Lancaster Vice Mayor Marvin Crist
Lancaster Vice Mayor Marvin Crist has publicly expressed profound dissatisfaction and frustration with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) regarding the ongoing lane closures on the Antelope Valley Freeway (SR-14) through Palmdale and Lancaster.
Crist cites a series of grievances, notably:
• Inadequate communication: The lack of clear and timely communication from Caltrans about the work being undertaken leaving residents and local businesses scrambling to adapt to the sudden changes.
• Neglect of community input: A glaring absence of community engagement and buy-in, with no apparent effort to solicit or consider the preferences and needs of the local populace regarding the projects.
• Deficient traffic management: The absence of a well-structured traffic plan to mitigate the inevitable disruptions caused by lane closures.
• Failure to engage key stakeholders: Notably, there was no communication with Edwards Air Force Base despite the significant impact on thousands of their commuters.
• Lack of outreach: A general failure to engage with and inform the community about the ongoing work and the expected impacts.
“Caltrans has displayed a disconcerting level of incompetence and disregard for our community with their handling of the SR-14 lane closures,” Crist said. “Not only have they failed to communicate effectively with our residents and businesses, but they have also neglected to engage with key stakeholders, such as Edwards Air Force Base, which is inexcusable given the widespread impact of these closures.”
The Vice Mayor emphasizes that the $164 million project, which is expected to extend the life of the existing lanes by at least 40 years, has been marred by a lack of transparency and consideration for the very community it aims to serve.
Vice Mayor Crist is calling for immediate corrective action from Caltrans, including:
• Establishing clear and consistent communication channels with the community and stakeholders.
• Implementing a robust traffic management plan to alleviate the current and future disruptions.
• Engaging in meaningful dialogue with the community and stakeholders to ensure their needs and concerns are acknowledged and addressed in current and future projects.
“While we understand the necessity of maintaining and improving our infrastructure, it must not be done with such blatant disregard for those most affected by it,” Crist added. “We demand better from Caltrans and will hold them accountable for ensuring that our community is treated with the respect and consideration it deserves.”