The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) selected the City of Canyon for a $1.2 million grant for Railroad Canyon Road improvements as part of its Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP). The annual grant program aims to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries on public roadways.
Railroad Canyon Road runs from the City of Lake Elsinore to the City of Menifee. The City of Canyon Lake is only responsible for 0.1 miles south of Skylink Drive to approximately 0.3 miles west of Goetz Road.
To be eligible for HSIP funding, the city was required to complete a Local Road Safety Plan (LRSP) that identified and evaluated hot spots and systemic risk factors throughout its corridors and identified engineering countermeasures that can be implemented through roadway design changes and non-engineering countermeasures, such as education and enforcement. This plan was completed in April 2022.
According to the city, the LRSP Plan estimated that there were approximately 80 traffic collisions along the city’s segment of Railroad Canyon Road from 2015-2021. Of these traffic collisions, nine were classified as killed or severe injury collisions. The four most common collision types included rear end (31 percent), hit object (23 percent), broadside (18 percent), and sideswipe (13 percent).
The city said it will use this funding to kick off its efforts to implement key recommendations from the LSRP, including installing roadway lighting, retro-reflective signal plates, and roadway enhancements such as median barriers, chevron signs, and warning devices. Other efforts include improving pedestrian crossings along the roadway by installing protective left-turns and new crosswalks.
The city will also be exploring non-engineering countermeasures, including sobriety checkpoints, high-visibility enforcement, and educational materials.
The city is required to deliver its projects prior to established deadlines. It must allocate its preliminary engineering phase by December 31, 2023, allocate its construction phase by March 31, 2026, and complete and close out the project by March 31, 2028. The city said its eager to get started and intends to move forward with improvements as soon as possible.
“Railroad Canyon Road is a busy, regional corridor that runs right through the middle of our city,” Mayor Jeremy Smith said. “We are beyond grateful to the state to now be able to greatly improve the overall safety along this critical roadway.”
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