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On the heels of releasing its draft environmental impact report (EIR) for the Lyons Avenue and Dockweiler Drive extension, the city of Santa Clarita is setting its sights on an alternative that avoids extending Lyons and filters all traffic to Railroad Avenue via 13th Street.

“The city of Santa Clarita is pursuing the connection of Dockweiler Drive to the Old Town Newhall area,” Carrie Lujan, the city’s public information officer, said Tuesday. “For the EIR, we had to provide alternatives to the Lyons connection. One of those alternatives was 13th Street.”

Under the draft EIR, Alternative No. 2 would involve extending Dockweiler Drive to Arch Street. That particular route would then continue along Arch to 13th Street and link to Railroad Avenue.

“Unlike the proposed project (extending Lyons to a ‘T’ intersection at Dockweiler),” the report states, “Alternative 2 does not include the roadway segment between the Dockweiler extension and Lyons Avenue, which spans a portion of the Newhall Creek.”

The alternative also calls for the addition of two westbound lanes to 13th Street (in addition to the two existing lanes) and a median and with one dedicated left-turn lane. There would also be two eastbound traffic lanes on 13th.

The new improvements to 13th Street, as well as the Lyons Avenue extension overall, would provide an alternate route to the already heavily utilized Newhall Avenue, Lujan said.

The EIR identifies Alternative 2 as “environmentally superior,” as it would “feasibly attain most of the basic objectives of the proposed project to provide an additional connection from the Old Town Newhall community to Dockweiler Drive as contemplated under the circulation element of the General Plan.”

The city also must still contend with the issue of at-grade crossings. Plans for an at-grade rail crossing at Lyons were scrapped years ago after the California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates rail crossings, said it would not approve any new at-grade crossings in the city. Any new crossing would have to be grade-separated, meaning a bridge, it said.

On Tuesday, Lujan said plans with at-grade crossings are still on the table.

“The PUC has stated to the city of Santa Clarita, in order to move forward with an at-grade crossing, a formal application must be submitted to the commission for review and hearings,” Lujan said. “A certified EIR is required for an application to be made to the CPUC. We will not know if we can move forward with an at-grade crossing until this process has been completed.”

Public comment on the draft environmental report will be taken through Oct. 16. The documents are available for viewing [here] and at the Old Town Newhall Library, Valencia Library and the city clerk’s office at Santa Clarita City Hall.

An additional public outreach meeting is scheduled for Sept. 28. (One was already held Sept. 14). The meeting will take place at 6 p.m. at The Master’s University, 24728 Quigley Canyon Road, Building 35, English and History Center, Room 100. Comments for the outreach meeting must be submitted in writing.

Ultimately approval of the Lyons extension project will be up to the City Council. That decision, Lujan said, is expected sometime in 2018.

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18 Comments

  1. Sounds like it’s gonna be awhile.

  2. The main reason is for the expansion of The Masers College! Why not a gated entry from Dockwheiler to the college! End of story! Then improve the 13 street intersection and add a new intersection at 15th street! We all know this is about development north of Railroad Avenue between 13th and 15th streets!!!!

  3. Amy Martin Amy Martin says:

    How about making a bigger parking lot at the DMV. THAT would be immediately helpful.

  4. Tessa Lucero says:

    I think at-grade crossings are dangerous and unnecessary. No more of those, please. And we should consider seeking state funding to get rid of at least a couple of the existing at-grade crossings, especially the one across Newhall Avenue (Highway 126). At-grade crossings are marginally acceptable when there are a few freight trains each 24 hour period, but not when there are 20 passenger trains at busy times of the day.

  5. Greta Dunlap says:

    I have not seen anything in the EIR to address parking along Dockweiler. This is a high density living area with condos and apartments. The residents rely on Dockweiler for parking. How has this been addressed?

    • SCVNews.com says:

      This is from the city-county General Plan (which went through years of intense public scrutiny & was approved in 2011), under future roadway improvements —

      Dockweiler: Between Railroad Avenue and Leonard Tree Lane: Construct new 4 lane Secondary Highway

      Dockweiler: Between Leonard Tree Lane and Sierra Highway: Re-stripe roadway from 2 lanes to 4 lanes – Will lose the existing onstreet parking due to restriping

      • Greta Dunlap says:

        Would suggest that parking be allowed after 6 p.m. and on weekends.
        I would suggest you go up there at night and take a picture for the paper. Cars are parked all along Dockweiler and Valley del Oro, and some illegally because there is not enough room.
        Allowing some hours for parking are needed.

      • Judy Mook says:

        The Vistas HOA restricted parking within the complex which caused overflow parking on to Dockweiler and Valle Del Oro. Most garages are used for storage, not cars. I suggested repurposing the tennis courts to guest parking but was ignored. There’s a larger story re: increasing the dues by 20% per year to pay for stair and deck damage caused by the HOA’s contracted vendor. I sold in January. Email me for more info.

        • SCVNews.com says:

          Judy, since you know it better than we do, why don’t you write it up and submit it as op-ed?

          • Judy Mook says:

            Hi Leon! Maybe I can take a stab at the parking issue when the OT at my current job dies down. But a staff writer should look into the stair/deck reconstruction issue. I have documentation on why The Vistas HOA dues may reach $500 a month for some units in 2018.The loss of street parking combined with the 20% per year dues increase will significantly affect the homeowners and tenants.

      • mellie says:

        Lose the existing on-street parking? That would just make the existing problem even worse! I used to live there; I know.

    • mellie says:

      You’re right about the residents along Dockweiler needing parking; when I lived there, I was pushed out of a parking space in the condo complex parking lot and forced to park on the street, usually 3/4 mile away from the unit I lived in because there are so many residents who have more than one vehicle, and the line of vehicles always stretches almost totally out to Sierra Highway. I was shut out of the garage because the other tenant in my unit had three vehicles: two derelicts taking up space inside the garage, and another one he used all the time and parked in the parking lot (in my space). The owner gave him the only parking permit allowed per unit, and he didn’t feel guilty about it (the owner charged him $250.00 for it), and lied about it, saying the HOA charged it. The other owners I spoke to told me they were free. Therefore, he had three parking spots, and I had none. Most of the time it was extra painful for me to trudge half a mile from my car on the street to the condo with my groceries, and that made my chronic health problems worse. I reported it to the government relating to ADA, but they did diddly squat about it. Dockweiler is a bad place to live. I’m so glad I’m out of there.

  6. But still won’t make more parking at the top of dockweiler

    • mellie says:

      The only thing they can do is build a parking structure, which is another problem all on its own, because the condos are built at the edge of a canyon.

  7. Greta Dunlap says:

    Expand the parking lot at the corner of Dockweiler and Valle del Oro by removing the tennis court. Perhaps the city could include in the plans.

    • Judy Mook says:

      Greta, the tennis courts belong to The Vistas HOA. They won’t remove the tennis courts. I rarely saw anyone playing tennis there during the 7 years I owned a condo there.
      Mellie, your former landlord was in violation of the new parking lot rules. The HOA would charge for a lost or stolen parking pass which was to be used for guest, not resident vehicles. The other owners you spoke to could have given you the name and phone number of the HOA management office to file a complaint.

  8. mellie says:

    I did have all that information and did file a complaint, but they ignored it and me. I had no rights because, as the owner told me to my face, “You’re not a resident,just a tenant”. And the other person living there did use that permit to park in the lot, and probably still does. There was nowhere to go but out of there. It was a debacle from the beginning.

  9. mellie says:

    And the resident vehicles were supposed to be parked in the garage, but, as I said before, the other person living there was taking liberties with it by keeping two derelicts in there, and shutting me out.

    But thank you, Judy, for your input and help.

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