A $4.3-million federal grant to study ways to reduce traffic congestion around Bob Hope Airport could bear some fruit, officials said.
The grant — which sat dormant since the 1980s — was recently tapped to help the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority examine how it can improve public transit to and from the airport, as well as ease congestion.
“Problems that continue to concern Burbank residents are traffic- and congestion-oriented,” said Mark Hardyment, director of noise and environmental programs for the airport authority.
A major part of the study will include ways to possibly increase east-west public transit options between Pasadena and Burbank, particularly the airport.
Public transit connections and easing traffic on roads that lead to the airport, such as Hollywood Way, are among the key areas being looked at, Hardyment said, adding that his team has already spoken with the three cities about how they tackled similar issues given that many of them are outside the jurisdiction of the airport.
“The airport is very mindful of the fact that once we start looking off the airport, all we can really do is be the catalyst, it's outside our jurisdiction,” he said. “We we're now playing in someone else’s backyard.”
David Kriske, a transportation planner for Burbank, said city planners were asked to represent the city in various phases of the study.
He added that the airport plays a role in long-range transportation plans involves improving east-west service.
“Service east and west is lacking in this part of the valley,” Kriske said.
The so-called Ground Access Study could ultimately take up to two years to complete, and includes a look at possible funding sources, Hardyment said.
Officials, working with the Orangeline Development Authority — formed to pursue the development of high-speed rail in Southern California — will start soliciting bids for consultants on the study in the coming weeks.
But among the possible route projects to be included in the review:
• Establishing a Santa Clarita-to-Union Station corridor or transportation route, which could include a rapid transit bus to link Santa Clarita, Van Nuys and Bob Hope Airport. High-speed rail from Union Station to Santa Clarita, with stops in Glendale, Burbank and the airport, would also be examined.
• Reduction of north-south traffic on Hollywood Way by creating a Metrolink Station on the Antelope Valley Line at Hollywood Way and San Fernando Road. Another option includes extending the Orange Line Bus Rapid Transit from the North Hollywood Red Line Station to the airport.
• Explore east-west connectivity by linking the Pasadena Gold Line with the North Hollywood Red Line and possibly the airport.
“All that we are looking at, we're looking to do with Burbank and Glendale and Pasadena,” Hardyment said.