Anyone who’s driven in Lancaster will tell you the roads aren’t the best — and sometimes they are pitted with holes that could easily bend a tire rim if you’re not careful. 

Add to that the unsafe driving practices, high speed limits in some areas and various other issues and you have a recipe for disaster (or at least many accidents).

Officials with the city of Lancaster seem to be aware that there are issues and are going to pay a consultant about $191,481 to develop a Local Road and Safety Plan and its resulting program, over the next two years.

The city received a $160,000 grant from the California Department of Transportation to create the plan with a required $20,000 local match.

On Nov. 9, the City Council unanimously agreed to authorize City Manager Jason Caudle, or his designee, to execute a two-year Professional Services Agreement with consultant Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.

According to the scope of services, the Local Road and Safety Plan will be structured to make the city more competitive for grant money, but it will also be better able to identify and prioritize safety needs and encourage safer driving practices.

Safer driving practices are definitely something that needs to be addressed in Lancaster. One recent road improvement was done on West Avenue J-8. It went from two lanes on each side, to one on each side. In addition, bicycle lanes were installed. While it was inconvenient to find an alternate route while road construction was underway, the end result has slowed traffic and made the road a bit safer. Plus, it has eliminated the race to merge from two lanes to one, on West Avenue J-8, approaching the stop sign at the 35th Street West intersection, near West Wind Elementary School.

Unfortunately, not everyone abides by the rules and those who are impatient and don’t want to wait their turn at the stoplight will, instead, ride up the bike lane, so they can get a jump on everyone at the stoplight at West Avenue J-8 and 25th Street West.

If you’ve ever traveled that stretch of road, we don’t need to tell you how dangerous that maneuver is — especially since Desert Christian High School is on the corner and vehicles often pull into the parking lot in the morning, coming off of West Avenue J-8.

Identifying problem areas in the city is the first step toward a resolution. The Local Road and Safety Plan, as well as the grant money, should help alleviate some of those problem areas.

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