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Glendale officials to seek public input on Ocean View project in Montrose

Glendale officials to seek public input on Ocean View project in Montrose
Last year, without notifying members of the Montrose Shopping Park Assn., Glendale's public works department installed a four-way crosswalk at the intersection of Ocean View and Honolulu that triggered red lights on all sides so pedestrians could cross in any direction. (Tim Berger / Staff Photographer)

Public works officials want to seek input from the Montrose business community regarding an upcoming improvement project on Ocean View Boulevard, a year after a lack of communication on another road effort stirred controversy.

The city wants to repave Ocean View between Verdugo Road and Honolulu Avenue, then install bulb-outs — curb extensions so pedestrians spend less time crossing a street — at Ocean View and Broadview Drive.

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A bit farther south, where Ocean View meets Verdugo, city officials want to swap out the stop sign for a traffic light, said Roubik Golanian, Glendale's public works director.

"Based on the volume of traffic that we have surveyed there, we determined that it warrants new traffic signals to provide for a safe, dedicated left turn onto Verdugo Road," he said in a phone interview.

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Plans also call for installation of bike lanes on both sides of Ocean View from Verdugo north to Montrose Lane, Golanian said. The street is wide enough so no parking spaces would be removed, he added.

But what will be absent in the scope of the project is the return of a diagonal crosswalk at the intersection of Ocean View and Honolulu, a project that drew complaints from some business owners last year.

Without notifying members of the Montrose Shopping Park Assn., the public works department installed a four-way crosswalk that triggered red lights on all sides so pedestrians could cross in any direction.

Now, the city will host a meeting about the Ocean View improvement project from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday at the Sparr Heights Community Center 1613, Glencoe Way, Glendale.

"As we approach the start of construction, we will work very closely with the business owners, the merchant's association and the [Montrose-Verdugo City] Chamber of Commerce to make sure to minimize the impact to each business and accommodate their special needs and so forth," Golanian said.

The start date, however, is not set yet. Golanian said his department is waiting for approval to use Measure R funds to cover the $1-million project, which will likely get underway sometime this spring or summer.

Steve Pierce, manager of the weekly Montrose Harvest Market and an active volunteer in the shopping park, said the shopping association hasn't discussed the roadway undertaking yet, but he did share some positive opinions.

He said he's heard no negative comments about having bike lanes, and he agrees there is a need for a traffic light at Ocean View and Verdugo.

"It's a little bit of a blind corner. You have to pull out a little bit," Pierce said.

He said he was also appreciative of the city's outreach efforts.

As for the failed crosswalk project, it was supposed to get a 90-day trial run to see how well it would work and whether it should be made permanent.

One of the major issues with the reconfigured crosswalk was it took drivers longer to get in and out of Montrose, Pierce said.

The pilot program was cut in half after some business owners and Glendale City Council members demanded its removal.

The results were a mixed bag, so it won't be coming back, Golanian said.

"Some folks liked it. Some folks didn't like it," he said. "There was an increase in use as time progressed, but again, I don't believe the duration was long enough [to draw conclusions]."

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Arin Mikailian, arin.mikailian@latimes.com

Twitter: @ArinMikailian

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