Expect heavy traffic this weekend

GLENDALE — As shoppers from throughout the region today head out to Glendale's major shopping destinations, police have stepped up their efforts to deal with the influx of traffic on streets.

The city will deploy 15 officers to deal with traffic issues near the major shopping centers, including the Glendale Galleria and Americana at Brand, police Lt. Carl Povilaitis said. Another officer will have a birds-eye view from the Traffic Management Center of the busy shopping center and will advise fellow officers on the streets how to keep traffic flowing.

"Everyone knows it's a busy day…so leave yourself plenty of time to get there," Povilaitis said.

Traffic officers will also have direct access to traffic signals, which they will be able to retime if traffic backs up, he said.

City officials will also be working from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. today and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday in the Traffic Management Center in effort to keep traffic flowing and respond to any immediate issues, Public Works Director Steve Zurn said.

Employees will be keeping a watchful eye on a newly-installed all-way stop at Harvard Street and Brand Boulevard, which allows pedestrians to cross diagonally while vehicles in all directions yield, Zurn said. Similar crossings are installed in Old Town Pasadena.

So far, traffic and pedestrian flow has run smoothly at the intersection, he added.

Traffic around the shopping centers often increases in the afternoon when most people have already had lunch and visited family, Povilaitis said.

To ensure that pedestrians remain safe while shopping this weekend, Povilaitis advised motorists to be patient and to expect plenty of foot traffic.

Pedestrians, he said, should also be aware that more vehicles will be on the roadways.

The Burbank Police Department has recommended shoppers use Buena Vista Street and head east to access the Burbank Empire Center. Shoppers exiting the center are encouraged to use the same street.

Police advised shoppers to avoid using Victory Place and Burbank Boulevard, which can become heavily congested during the holiday season.

They should also steer clear of that intersection as their main route to the Empire Center.

Motorists were encouraged to make right turns when leaving parking structures near the Burbank Town Center.

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