Panel Approves Santa Clarita Roads Report
A citizens advisory committee Monday approved a report recommending $339 million in road improvements in the Santa Clarita Valley, despite objections from a developer and transportation planners who said the document exaggerates future traffic problems.
The report is to be used by the Santa Clarita City Council, along with state and Los Angeles County transportation agencies, to plan road projects. The Southern California Assn. of Governments study was a year in the making.
The citizens advisory committee approved much of the report Dec. 5 but delayed endorsing the entire document after the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works and Valencia Co. charged that it overestimated traffic in Santa Clarita in 1995 and 2010.
In a written dissent, Roger W. Berger, public works deputy director, said the study’s projections were unrealistically high. Officials from Valencia Co., the valley’s largest developer, said the study was based on faulty formulas.
The report’s director, Bijan Yarjani, defended the study. He acknowledged that some traffic estimates were at first too high and said they have been corrected. Even so, he said, the figures remain higher than those submitted by the county and by Valencia Co.
Although the committee’s report differs from the county’s on the severity of future traffic congestion, they agree that the valley will have traffic problems, Yarjani said.
But Victorio L. Hoskins, assistant project manager for Valencia Co., said the firm is concerned because the committee report will be used to set transportation policy.
Yarjani said that state Department of Transportation officials, after reviewing the report, concluded that they cannot rule out someday turning California 126, known as Magic Mountain Parkway, into a freeway. Valencia Co. would oppose this because the freeway would cut through the company’s planned community, Valencia, Hoskins said.