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Quiet zones, pedestrian and bike paths may come with Metro’s San Fernando Road project

A Metrolink train approaches the railroad crossing at Sonora Avenue in Glendale in January.
(File Photo)

Metro officials held a community meeting earlier this month about the latest updates for the proposed interim improvements tied to the grade-separation project that would improve safety along two hazardous railroad crossings along San Fernando Road.

The Metro project plans to replace two railroad crossings with overpass connectors.

The first overpass would connect Salem and Sperry streets, splitting pedestrians and vehicles from trains at the Broadway/Brazil crossing.

The second overpass would connect Fairmont Avenue and West San Fernando Road to accommodate emergency vehicles as well as provide local business access.

The California Public Utilities Commission, or CPUC, suggested Metro make interim safety improvements at the troublesome crossings before the project’s construction.

The short-term improvements were the focus of discussion at the community meeting.

Metro officials presented updated plans that addressed feedback and suggestions received during a Dec. 7 meeting, where concerns about pedestrian travel as well as the closure of busy intersections during construction were debated.

As part of the improvements, the city of Glendale will upgrade traffic-light software that handles congestion at the Brazil/Broadway intersection.

The upgrade should alleviate some of the gridlock that results when a train passes on San Fernando Road, according to Pat Somerville, project manager with HNTB, a Metro consultant.

“What the signal upgrade will allow us to do is, when the train comes, San Fernando Road will be able to have a green light on the through movements. It will start moving traffic while the train is there,” he said.

Metro officials will also propose the creation of a two-way crossing at Doran Street rather than the current plans to modify an at-grade, one-way roadway for westbound traffic.

The proposed two-way configuration will have its own community outreach meeting in the future, officials said.

Once completed, the interim improvements will allow the city of Glendale to apply for “quiet zone” status at the Doran Street and Broadway/Brazil crossings.

This way, the almost 100 trains that travel through that part of Glendale each day will no longer sound their horns as required by the Federal Railroad Administration to alert nearby drivers at public, highway-grade crossings.

Those two crossings would join the three “quiet zone” railroad crossings at Grandview Avenue, Sonora Avenue and Flower Street, along San Fernando Road.

Metro officials also discussed a few possible pedestrian and bike-friendly additions near the troublesome areas.

The first would add a pedestrian and bike bridge near the proposed overpass in the north that connects Fairmont Avenue and West San Fernando Road.

A similar bridge would connect Doran Street to West San Fernando Road to the south.

Also on the table is the addition of a protected pedestrian and bike lane on the Salem/Sperry overpass.

According to Metro officials, the interim improvements are still pending review by the CPUC as well as “approvals and concurrence from key agencies and stakeholders” with no timeline for their completion.

The grade-separation project is scheduled to complete the preliminary engineering and environmental clearance phase by fall 2018. There is no timeline for the start of construction.

For more detailed information about the Doran Street and Broadway/Brazil grade-separation project, visit metro.net.

jeff.landa@latimes.com

Twitter: @JeffLanda


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