Due to the measurable results of this project, which include shorter travel times for motorists and enhanced pedestrian safety, Caltrans recently honored the city of Santa Clarita with its 2021 Excellence in Transportation Award in the category of Transportation System Operations Improvements.
Pedestrian safety is a priority in the city of Santa Clarita, especially near schools. To enhance safety and reduce traffic congestion at the intersection of Seco Canyon Road and Decoro Drive, which is located near both Santa Clarita Elementary School and Arroyo Seco Junior High, the city developed and implemented a modified traffic signal operation in 2019, which is activated during certain school hours and allows for all pedestrians to cross simultaneously.
Prior to the improvements, during school hours, particularly peak drop-off and pick-up times, the intersection of Seco Canyon Road and Decoro Drive became heavily congested with both vehicles and pedestrians. The city’s Exclusive Pedestrian Crossing by Time of Day timing, also known as a “Pedestrian Scramble,” was implemented during these peak hours to help safely maintain the flow of traffic.
The Pedestrian Scramble eliminates the potential for vehicular-pedestrian conflicts by enabling pedestrians to cross the intersection simultaneously in all directions while all vehicles are stopped. In addition to allowing kids to cross the street without the danger of turning cars, traffic circulation is also improved because vehicles no longer need to wait for large volumes of pedestrians to clear the crosswalk before making a turn when the light is green. This new traffic pattern is supplemented by “blank-out signs,” which clearly instruct drivers on when they can safely make right-hand turns through the intersection.
Caltrans’ Excellence in Transportation Awards highlights the best projects from Caltrans districts and programs, public agencies, private contractors and consultants throughout California. For a full list of 2021 award winners, please visit dot.ca.gov/programs/public-affairs/eit-awards.
To learn more about the City of Santa Clarita’s Pedestrian Scramble and other traffic safety projects, please contact Transportation Planning Analyst Mark Hunter at firstname.lastname@example.org.