New roads to The Master’s University

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New roads to The Master’s University

MIchael Brown, Managing Editor

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The Master’s University may soon border a new road. The City of Santa Clarita is proposing an extension of the nearby road of Dockweiler Drive to connect with Lyons Avenue.

An extension for the nearby Dockweiler Drive has already been approved, as designated by the purple line in the map above. Another extension, designated by the blue line in the map, is currently being discussed among city officials, and would connect Dockweiler Drive to Lyons Avenue.

“The Lyons Avenue and Dockweiler Drive extension project is designed to improve traffic circulation, safety and access to the Placerita Canyon and Newhall communities,” said city officials in a statement on the city’s website. “Additional project benefits include wider traffic lanes, enhanced landscape medians, a bike lane and upgrades to the railroad crossing east of Railroad Avenue at the intersection of Lyons Avenue.”

On Feb. 27, 2018, the Santa Clarita City Council held a public hearing to inform residents about the final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the project, as well as to allow citizens to give their opinions on the project.

The EIR offered several alternatives to the project, including using the already-available railroad crossing at 13th Street and creating another through lane at Market Street. The 13th Street route was recommended by city staff, as it was the plan with the least environmental impact.

Photo provided by the City of Santa Clarita

City staff also presented projected traffic impacts that the options for the project would have on Santa Clarita in the year 2035.

Photo provided by the City of Santa Clarita

“I am very much in favor of this new road,” said Joseph Devore, a freshman biology major at The Master’s University “I drive home every weekend, and everytime I come back I think of how convenient it would be if I could get off at Placerita Canyon. But there’s that gate, and I have to drive all the way around, and it probably adds another 10 minutes, maybe 15 minutes to my drive if traffic is bad.”

Many Santa Clarita residents came to the public hearing to make their opinions known on the extension, most of whom did not share the excitement for the road that DeVore had.

“We reject the extension,” said Newhall resident Trisha Fasa. “Nobody who has stood there thinks this is a good idea. Please reject the proposal.”

Members of the Santa Clarita City Council acknowledged the many concerns expressed by city residents.

“When we have this many people come forward, it deeply concerns me,” said Councilman Bob Kellar.

Councilmembers ultimately voted 4-0 to move the hearing to April 10, with Mayor Laurene Weste recusing herself to prevent a potential conflict of interest, as she owns property near the proposed extension. The rest of the council mentioned plans to use the time before the next hearing to get more information on the project.

If the City Council approves the EIR and one of the routes in April, they will then need to submit an application to the California Public Utilities Commision for expected improvements to the 13th Street rail crossing.

While most students currently attending The Master’s University will not be living on campus when the project is completed, the new road will affect TMU students for years to come.