing multiple vehicles on this curvy canyon has the potential to lead to deadly head on collisions with residents.
commuters coming off the 14 treat Sand Canyon like a freeway. I frequently see cars tailgating cars in front (who are going the speed limit) then getting frustrated and cross the double yellow lines to speed past them…often dangerously into oncoming traffic.
*This has created a very dangerous situation for drivers and takes away from the country atmosphere that brought us to Sand Canyon and has turned Sand Canyon into the likes of a busy freeway!
*There are many blind turns and dangerous locations along both Sand Canyon and Placerita Canyon that restrict the visibility of oncoming traffic, road conditions and the ever important ability to navigate the endless sea of bicyclists. Add to the burden of these existing hazards, the need for local residences’ to merge from side streets and blind driveways and we find ourselves living in a community that no longer has the feeling of safety and a rural homeliness.
*Don’t really know just why now it is happening, although I suspect it’s a combination of factors, especially the traffic congestion on Soledad
*The stop sign can slow them down, but with the Sheriff waving people through,it makes it hard for me to turn onto Sand Canyon.
*The majority of the non residents are speeding and some regularly are passing over the Double Yellow illegally to pass people that are driving the speed limit. We used to see fairly regular CHP presence on Placerita Cyn between Sand and the 14 which helped a little, but they have not been visible for a couple of years now.
*I would rather see restrictive measures put in place before there is a bad accident caused by these unsafe drivers that do not belong here in the first place. Our Canyon is not a Freeway or Highway. It is our neighborhood and needs to be treated as such.
Sometimes I literally wait five minutes before somewhat pulling out in front of someone!
*The wear and tear on both Sand Canyon and Placerita Canyon are negatively impacted by the additional traffic. Potholes on Placerita have become a big issue, the other day six vehicles were pulled to the side of the road with flat tires due to a new overnight pothole! I barely escaped a flat but it damaged my cars alignment.
*The traffic does affect us with noise, pollution, danger to our kids who have to get to school. We are very discourages with how the increased heavy traffic is affecting the whole canyon area.
*Yes, we support restricting use of Sand Canyon Road during rush hour! I cannot for the life of me imagine why deputies are posted to wave traffic through. It is nearly impossible for my family and me to make the necessary left-hand turn onto Sand Canyon off of our street because there is no break in the traffic …
*One morning when I was finally able to enter the lane on Sand Canyon, the car behind me was so irate at my speed limit of 45 that he passed over the double yellow lines, swerved in front of me and ran me off of the road, causing myself and the car behind me to be forced into the dirt.
*The other concern is the speeding and overtaking above the posted limit.I can only imagine what it will be like when the new development is completed at the end of Lost Canyon with an additional 11,000 homes to impact that early morning traffic. We definitely need more law enforcement around at that time of day. Traffic lights would slow everyone down. However Sand Canyon residents moved to the area to get away from that type of thing. We really hope someone can come up with a good suggestion.
*At 6:00am average speed 60 to 70 mph! Lots of dangerous passing
*Amazing traffic….a line of cars racing toward Placerita longer than you can see, bumper to bumper hell bent on getting through to the 14 via Sand Canyon, as fast as they can. They honk at cars that respect the speed limit, race around them across the double yellow lines, at speeds that exceed 65 mph. God forbid some person would walk their dog during that time.
*We only moved here 2 years ago, We love the neighborhood, but had no idea about the traffic on Sand Canyon when we moved here.
*Though, I do feel restricting the commuters would help. I feel much stronger and concerned about safety during school hours, children/parents drop-off and pick-up directly on Sand Canyon which adds to the congestion. , this intersection when is school is getting out or in. There is no crossing guard so the kids and parents just keep streaming across the street and never giving cars a chance. That is why the traffic backs all the way across the wash and passed the church on the south side.
*Our quiet, secluded and safe little Canyon has become congested, open to the public, and a traffic hazard.
*The families that live in the Sand Canyon area moved there to get away from the rush of the city only to have the city come to them. This is small community and it is now the cut off for thousands coming in from the Antelope Valley areas. Not proportionate in any way. Finally because of the increased traffic Placerita Canyon road is taking a heavy toll and the condition of the road is deteriorating quickly. Will those commuters pays for the use?
*Let’s also mention that when you follow the speed limits set these outsiders race around you with no care of your life, the wild life, or anybody else.
*The problem is with the city, It seems to me that they only go as far as the west side with with their street widening or cross valley connector and no further. Again Canyon Country is being treated like the red headed step child of the area. Also why hasn’t the city of for that matter the county pushed the state of California to improve the 14?
*I believe one answer would be to install Stop Signs at Live Oak Springs, Condor Ridge and Iron Canyon This would Discourage people from cutting through from the 14 and would slow everyone down so we would be saving lives in the future and at all hours Day and Night.
*Speeding tickets will slow cars so cross traffic will have a chance.
*Perhaps a gated arm at Lost Canyon and Sand Canyon? For residents or visitors only?
*Speed bumps to slow down the rush traffic. I hate them but the traffic coming thru is purely commuter. The speeds are scary.
*Traffic Throttles (pinch points) The narrowing of a two-way road over a short distance to a single lane. Sometimes these are used in conjunction with a speed table and coincident with a pedestrian crossing.
*Mini-roundabout (traffic circle) Small roundabouts situated at an intersection. Some have raised centers, others are just painted circles on the road.
*Entry Treatment Across Intersections Surface alterations at side road intersections, generally using brickwork, setts or other textured surface materials. Level of the road may be raised to the level of the sidewalk.
*Textured Surface The use of nonasphalt surface such as setts, brickwork, paving or cobbles to reinforce the concept of a traffic restricted area.
*Reallocated Road Space for bicyclists Many of the unsafe conditions to our roads can be attributed to motorists and bicyclists using the same road space.
*My personal feeling is there should be a traffic light – plain and simple – at that intersection. Placerita should always be an alternative for when the 14 has a problem, but that intersection at Lost Canyon is a mess because of the STOP sign.
*Not have the sheriff there relieving the congestion on Lost Canyon. I know it’s a hassle but if the commuters realize that Sand Canyon is not a good alternative, they will stay on the fwy. Put a sheriff on Sand Canyon and slow the speeders down
*Install stop signs at Live Oak Springs and Iron Canyon
*The police need to be out every day writing tickets!!!!! Not directing traffic thru at Lost canyon.
? Make this a gated community – have a gate with something equal to a Fast Pass – where residents can pass through without stopping.
Also, we need improvements (additional lane) on the SB14 Fwy between Sand Canyon and the 5 Fwy,
*There should be a traffic break in the middle of sand canyon. Either a light timed to activation during the high volume times in the am and pm, or at least a stop sign
*Try speed bumps every ¼ mile (that would be a non-labor intensive way of discouraging traffic and speeding), a gate at Lost Canyon, cameras that take pictures of speed violators, or how about police actually enforcing the law ? What a concept.
*My view is that the City of Santa Clarita should 1), erect a sign at the Golden Valley exit from the 14 Southbound indicating that is a way to get to the 5 northbound in order to relieve pressure on the 14; 2) install traffic sensors to adjust traffic light timings on Soledad Canyon Road when the 14 is congested; and 3) build bus pull-ins on Soledad Canyon Road Westbound in order to avoid lane blockages and lane swapping whenever the bus stops.
*The cost of signs, sensors, and pulls-ins could be paid for by stopping the program of rebuilding the median every two years
*If we can’t eliminate the Antelope Valley commuters from cutting through then how about adding more stop signs to slow them down? Or maybe adding speed bumps like they have on the lower section of Placerita Cyn.
*A barrier like is at the top of Calgrove/Valley in Newhall, allowing entrance only from one side to non-residents
*I do think we should restrict motorists who don’t live in the area. This has been done off Balboa where the same issue occurred, along with other residential areas throughout Los Angeles
*More stop signs along Sand Canyon starting at Live Oak Springs Canyon Rd and continuing south on Sand Cyn, placing them on other busier cross streets. It would break up traffic flow and give drivers an opportunity to turn onto Sand Cyn. It may possibly discourage the commuters who would then have to contend with all of the stop signs and for sure it would slow traffic down, in general improving safety overall.
*“heavy, but selective” enforcement is all it takes. Enforce for everything from “no front license plate”, expired licenses, no turn signal, no seal belts, to cell phone usage, to 5 miles over, tinted windows, and so on. Make it very inconvenient to travel the canyon (Placerita and Sand)
*We would support ideas that would restrict traffic on Sand Canyon as a thoroughfare for Hwy 14 — and maintain our Canyon Road to be safe for residents and animals.
*Let’s make Sand Canyon a gated community.
*Installing gates that are closed and secure at SAND CANYON AND LOST CANYON, then installing signs at the start of the bridge stating “SAND CANYON RESIDENTS ONLY, NO THROUGH TRAFFIC.” We can even include a Specific Time Frame on the Signs, Bel-Air, Hollywood Hills and other Cities have this.
*Placerita has a gate at one end of the canyon to prevent cross through traffic. Why can’t Sand Canyon?
*Reduced speed limits on Sand during the 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. timeframe with enforcement present.
The following is the response we received from Santa Clarita city officials upon forwarding a summary of residents’ feedback.
There are a number of factors that account for the recent increase of traffic volume occurring in this area. Since November of 2015, Vasquez Canyon Road has been closed due to a landslide which made the road unsafe for motorists. … The County is working diligently to get the road reopened. Unfortunately, while it is closed, motorists often use Whites Canyon Road, Soledad Canyon Road, and Sierra Highway as a detour. … Another factor is the proximity of Soledad Canyon Road to the State Route 14 Freeway. As heavy traffic congests the freeway, motorists will again seek alternate routes and use our streets, adding to the existing traffic. This is occurring more often with the popularity of traffic apps like WAZE.
It is important to note the City has been working in partnership with the Sheriff’s Station to address the rise in traffic volume and the unsafe driving behaviors on these roadways for the past few months.
The City’s Traffic division has recently installed two electronic speed feedback signs on Sand Canyon Road. One is located at Valley Ranch Road for southbound traffic, and the other is located at Sultus Street for northbound traffic. … The City will also be performing an evaluation of the current vehicle speeds and traffic volume along Sand Canyon Road. … Unfortunately, speed humps are not intended for use on all streets. Speed humps are appropriate for residential streets with 25 mph speed limits. Sand Canyon Road is classified as a secondary arterial and has a speed limit of 45 mph; therefore, it is not an appropriate candidate for the placement of speed humps. In addition … Sheriff’s Deputies have been and will continue to provide strategic patrols to aggressively target illegal driving behavior. … Furthermore, the Sheriff’s Deputy placed at the intersection to help move increased congestion has been advised to allow more breaks in traffic moving forward to minimize the impact to residents.
These efforts together will hopefully provide much needed relief in the area and we sincerely appreciate the ideas and suggestions and welcome the open communication from residents as we work to resolve these issues.
Canyon Country Magazine will continue to follow the traffic situation and solutions. Check back next month for an update!