Glendale streets could get more speed humps

A woman crosses with a child in the middle of traffic on Allen south of Bel Aire Dr. in front of Balboa Elementary School in Glendale in April 2014.
A woman crosses with a child in the middle of traffic on Allen south of Bel Aire Dr. in front of Balboa Elementary School in Glendale in April 2014.
(Raul Roa / Glendale News-Press)

Glendale may see a few more speed humps on its streets after the Transportation and Parking Commission recommended the City Council consider a number of proposed revisions to the city’s Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program, or NTCP, which has not been changed for more than a decade.

The commission unanimously voted to ask City Council to allow for installation of speed humps — similar to a speed bump but slightly lower and placed at a longer driving distance — on one-way streets citywide and to alter requirements for their installation in school and park zones.

Commission members also added a note to City Council members that they should examine the issue of high speeds on arterial streets, or high-capacity urban roads, not considered in the proposed revisions of the NTCP.

According to Larry Tay, principal traffic engineer with the city of Glendale, the community has encouraged council members to reevaluate the required criteria for the installation of speed humps on streets over the years, particularly minimum speed and traffic volume qualifications near schools and parks.

A comparative analysis of the city’s speed hump criteria in October compared the traffic calming programs in 11 other cities — including Long Beach, Los Angeles and Burbank — and found that Glendale’s criteria to be similar and “no more stringent” in comparison.

However, Tay said there is still room for positive changes and suggested minor revisions.

“I think we all agree that schools and parks deserve a little more consideration in terms of traffic calming so we … recommended a few more substantive changes in those areas,” he said.

There are currently 12 speed-hump criteria that potential streets must satisfy in order to qualify for installation, such as having a legal speed limit of 25 mph, not being a truck or public transit route and having a minimum block length of 500 feet.

Targeted for criteria changes in park and school zones are lowering the percentage of consensus required for installation by affected residences from 75% to 67% and reducing the average daily-traffic-volume requirement on potential streets from 1,000 vehicles per day to 500.

Also, staff recommended adjusting the speed criteria to qualify, from 15% of vehicles operating at or beyond 30 mph per day to 10%.

Staff asked that one-way streets with two lanes in the same direction qualify for installation of speed humps citywide as well.

According to a staff report, officials with the Glendale Unified School District, police department and fire department support the city staff’s recommended changes.

If approved by City Council, the number of candidate streets for speed humps would increase but would still have to be designated local, neighborhood collector or community collector streets based on the city’s Circulation Element of the General Plan.

Twitter: @JeffLanda