Rail crossing upgrades could inch Glendale corridor closer to quiet-zone status

Drivers can expect to see new and improved traffic signals, wider roads and better lighting at two Glendale railroad crossings by next year as part of a $9.8-million project that could pave the way for a quieter train corridor.

City officials on Wednesday briefed residents who live near the San Fernando Road corridor on the construction plans, which many hope could eventually lead to designating the corridor a so-called “quiet zone” — a section of railway where trains aren’t required to blare their horns.

Pelanconi Estates resident have been especially vocal in their disdain for the train horns. Engineers are required to sound their horns before each rail crossing, but quiet-zone status can be earned with certain safety improvements, including upgraded signals and impassible vehicle gates, or by eliminating crossings altogether.

Jano Baghdanian, the city’s traffic and transportation administrator, told residents at the meeting Wednesday night that the planned upgrades to the rail crossings at Grandview and Sonora avenues and other street improvements could help move the area closer to achieving quiet-zone status.

“Our No. 1 goal is to enhance safety. By that we will qualify for quiet zone consideration,” he said.

Changes will include:

- Widening Grandview Avenue between San Fernando Road and Air Way

- Installing a traffic signal at the Grandview Avenue and Air Way intersection

- Eliminating 20 street parking spaces in the area

- Modifying signing and striping on Sonora Avenue

- Restricting left turns at some driveways east of the railroad tracks at the Sonora Avenue crossing

Construction is expected to run from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays from February 2012 through December 2012, and at least one lane in each direction on San Fernando Road will remain open.

-- Brittany Levine, Times Community News

Update: Rail Crossing upgrades on the way

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