Traffic is already a problem, and it is not going to go away. Traffic isn’t just an American Canyon issue, 70% of the vehicles in American Canyon during heavy traffic times are driving through and do not stop in our City. Traffic is a regional problem. That is why American Canyon is working with regional partners to find solutions that will make a difference for all of us.
State Highway 29
Highway 29 is a state-owned (CalTrans) four-lane highway that runs north and south through American Canyon. The City collaborates with Caltrans, and we make recommendations, but ultimately the decisions are in the hands of Caltrans. The decisions made by Caltrans have to consider the potential effects on other areas in the region. Both the City and Caltrans, are committed to improving conditions on Highway 29 and are working on the following projects to improve traffic flow on Highway 29.
Signal Interconnect/Traffic Signal Coordination
Back in 2014, the City commissioned a study to optimize the traffic signals on SR29 using GPS clocks. These changes provided some limited improvement, but more reliability is needed to maximize the signal’s capacity. Current efforts include physically connecting each traffic signal controller with wires to improve traffic signal sequencing. The wiring work is substantially complete. Staff is currently working with Caltrans to optimize traffic signal sequencing and timing in response to changing traffic conditions. This technology has demonstrated a measurable reduction in traffic congestion on highly traveled roadways such as the highway. Staff continues to work with Caltrans to implement this technology; there is no timetable yet for completion.
The 6-lane "Urban Arterial" proposed in the Broadway District Specific Plan (BDSP) will provide for pedestrian, bicycle and transit modes of travel that do not currently exist on the highway. It also includes form-based zoning codes that will incentivize a new residential mixed-use development along the corridor.
It is important to note the planned 6-lane Urban Arterial is the cornerstone of the implementation of the BDSP. The planned widening is consistent with all current City and County General Plans, as well as the NVTA SR29 Gateway Corridor Improvement Plan - all which solicited significant public input and resulted in community consensus.
Key steps for BDSP include:
- Identify existing Caltrans right-of-way (Complete).
- Circulate BDSP and Draft EIR for comment (Complete).
- Develop a Project Summary Report (PSR), Project Initiation Document (PID), and Specific Plan Line.
- Council Approve BDSP/Final EIR
The City is also working on the following projects, which will help in providing alternate routes for local traffic.
Newell Drive is the other planned roadway extension to improve traffic circulation on the highway envisioned in the City’s General Plan Circulation Element. It will provide a parallel alternative route on the east side of SR29. Newell Drive consists of three segments – two are located in the City, and one in the unincorporated County. The most southerly segment (from American Canyon Road to Donaldson Way East) is complete.
The remaining segments located in City limits are to be completed by the developer of the Watson Ranch Specific Plan (WRSP) in conjunction with the various development phases.
Completion of the northern segment (located in the County) remains uncertain because it is contingent upon many factors, including the annexation of properties within the Watson Lane area. Annexation requires prior approval by both Napa County and the Napa County Local Area Formation Commission (LAFCO) (on which Vice-Mayor Leary represents the City). Also, approvals by various landowners and the Public Utilities Commission are required. Before annexation can occur, the Napa LAFCO must approve an update to the American Canyon Municipal Services Review (MSR) and confirm its Sphere of Influence. That process is currently underway and anticipated to be completed by the end of 2019.
Devlin Road is one of Napa County’s planned roadway extensions to improve traffic circulation. The City’s General Plan Circulation Element envisions the Devlin Road extension too. Once complete, Devlin Road will provide a parallel alternative route on the west side of SR29 (from Soscol Ferry Road to Green Island Road.) Over the last two decades, Napa County completed five segments (Segments A, B, C, D, and F) and they will construct a sixth segment (Segment E) in 2019.
Segment G was completed several years ago by the developers of the Napa Logistics and Napa Airport Corporate Center Development Projects. Design of the final segment (Segment H) is underway in conjunction with the City’s “Devlin Road Segment H Project (TR 14-0100). This project is part of the City's FY2018-19 Capital Budget, and the design is 40% complete. Environmental review and permitting is underway, and staff continues to negotiate property acquisition. The City is approved to receive $4.151M in State Transportation Improvement Program funding in FY 2020/21. The Council recently approved a request to the California Transportation Commission to accelerate the timing of those funds (“Advance Allocation”). If approved, funds would be available in 2019 for construction. The City is also pursuing other funding options as a backup plan. Once the funding determinations are final, and all design, property acquisition, and environmental activities are complete, the project will go out to bid. Construction is anticipated to last 12 to 18 months.
There are also a few projects in the local region that will have an impact on American Canyon:
Soscol Junction Project
Mayor Garcia and Councilmember Joseph represent American Canyon on the Napa Valley Transportation Authority (NVTA). Caltrans, in partnership with the NVTA, proposes a solution(s) for the signalized intersection of State Route (SR) 221 (Soscol Blvd.) and SR 29. The purpose of the project is to alleviate congestion and improve traffic operations at the “Soscol Junction” intersection by removing the traffic signal and constructing undercrossing roundabout(s). These improvements will benefit the nearly 70,000 vehicles each day that travel through the intersection. Funding and the timing of the improvements remain undetermined. Additional information is available on NVTA’s website.
The SR37 Policy Steering Committee is exploring potential regional solutions to address traffic congestion created by the nearly 46,000 vehicles per that generally travel back and forth from Solano/Napa Counties to Marin/Sonoma Counties. An overview of the issues and more information is available here. Mayor Garcia represents American Canyon on the SR37 Policy Steering Committee.