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City opts to remove ‘Welcome to Glendale’ sign following latest crash

City opts to remove ‘Welcome to Glendale’ sign following latest crash
A city crew removes a "Welcome to Glendale" sign that was struck three times by vehicles. (Roger Wilson / Glendale News-Press)

A sign welcoming motorists to Glendale in the northern part of the city is being permanently removed following a car crash last month that city officials said left it unsalvageable.

Work to remove the “Welcome to Glendale” sign on Foothill Boulevard near Lowell Avenue began on Friday and was projected to be done the same day, according to city spokesman Dan Bell.

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A collision on Nov. 17 involving the alleged impaired driver of a minivan marked the third time the sign was struck and damaged by a vehicle.

“It was hit once, and we repaired it. It was hit a second time, and we repaired it. This time, we decided not to,” Bell said.

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Sgt. Dan Suttles, a spokesman for the Glendale Police Department, said in November that the driver in the latest incident, identified as 48-year-old Mario Ramirez, told officers he swerved into the sign to avoid colliding with another vehicle.

However, officers suspected Ramirez was driving under the influence of alcohol. After some tests, he was arrested on suspicion of DUI.

The first incident occurred about a month after the sign was erected in an alleged hit-and-run crash, where the driver fled from the vehicle after the sign was knocked down.

The second collision was in May after a driver made an unsafe lane change right into the marker.

In all three instances, the driver was found at fault, and the city is seeking reimbursement for the damage, Bell said.

An identical sign on Foothill at Pennsylvania Avenue will remain in place. It has not been involved with in any automobile accidents, according to city officials.

Both signs, including streetscape, landscape and intersection improvements, were part of the North Glendale Community Plan adopted by the Glendale City Council in November of 2011, according to a city statement.

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