12 February 2010

Olinda Village Traffic Signals Has Commuters Seeing Red

It's only been a week and the new traffic signal on Carbon Canyon Road (Route 142) has already generated some pointed comments on this blog.  Which leads me to think that those exchanges are more likely to be read and engender more of the same by incorporating them into a post rather than leaving them in the comment section of the initial post from last week.

So, here is what has been said so far about the signal:

Chino Hills Professionals said...

Let's hope the lights improve the traffic patterns. Let's hope the lights offer a solution to what is, with unanimous agreement, the only thing in the Canyon that is UGLY! (Traffic)

canyon lover said...

I don't see how this could possibly not affect traffic in the canyon. On Thursday night at 6 p.m., I was told, the traffic was backed up all the way from Valencia. I came through a little before 7 and it was backed up from santa fe (usually there's no backup that time of night). I also noticed as I turned into Olinda Village that the traffic flowed freely after the signal. I wonder what's going to happen the first time the signal goes out and starts flashing red, forcing everyone to stop at the intersection. I guess we'll be backed up to the freeway. I know, I know, I may be passing judgment prematurely, but I believe that this has the potential to cause major problems for everybody who drives the canyon. Oh, and how about those new flashing signs that give that same warm feeling you get when passing through an immigration checkpoint, not to mention the multiple street lights that absolutely ruin the ambience. Whose idea was this?

Paul said...

Hello Chino Hills Professionals and Canyon Lover, I think I've probably said (more than?) enough on this topic so that it is abundantly clear what my opinion is. The fact is: the only benefit are to those in Olinda Village. For overall traffic, the ugly aspect that CH Professionals refers to, there is no solution. As I've said, I understand the frustrations the Olinda Village folks who've wanted a signal have experienced, but in Sleepy Hollow we can't have signals. It's just not physically possible, so we have to live with that same frustration. And, there will be more, if Chino Hills can follow through with their plans for two signals on their side. Good for the folks in those immediate neighborhood--no effect on overall traffic in the Canyon.

canyon lover said...

Paul, I live in Olinda Village, and believe me, it's no benefit to me. The worst of it will be going west to east because of the blind hill right before the signal, where there's a natural slowdown anyway, and that's the way I come home from work. I know a lot of people in the village may have been in favor of putting in a signal, but it seems to me that the folks in Hollydale and the kids from there having to cross to go to the elementary school may have been the deciding factor. That said, what's done is done, and I could go on forever about it, but I'll give it a rest. It just makes me sad and frustrated. Once again, for the benefit of a few, thousands are impacted. (An easy solution to turning left out of Hollydale against traffic would have been simply to turn right instead, turn into Olinda Village and turn right from there. Not that big a deal.)

Anonymous said...

The new lights in the Canyon have created a nightmare for those who drive through the Canyon during traffic hours. It now takes twice the time to get through. How ever thought the lights were a good idea was not thinking clearly.
Paul said...

Hello Canyon Lover (again) and Anonymous, I was not aware of who the prime movers were for the lights, but, as Canyon Lover and Anonymous indicate, it may already be obvious that any traffic improvements will be one-sides [sided!] (that is, side traffic coming from Olinda Village, including Hollydale Mobile Home Estates.) I don't come through in the morning until after 8:30 and NEVER come through in the late afternoon and early evening anyway, so I can't speak for those periods. At any rate, let's see how matters shake out over the coming weeks and months! Thanks for the comments, guys!

Anonymous said...

What a ridiculous idea! It already took long enough to get through the Canyon and now it takes almost three times as long! I used to enjoy driving through the Canyon and used to think, "I need to be the passenger in the car and drive through here so I can really see everything"....Watch what you wish for....I am now at a dead stop and go for over an hour and can look around without a problem! Psh, whomever's idea this was is a complete moron. The canyon is a BEAUTIFUL place with a wonderful and colorful history, and unfortunately the only colors now are bright flashing yellows, with ugly reds and greens!

mark said...

traffic signal not going to impact traffic?? yeah right. It now take an extra 20 minutes to get through the cayon. Anything being done to fix this?

Paul said...

Hi Anonymous and Mark, obviously the introduction of this traffic signal has hit a chord! You and others might try sending a little Valentine's Day message to the Brea City Council, but this project has been years in the making and cost several hundred thousand dollars. The only suggestion I have is to recommend that the timing be adjusted so that signal changes for those entering Carbon Canyon Road require longer wait times. This would at least allow the traffic on Route 142 to move a little faster. I can't imagine the city is going to like that suggestion, though. A few more comments and I'll put together a post just on that! Thanks for taking the time to post your thoughts.

canyon lover said...

That's exactly what folks should do, Paul. Contact the Brea City Council. They're well aware of the problem, and the more comments they get, the more likely we are to be taken seriously. Caltrans controls the light, but the council is the best way to get your thougts across. So spread the word everybody! The Sleepy Hollow/Chino Hills side needs to chime in, too. By the way, it took me 25 minutes to go less than two miles last night AFTER 7 p.m., pretty well past rush hour. Reminds me of the housing bubble. Did no one see this coming?

Anonymous said...

congratulations to the responsible special interest in congesting the canyon, increasing everyones commute time, fuel use, and for those of us who live here, the resultant exhaust and trash. By the way, can anyone explain the red light for through traffic at 3:00 am, no cross traffic present.

Toe.Knee said...

I would like to add my two cents to this issue. I have been going through the Canyon for two and a half years now and have always let commuters entering 142 in whenever safe. I don't know what the people in the Olinda Village said to get this traffic light installed, but I am sure that it's not helping them at all now. I am a prime candidate for hitting traffic going and leaving work in the canyon and before what use to be maybe a 30 minute wait in the canyon has increased to an hour. I really don't appreciate the traffic and what it's done to my fuel usage constantly stopping and going on the big hill. If there is a petition to "improve" the way the traffic light performs please let me know, within my company there are quiet a few people that enter this void of a canyon now that the light is setup , and we would definately like to see a change.

As noted above, the only likely mitigation is public comment at Brea City Council meetings and specific requests to, for example, adjust the timing of light changes so that those looking to enter Carbon Canyon Road from Olinda Village/Hollydale have to wait longer. Otherwise, it is nearly impossible to imagine any other reasonable scenario, given how long this project took to bring to fruition and the cost that was entailed in it.

Still, keep those comments coming and, if it helps, I can forward them on to the City Council via e-mail or snail mail, unless a Brea resident is willing to present something directly at a council meeting?


Theresa Ullrich said...

Please don't blame this fiasco on Olinda Village residents. Many of us were not in favor of the signal. I for one am outraged at how it has impacted commute times not to mention the ruralness of the canyon.I now feel that access to my own home is restricted. It's unbelievable how bad it is. We've all been contacting our traffic engineers and city council members as well as CalTrans.

canyon lover said...

This is from Brea's traffic engineer: "Since Carbon Canyon is a State highway, the signal is operated and maintained by Caltrans. As such, Caltrans controls the timing.
City staff is working with Caltrans to refine the signal timing to minimize the delay.
The Caltrans contact information is (949) 724-2000 or http://www.dot.ca.gov/pioform.html" ... I would also suggest that you contact Brea's City Council. Here is the number:714-990-7718 ... Please spread the word and make your feelings known. (Unfortunately, I don't believe that adjusting the signal's timing is going to solve this problem.)

Anonymous said...

I was forwarded a copy of this email.

Subject: New Traffic Light Carbon Canyon Rd and Olinda Place/Ruby Drive
Brea, CA

I am responding to your emails to address your concerns regarding the
subject traffic signal. I would like to let you know that our traffic and
electrical engineers, City of Brea police officers, and engineers from the
City of Brea inspected and monitored the traffic signal today and it was
found to have a faulty (stuck) sensor which was causing the light to change
to red more frequently than it should have. The sensor has been reset and
is functioning normally. At the conclusion of monitoring the signal timing
for three hours, the timing has also been adjusted. Caltrans will be
monitoring and surveilling the signal timing through to next Thursday,
especially in peak periods, and we will make any further necessary
adjustments. This is the usual and normal process with a new traffic
signal installation.

Please also be aware that the signal permittee is the City of Brea and the
signal was fully funded by the City. Caltrans will maintain and operate
the signal after acceptance. The permit has not been signed off (meaning
the signal is not yet accepted) as there are some minor items with the
permit still to be corrected.

I would like to thank you for bringing this matter to our attention, and
hope that you are satisfied with our immediate response to your concerns.
Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions or


Tracey Lavelle
Office Chief, Public Information/Governmental Affairs/EEO
Caltrans - District 12 Orange County
(949) 724-2031 office
(949) 279-8552 cell
(949) 724-2748 fax

Due to Executive Order S-13-09 Caltrans will be closed on the 1st, 2nd, and
3rd Fridays of each month through June 2010.

canyon lover said...

On Tuesday there is a City Council Meeting in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 7 pm. There is a growing group of people from the village who are planning to go and speak about the signal issues during "Matters From The Audience" (usually toward the beginning of the meeting). If you are so inclined, it is a good idea to attend to ensure that city staff knows the extent of the problem and our discontent.