Recently, concerns have been expressed by our neighbors in the WestHills Community with regards to the evacuation times during a potential fire emergency. Taking swift action because of the community’s concerns, we retained a professional traffic consultant and carried out an analysis that assessed the impacts of the project on evacuation times. We then proposed mitigation measures that reduced overall evacuation times above and beyond those of the current conditions. Ultimately, we have readily addressed the concerns of the community, professionally responded, and have updated safety standards of fire evacuation to modern levels. Our analysis scenarios evaluated the highest flow of evacuation traffic along Kittridge Street west of Valley Circle Boulevard and at the signalized intersection of Kittridge/Valley Circle Boulevard.
Links for the detailed analysis can be found below. The analysis scenario assumed that the existing 176 single family units, the proposed 25 new homes, the Knapp Ranch 53 parking spaces, and the 75 on-street parking spaces are all evacuating at the same time.
This would be considered as a worst-case scenario because the Fire Department reported that only "exposed" streets (Kittridge Street and Welby Way) would be under a mandatory evacuation;
The analysis indicated that with the addition of 25 homes, the governing evacuation times (at the Kittridge St/ Valley Circle Blvd intersection) would increase from 36min & 55sec to 40min & 46sec (an increase of 231 seconds or 3min & 51sec). However, the mitigation measure of restriping the west approach of the intersection to a total of three lanes instead of two (specifically one 14 foot inbound (westbound) lane, one 12 foot eastbound left-turn only lane, and one 14 foot thru-right lane) as indicated in the adjacent image would reduce the evacuation times to 31min & 10 sec which is a 14% reduction in evacuation times over existing conditions.