Yorba Linda Won't Close Heavily Traveled Road

Times Staff Writer

Ten months of community debate was capped Monday night when the Yorba Linda City Council voted not to implement the recommendations of the city's traffic committee to temporarily close Amberdale Road to through traffic.

The decision was a disappointment for residents of the street, who have been persistently lobbying the council to turn the heavily traveled street into a cul-de-sac.

Instead, the council voted to install a series of speed bumps and stop signs and widen a key intersection at Fairmont and Canyon roads. Each of the adjustments will be subject to a six-month evaluation.

The 3-2 vote, with Mayor Michael Beverage and Councilman Gene Weisner dissenting, came at the close of a two-hour public hearing.

Amberdale Road, situated in a residential area on the south side of town, has become a popular shortcut for motorists speeding toward freeway access arteries, residents of the street say.

The speed limit on the street is 25 m.p.h., but reports prepared by the city's traffic commission show that 85% of the cars traveling on Amberdale Road exceed 40 m.p.h.

Gary Dolphin, a member of the city's traffic committee, said earlier Monday that the council is faced with trying to solve a problem created by poor design and planning 15 years ago.

"Today you'd never have a plan approved for a 3,000-foot street in a residential home tract without cul-de-sacing or something to try to reduce speeds," he said.

"We've been through all the channels, they've fixed all the other streets and turned us into a drag strip--I guess what it takes is they want a dead kid on our street," said Steve Houghton, a resident on Amberdale Road.

Closure of the street to through traffic faced vocal opposition from over 200 other area residents who believe that it would not only be an inconvenience, but would create new traffic problems on other nearby streets.

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