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Deep in the heart of Texas, Glendale searches for inspiration for proposed park over Ventura Freeway

Three City Council members are heading to Dallas, Texas, next week to get an up-close look at a park built over a freeway — a project idea that's been kicked around locally for the past few years.

Klyde Warren Park opened in 2012 in Dallas and cost about $120 million to build. The area that Glendale officials are eyeing is over the Ventura (134) Freeway between Brand Boulevard and Central Avenue, a distance of about 0.2 miles.

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The first phase would be called "the heart," while a second phase, if city officials want it down the road, would be known as "the soul" and extend farther to Geneva Street, said Alan Loomis, deputy director of community development for they city.

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During the past year, the city has had a few meetings with residents to see what amenities they would like in a cap park.

More than 75% of surveyed respondents said they supported the idea of a cap park, Loomis said. Some of the most favored amenities included a walking trail, a children's play area, a nature park, concert space and a potential restaurant.

Loomis also presented some artist's renditions of what Space 134 could look like based on community feedback.

The next step in the process will be opening up a bidding process to find a firm to do a feasibility study that would examine construction of the cap park — a study that could cost $300,000 and take about a year to complete.

Funding may be a combination of county, state and federal sources, as well as relying on donations, which is the process Dallas officials underwent to get Klyde Warren Park off the ground, Loomis said.

However, the Glendale City Council unanimously agreed to hold off on a vote until council members Zareh Sinanyan, Vartan Gharpetian and Paula Devine return from visiting Klyde Warren Park.

Devine said the feedback she has received from the community in the form of emails has been almost entirely positive.

"Hopefully, we can work together to get the funds," she said. "I think it's a great way of bringing the community together."

Devine said she received a letter that stated the 134 Freeway has torn the community apart and a cap park could stitch it back together.

Mayor Ara Najarian questioned using Measure R funds — typically used for transit and road projects — to fund the feasibility study.

"How is [Space 134] making congestion less? Is this solving any of our interchange problems?" he asked. "We've got numerous ways that we can use that [funding]. I don't think we're being honest with ourselves when we say this is for transportation services, wink, wink, nod , nod."

Loomis said one transit change that would be examined would be constructing one-way street frontages to allow for more queuing of vehicles before they get onto the 134 Freeway.

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Arin Mikailian, arin.mikailian@latimes.com

Twitter: @ArinMikailian

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