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Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Sunday, Mar 10, 2013
Darryl Manzer

Darryl Manzer

Did anyone out there send me the right answers to my question last week about the five stoplights in town? Nope! Since all three of you want to know the correct answers, here they are:

The five SCV stoplights in 1968:

1. Castaic Junction at Highway 99 and Route 126.

2. Sierra Highway and San Fernando Road near Eternal Valley.

3. Solemint Junction corner of Sierra Highway and Soledad Canyon Road in Saugus.

4. Corner of Lyons Ave and San Fernando Road in Newhall.

5. Corner of Bouquet Canyon Road and Soledad Canyon Road in Saugus.

Then along came Valencia … the rest is history.

So, Tony, had there been a light at Highway 99 and Pico Canyon Road, I might not have hit the car with my motorcycle and thus would not have broken my legs.

I’d still like to figure out the light timing on Lyons Avenue. I’ll bet the city of Santa Clarita traffic engineers would, too. Just a thought in the form of a question: Why is it necessary to stop traffic at a stoplight when there are no cars in the cross street? “Nothing is coming so we’ll just stop all traffic so you can see that, too.”

Did y’all notice that the county traffic engineers continued the poor timing of lights and short spacing between those lights once Lyons turns into Pico Canyon Road? I wonder if the city and county have stock in the companies that manufacture the lights?

Am I the only who that has noticed the VERY short-timed yellow light when turning left onto Seco Canyon from Bouquet Canyon? It must last all of two seconds. I really enjoyed paying the $500 red light camera fine.

Does anyone know the required length of a yellow light? Maybe this one is short to serve as a revenue enhancement tool for Santa Clarita. Just like speed traps in the Southern United States. “Son, I’d let you go with a warning, but your California tags just told me you wouldn’t listen.”

I used to love turning north onto Sierra Highway from Placerita Canyon Road. Sometimes I even made a full stop. Other times there was always a member of the CHP there to let me know I hadn’t made a full stop. Thanks! Hello Judge McDougall. Here is my $35. (I was earning $3.10 per hour at that time.)

The United Kingdom is full of traffic circles. For those of us who disdain full stops at stop signs, they are perfect. Just slow a little and merge into the flow, ‘round and ‘round and soon, you know … you’re trapped in the circle. They are called “roundabouts” because you’ll go all ‘round about three times before you get to the street you didn’t want to take.

I was in Scotland for most of the summer of 1996. Steering wheel on the wrong side of the car , driving on the wrong side of the road, and the roudabouts went clockwise, not counterclockwise as here in the former colonies.  The trip between Glasgow and Campbelltown that first time was fun. I’m sure I also hit the curb so many times with the left front tire (or tyre) that the rental car (hire car) never steered the same again.

So, you ask, “Do you like the planned traffic circle at the intersection of Railroad, Newhall, and Main?” My answer: Sure! Why not? Be a great way to provide a gateway into Newhall. I can see a statue in the center of that circle. Maybe Old Henry Mayo Newhall or William S. Hart or Michael D. Antonovich or Frank Ferry or Howard “Take the Bucks” McKeon. No? Well how about a nice wooden oil derrick and pump, circa 1895? Maybe it could be used to drill for oil. Maybe that oil could pay for the traffic circle. Just some random thoughts I have now and then.

Now for more fun. Have all of you bought your tickets for the Cowboy Festival? It is coming quickly next month. Castaic Days follows soon after.  What are you doing on the Fourth of July? We have one of the best Fourth of July Parades in the USA right here in Newhall. More on that soon.

I do wonder how the traffic circle will affect the parade. Could be quite comical if all of the participants just keep going ‘round and ‘round and ‘round…

See all y’all next week.

 

Darryl Manzer grew up in the Pico Canyon oil town of Mentryville in the 1960s and attended Hart High School. After a career in the U.S. Navy he returned to live in the Santa Clarita Valley. He can be reached at dmanzer@scvhistory.com and his commentaries, published on Sundays, are archived at DManzer.com. Watch his walking tour of Mentryville [here].

 

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