Pedestrian safety improvements planned for Honolulu Avenue

The heart of Montrose’s business district is getting a safety makeover by Glendale city engineers, with several pedestrian-minded improvements underway or planned in the area.

Roubik Golanian, assistant city manager, presented a study on pedestrian safety along Honolulu Avenue and a two-phase plan during a meeting of the Montrose Shopping Park Assn. on Thursday at the board members’ request.

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“Montrose Shopping Park is very important to the the city of Glendale,” Golanian said. Honolulu Avenue is known for its many independently owned retail shops and restaurants.

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Some changes have already been implemented, including replacing older light bulbs with brighter LED lights and trimming trees along the street. The idea, in addition to enhanced safety, is to improve the visibility of the businesses’ signs. Shrub trimming is also in progress.

Acknowledging the board’s interest in having more stop lights featuring blinking LED lights, Golanian said the city is looking to install a motion-activated version at various intersections, including at Wickham Way, to conserve electricity and prevent the area “from looking like Las Vegas,” he said, jokingly.

The city also plans to install removable bollards, or short posts, to guide traffic at Wickham Way and Ocean View Boulevard.

Initially, city officials looked into installing permanent bollards, but the more than $300,000 price tag was too high, Golanian said. The alternative version, known as “Huntington Beach” bollards because that city uses them, is about half the price, which is still prohibitive in terms of the number the city can purchase.

The second phase of the city’s plan involves longer proposed projects, including recoating faded crosswalk paint and relocating a directory sign city engineers think blocks pedestrians from drivers’ views.

Board members were particularly excited by the suggestion to redesign and relocate the shopping park’s monument sign.

“It’s a little dated,” said Gigi Garcia, an association board member.

Other ornamental structures in the area may get an aesthetic refresh, Golanian said.

The city will also be experimenting with an eye-level sign alerting drivers about pedestrians near Trader Joe’s.

While board member Corey Grijalva said he didn’t “like the look of it,” Golanian said the signs could easily be removed after a test period is run.

Board President Andre Ordubegian said the city proved him wrong by delivering the report about a month after it was requested by the board.

“I honestly didn’t think it would come back this fast,” Ordubegian said.

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