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New committee will focus on pedestrian safety in Glendale

City officials are forming a new pedestrian-safety advisory committee to help draft a citywide pedestrian plan with ideas on improving walkability in Glendale, expanding on three years of work by a similar task force.

The plan will zero in on four areas — engineering, enforcement, education and encouragement — while establishing timelines to implement pedestrian-safety initiatives, according to Roubik Golanian, the city's public works director.

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"What intersections do we need to upgrade? Do we need to add more crosswalks? Do we need to provide better lighting? Do we need more traffic signals?" Golanian said, noting some of the questions the plan would answer.

A consultant hired using grant funds to oversee the project has started surveying the community for input, he added.

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"The gist of it ... when it comes to encouragement, is 'What would it take to make you walk, and walk more, in Glendale?'" Golanian said.

The new committee — which will replace the Pedestrian Safety Task Force — will also weigh in on developing safe routes to Glendale schools, as well as implementing a citywide safety education initiative, according to a city report.

Since the task force was established three years ago, city officials have installed new traffic signals, added walking flags to two Glendale intersections and upgraded crosswalks to be more pedestrian-friendly.

Meanwhile, the police department has focused educational efforts on Armenian-speaking seniors, who officials said were disproportionately affected by pedestrian collisions, while also conducting enforcement operations in areas with high collision rates.

"We believe it's paying dividends," Golanian said. "We have seen a lesser number of accidents involving that demographic."

Through May of this year, pedestrian-involved traffic collisions have dropped by more than 40% when compared to the same period last year, from 64 incidents to 36, according to Glendale Police Department statistics.

Even so, Glendale police this year have logged four pedestrian fatalities.

Most recently, a 61-year-old woman was killed in May after she was struck by a car while crossing the street at Monterey Road and Louise Street. She died in the hospital.

An 81-year-old Glendale man was fatally struck crossing Broadway from Belmont Street in April by a hit-and-run driver, a week after a 33-year-old woman died after she was hit by a car while crossing illegally at Pacific Avenue and Glenoaks Boulevard.

In February, a 56-year-old man died the morning after he was hit by a car while jaywalking on Verdugo Road, just south of Wilson Avenue.

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Alene Tchekmedyian, alene.tchekmedyian@latimes.com

Twitter: @atchek

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