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Today in
S.C.V. History
November 27
1941 - Funeral for "our" Remi Nadeau, whose Canyon Country deer park became North Oaks [story]
Remi Nadeau

Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Tuesday, Aug 26, 2014

darrylmanzer_blacktieAre we ready for Pico Canyon Road to be a major thoroughfare between Interstate 5 and the planned homes south of Highway 126? Looking at the EIR for the proposal, that is what will occur.

This isn’t the city of Santa Clarita doing this. This is an environmental impact report for the planners in Los Angeles County. Not to worry, though, since there has never been a Newhall Land and Farming proposal that Los Angeles County hasn’t approved.

But that isn’t the issue.

When I had to walk to the bus stop in the morning from Pico Cottage in Mentryville. it was a quiet and wonderful stroll. I passed by quail and doves that flew with great noise at my footfalls. More than once I scared a coyote or a skunk. Another companion might be a snake – with or without rattles.

Today, walking that same route, there are lots of other folks walking plus joggers and folks riding bikes and skateboards. That road between the Mentryville gate and the end of the county-maintained road can get crowded.

Once the new, major thoroughfare is built, I would think the free parking area at the end of the county road will be gone. The road design calls for a four-lane road all the way from Stevenson Ranch Road to Highway 126. Interesting, isn’t it?

For those of you who bike and jog along the last part of Pico Canyon Road, imagine the fun of sucking in all of that vehicle exhaust in a spot that had very little traffic previously. I hope the new road includes sidewalks for the pedestrians. Hey, there will be some great bike rides over the pass between Pico Canyon and Potrero Canyon.


Click to enlarge

What else are they creating? A shortcut for trucks that might be overweight and want to avoid the scales. A more direct route to the Chiquita Canyon dump for all of those extra loads of trash, should the expansion be approved. (And many of you in West Ranch didn’t think the expansion would hurt you. Ha.)

More congestion on Pico Canyon Road is another issue. Dropping off and picking up kids at Pico Canyon Elementary School, for instance. The stoplights between I-5 and the Old Road along Pico Canyon Road are already a problem. Too close together and poorly timed. Can you see empty and smelly trash trucks backed up from the Old Road to Stevenson Ranch Road? I can. Nothing like the smell of empty trash trucks to start your commute every morning.

It does provide a great way for some of the SCV, the southern end, to get to the beach faster – if the lights aren’t a problem. It also opens up additional policing problems for the Sheriff’s Department. A whole new stretch of road that will have lots of rural off-shoots for all kinds of problems. There are a lot of small roads through the old oil leases over the hill from Pico that will have to be closed off or patrolled.

If you’ve never been on the road over the hill from Pico to Potrero, you’ve missed a great ride. You get to the top of the hill and the grade gets steep, along with a pretty sharp curve. I wonder how they are going to straighten that out. They are engineers; they’ll do it.

I don’t want to stop progress unless it is “stupid progress.” It appears that once again, Los Angeles County is sticking our little valley with congestion and traffic-flow problems that we’ll have to solve on our own.

If you want an example of how not to design roads, look at the results in Canyon Country. Wouldn’t it be great to get on Highway 14 where Soledad Canyon Roads meets it? Instead there is a left curve and a drive to the Sand Canyon interchange. Was that ever some great design work the county approved.

These are the same folks who never fixed Placerita Canyon Road when there were a lot fewer homes there. The county maintained a short stretch of private-property road and then dumped it on the city.

Those of you in Stevenson Ranch and Southern Oaks, do you want to see the road go through? The traffic isn’t too bad now. What is going to happen when 20,000 homes are built over there? Do you like the noise of heavy traffic?

We do need roads that get us to that lesser valley to our south. Dumping traffic onto Pico Canyon Road isn’t the answer. It was a dumb idea when first floated, and it gets dumber every time I see it.

For those of you in Stevenson Ranch, tell your HOA about this. I’d ask you to tell your West Ranch Town Council, but so few of you know about that “elected” body, you might not know who to call. Yep, the HOA is better and more effective. Why? Because we all know that hell hath no fury like an HOA with a mission. Give them the mission to stop the road. Please.

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 are archived at DManzer.com. Watch his walking tour of Mentryville [here].


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  1. Abigail DeSesa says:

    This just keeps getting better and better. Thank you for keeping us up on all these dirty little secrets that are associated with the Chiquita Canyon Landfill one way or another. The landfill will not just be the problem of the “disadvantaged” people of Val Verde when this happens. It is great, more people will get to enjoy the “good neighbor” known as Chiquita Canyon Landfill. We didn’t want to be selfish and keep it all to ourselves in Castaic.

    When will this madness stop?

  2. Sarah Jones says:

    Do you EVER have ANYTHING positive to say? Must be exhausting living in your head with the constant barrage of negativity in there.

  3. Marcus Derek Marcus Derek says:

    They have tons of land to build homes else where I already know residents are gonna complain about noise from the park

    • Ryan Orona Ryan Orona says:

      There will always be people that want it just the way they want it. Half of them wouldn’t even live where they are if the people before them succeeded in the mindset they hold now.

    • Ryan Orona Ryan Orona says:

      There will always be people that want it just the way they want it. Half of them wouldn’t even live where they are if the people before them succeeded in the mindset they hold now.

  4. No more houses,we need to solve the water problem first!!

  5. No more houses,we need to solve the water problem first!!

  6. This is why they moved the “Old Glory” oak tree – the one John Quigley sat in

  7. This is why they moved the “Old Glory” oak tree – the one John Quigley sat in

  8. for those of us in Stevenson Ranch and or Southern oaks it’s going to make our neighborhood a major thruway and that will SUCK!!!! I have no problem spending a little extra time going around for the quiet!!

  9. for those of us in Stevenson Ranch and or Southern oaks it’s going to make our neighborhood a major thruway and that will SUCK!!!! I have no problem spending a little extra time going around for the quiet!!

  10. Eddie Burch Eddie Burch says:

    It’s a good thing traffic doesn’t already suck on the 5.

    Oh wait……

  11. Eddie Burch Eddie Burch says:

    It’s a good thing traffic doesn’t already suck on the 5.

    Oh wait……

  12. Dear Santa Clarita – please stop pretending that the industrial center is creating jobs for the residents of the valley. Everyone knows that all the jobs worth having are still in the city. You need to connect Pico Canyon with Topanga Canyon, not the 126. (or, maybe, also the 126)

  13. Kim Sloan Kim Sloan says:

    Stevenson Ranch is in LA County territory, so how are Santa Clarita Leaders able to allow this to happen? Why are the residents of Stevenson Ranch, and West Hills not able to vote on this?

  14. Thomas Bravo Thomas Bravo says:

    Mentryville is going to get trashed!

  15. I moved here 43 years ago and do not complain all of you who distoryed our nice canyon Pico Canyon a peaceful place to get away. Now that we need a fire rescue road, like all of you it will come your peaceful place will have other’s come. I think is great, I want the fire road, access if their is a accident, and why not continue to distory whats already been done. 30,000 people were here, we had K Mart, that’s it and now we have a beautiful city and you don’t have to like it!

  16. Dana says:

    I do not want to see a four lane road on Pico Canyon, I live in Southern Oaks and do not want the traffic and trash trucks coming down through this prestine area filled with wildlife and just natural beauty. Thats why we live here, but I wonder how LA can approve such a project without the people that live heres consent. I will take it up with the HOA, hopefully this will never happen, it will be a sad day if it does.

  17. Jim Oge Jr Jim Oge Jr says:

    This city is lame all about the money

  18. Lina Boulos Lina Boulos says:

    Desri Gross Meredith Anne Danford @ Stacy Lynn Prestridge that will impact us all!!

  19. Quit issuing building permits!

  20. Eric Ryan Eric Ryan says:

    Did not know you could get to west hills from Stevenson ranch Kim Sloan.

  21. For the love of god repave the old road between Rye Canyon and Hasley Canyon, that road has seen about 50 years of neglect, some of those potholes could swallow a house cat

  22. If this directs people off the 5, I am all for it. The 5 is the current disaster in SCV.

  23. Look Kelly Asbra a faster way to your house in the future.

  24. Why haven’t they connected Wiley canyon through to canyon country?

  25. So much for the crazy over priced values in Stevenson Ranch. This plan drops those values back to Valencia levels once this is approved.

  26. No more quaint, quiet Stevenson Ranch and Southern Oaks if this happens. I predict those upset will then move to the new Newhall Ranch neighborhoods and then be happy for this alternate to the clogged 126/5 route.

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