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The City of Glendale announced the launch of a new pedestrian plan that is aimed to bring safety enhancements to some of its most collision-prone corridors. Funded by a $500,000 state grant, the plan includes policy recommendations, as well as dozens of potential infrastructure improvements to be built over a period of 25 years.
For this project, Glendale is focusing on 16 specific corridors that have been identified based on demand, frequency of collisions, and equity considerations, such as high concentrations of disabled people, people of color, people living in poverty, and households without vehicles.
Moreover, just these 16 corridors account for 40% of pedestrian injuries throughout the entire city. These corridors are:
Some of the proposed improvements to the aforementioned corridors include the addition of high-visibility crosswalks, dedicated left-turn signals, median refuge islands, curb extensions, and flashing beacons.
The pedestrian plan will also explore potential first and last mile infrastructure for the neighborhoods surrounding Glendale’s major transit corridors. First and last mile is a term that describes the beginning and end of an individual’s public transport journey. Usually, after traveling on public transport, a person needs to walk or take a second mode of travel, or even use a combination of several modes, to reach their final destination. This is referred to as the first and last mile of the user’s trip.
According to Metro, the first and last mile is important because it expands the transit experience, improves safety, and enhances visual aesthetics.
These corridors include Brand Boulevard in Downtown Glendale, the intersection of Broadway and Glendale Avenue near the Civic Center, and the intersection of Verdugo Road and Canada Boulevard near Glendale Community College. The recommended projects include new mid-block pedestrian crossings, bikeways, sidewalk extensions, pedestrian-scaled lighting, and other traffic-calming measures.
Located one block east of Brand Boulevard, the corridor of Louise Street in the City’s Downtown could be poised for more substantial upgrades. This street offers a connection to both Glenoaks Boulevard and neighborhoods to the south, and offers relatively narrow dimensions with an existing tree canopy. This is why the plan offers three scenarios for turning Louise into a greenway or bicycle boulevard, all of which would employ sidewalk bulb-outs or median landscaping to slow the speed of automobile traffic.
Furthermore, Glendale’s pedestrian plan also suggests policy changes in a bid to reduce traffic injuries. Out of the country’s 200 safest cities to drive in, Glendale ranked 196th, according to an Allstate report. In said list, the 15 bottom-ranked cities represent where collisions are the most common. Also, in 2017, Glendale had 84 pedestrian accidents that resulted in three fatalities, according to the California Highway Patrol Annual Report.
The list of recommendations offered for consideration include banning right turns on red lights, reducing speed limits, and introducing pedestrian head-start signals at crosswalks.
If completed, the full suite of projects from the pedestrian plan would cost more than $52 million. Funding could come from a variety of state, local, and federal sources, as well as alternative financing mechanisms such as public-private partnerships.