TRAFFIC LIGHTS IN YUCCA VALLEY ARE SYNCHRONIZED ONLY FOR LIMITED TIMES

TRAFFIC LIGHTS IN YUCCA VALLEY ARE SYNCHRONIZED ONLY FOR LIMITED TIMES

The Yucca Valley Town Council heard a year-end report from the town’s Youth Commission last night, and passed out certificates of appreciation for a job well done to the youth commissioners. During the rest of the 2 ½ hour meeting, council members heard some surprising news about synchronizing traffic signals in the town. Managing editor Tami Roleff fills in the details…

Town of Yucca Valley Youth Commission

The Yucca Valley Town Council passed out certificates of appreciation for a job well done to the Youth Commissioners.

The Yucca Valley Town Council gave its approval at its meeting last night to go out to bid for signal synchronization for traffic lights from Sage Avenue to La Contenta. On the western end of town (from Camino del Cielo to Mohawk/Acoma Trail), Caltrans set the synchronization schedule and times, which are 8 to 9 a.m., 11 to 1:30 p.m., and 4 to 6 p.m. Outside of those times, the synchronization is turned off. When the traffic lights are synchronized, vehicles have between 67 and 77 seconds to travel through the highway intersection, while cross streets have only 33 to 23 seconds to get through (for a total cycle of 100 seconds). Town staff hope to convince Caltrans to not only make the synchronization hours for traffic signals on the eastern side of town earlier in the morning and continue through the weekends, but for longer cycle lengths as well (120 to 130 seconds for the total cycle; roughly 90 to 100 seconds for highway traffic, then 20-30 seconds for cross traffic to travel through the intersection.)

At this time, the traffic light at Church Street is not yet tied into the synchronization schedule; staff told council members they hope they can convince Caltrans to tie it into the synchronization schedule for the eastern end of town to alleviate the traffic back-ups caused by the that signal.

In other business, council members heard a presentation on the economic impacts of tourism on town businesses, and learned that spending on hotel rooms, gasoline, and dining have been steadily increasing after a dip in 2013 and 2014. In addition, the council learned that the town’s transient occupancy tax, or TOT, is among the lowest in the area (and perhaps even the state) at 7 percent.

An item for future discussion is whether the town wants to continue to support the California Welcome Center as a promoter of the Morongo Basin, or whether it should become a Yucca Valley visitor center.

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