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Glendale to begin study of possible Glendale-Burbank streetcar route

A concept of the city of Glendale's vision for a streetcar route.
(Courtesy of the city of Glendale)

Glendale is one step closer to its vision of installing a regional streetcar that may connect to Burbank after the Glendale City Council agreed Tuesday to award a contract to a consultant to begin a feasibility study on the project.

The city wants to study the impacts of reestablishing a streetcar route connecting the Glendale Transportation Center in the south to the Hollywood Burbank Airport with routes along Brand and Glenoaks boulevards.

For the record:

5:15 PM, Nov. 08, 2017A previous version of this article stated that the city may amend its contract to study the Burbank portion of the streetcar route. Only the Glendale portion will be studied.

The Glendale-Burbank Feasibility Study is now in the hands of the HNTB Corp., an engineering firm out of Kansas City that has worked on the Metro Crenshaw Light Rail and the Metro Purple Line Subway Extension in Los Angeles.

The company should also be familiar to some Glendale residents, especially those living in the Pelanconi Estates neighborhood, because HNTB has contributed planning and designs for the ongoing grade-separation project to improve safety at two troublesome railroad crossings along San Fernando Road.

According to city documents, the budget for the study is $450,000, with $250,000 coming from the Community Development Department’s urban design and mobility budget.

The additional $200,000 will come from the Southern California Assn. of Governments, or SCAG, which in February awarded funds to the city of Glendale as part of $4.5 million in grants for transit and green initiatives in L.A. County.

During the council meeting, Justin Robertson, a planning associate with the city, said a transit gap exists in the region, and city officials would like to better connect major resources in the Glendale area.

“[The study] will look at what it will take to get a streetcar up and running in Glendale,” he said.

Analysis of potential streetcar routes as well as traffic and parking impacts is expected to take about 12 months and should begin as soon as next month. The study will also look at funding resources.

Currently, only the Glendale portion of the possible streetcar route will be studied by HNTB, according to Robertson.

Councilman Ara Najarian, who also serves as vice-chair of Metrolink, asked that the study look at running the streetcar using off-wire technology, which eliminates the need for overhead wires and expands the possibilities of where it can operate.

The estimated cost for the streetcar project is between $97 million and $243 million for about 9.5 miles, or about $10 million to $25 million per mile. The high-end estimate takes into account the possible three miles through Burbank that would lead to the Hollywood Burbank Airport.

jeff.landa@latimes.com

Twitter: @JeffLanda


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