Small Town, Big Traffic

I recently moved back in with my mother, in the town of Anaheim Hills. I had lived in an apartment near school and work in Fullerton for nearly two years. Distance wise, the commute is not terribly longer, and I’m still able to get around since I know most of the roads. But the traffic in this town has gotten way out of hand.

Being near the 91 freeway (the parking lot), I pretty much take roads most places anyway. But the roads in and around the freeway have become hopelessly congested during rush hour times. Santa Ana Canyon is the main road that traverses Anaheim Hills, and I’m avoiding it all the time now. There is no construction or any other reason for the congestion besides too many cars. Has the town been overdeveloped (possible), or has the city not been aware of the increasing population and problems that come with it (also possible)? Obviously, some mixture of these things and other factors have contributed to the traffic, but something needs to be done about it. At a city council meeting, the mayor said that he felt our town was largely ignored in the city government. I hope this changes. I already want to move again.

6 Comments so far

  1. grant (unregistered) on September 7th, 2004 @ 1:31 pm

    The thing about Santa Ana Canyon is that people don’t want it to change. For the most part there is enough room to add a lane going in either direction. However, when this idea was proposed by the city people said no. People like the fact that it doesn’t have sidewalks or curbs, and they like all the grass and vegetation on the side of the street. It makes it feel like a smalltown Main Street. What they need to do is improve the traffic on the 91, so people stop getting off at Lakeview and heading all the way down to Wier Canyon. That’s the problem. It takes forever to get to where most of the people live on the freeway, even though it is only a few miles. It is much quicker to take SAC. But it makes SAC move at a snails pace, but at least it moves.

  2. Daniel Evans (unregistered) on September 7th, 2004 @ 2:39 pm

    When will something be done about the 91? And about freeway traffic in the LA area in general? If the big population explosion predicted actually materializes, a two-hour commute from the 15 to the 55 on the 91 will be like racing down the autobahn. I see where there were some funds allocated recently to widen the 22 near the Orange Crush, but that situation is hardly as dire as that which confronts people who drive the 91 daily.

  3. ocswing (unregistered) on September 7th, 2004 @ 3:51 pm

    Response to both comments.

    Grant: I was unaware about the motion to widen SAC. I think that it is actually necessary because the traffic is no longer in the evening due to the 91. It has also started stopping up in the morning as everyone tries to get on the freeway also. Even with Imperial Hwy. reconstructed, it is still packed in the morning and evening.

    Daniel: I know that the city plans on fixing the 91 where the 241 dumps into it. But they are just going through the planning stages of that, and there was a lot of debate about how to go about it. So it will probably be another decade before anything is done. By that time people may have moved around. Who knows?

  4. Jill (unregistered) on September 7th, 2004 @ 3:53 pm

    I too drive those lovely stretches of road everyday (both the 91 and SAC), and I really believe it’s all the people trying to avoid the 91 as much as possible. Me, I’m just trying to get home, off Fairmont, but it takes a good while. I notice too that the traffic does free up a bit after the Maag ranch housing turn off; all those people there don’t help.

    They really do need to do something about the 91 fwy. The issue seems to rely mainly on the eastern-most part, right before Corona. The lanes merge down quite a bit, slowing traffic down a ton. I’m just thankful my commute ends at Imperial…

  5. Will Randall (unregistered) on September 7th, 2004 @ 11:50 pm

    SAC is about as close as I can get to a main street, but it still feels very rural. As for all of the home construction in the area, few new homes have been built near Imperial Hwy and SAC, most of the new homes have been built in Yorba Linda and the infrastructure hasn’t been upgraded to match the boom. The Anaheim City Council has tried to follow the master plan of the Anaheim Hills community and considers the area to be a “scenic corridor”. Most of the new home construction has occurred in the East Hills near the 241, since the area near Scout Trail is all built up. But Yorba Linda has their own ideas (one of which is the ugly “Savi Ranch” sign). Its one of the reasons the Anaheim side of the Canyon has many trees, while the Yorba Linda side looks like Sim City gone mad. If they widen the 91, I’m going to be pissed since I live about 300 yards and a sound wall away from it. They should just open up the toll lanes, since they have done very little to alleviate the traffic in the first place.

    As for being ignored, as long as Mayor Pringle and the City Council have their eyes set on the “Platinum Triangle” we’re going to be on our own.

  6. Michael Bartholomew (unregistered) on July 7th, 2005 @ 4:10 pm

    I’m also stuck in the traffic you guys, and I have a slightly different observation.

    The first problem is the traffic initially begins all the way down at the 15 fwy in Corona and then ripples all the way to Weir Canyon. People rudely cut each other off and slow down unreasonably to merge to the 15 from the 91. The stretch of the 91 through Corona has to be the worst fwy I’ve ever encountered.

    The second problem is the people who merge into the fast lane when leaving the Fast Trak. Since they cut everyone off and slow down to exit at Green River, this adds to the waves of brake lights already coming back from the 15. They fail to notice the sign that says “Fast Trak ok” for the carpool lane, or have the patience to exit at Serfas Club.

    The third problem is all the traffic from the people who come down SAC to Gypsum combined with the artery that connects the 241 to the 91. I think Gypsum Canyon should be closed as an on ramp, thereby limiting the congestion of the people merging onto the 91 through that slow stretch.

    I believe the issue with the Traffic on the 91 Fwy East lies with the City of Corona. They have so many awkward entrances and exits through that small rugged stretch, not to mention people merging onto the 91 @ Main Street which doubles as the transition lane for the 15. Its a mess there, and those of us just passing through suffer until we pass it.

    I just wish I knew who to complain to, because I’m literally drained when I get home and have no energy to do anything until I go to bed and do it all again the next day.

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