Task force compiles ideas for pedestrian safety

 Pedestrian safety taskforce
People cross the street at Harvard St. and Brand Blvd. in Glendale on Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014.
(Raul Roa / Staff Photographer)

A group of volunteers recently finished compiling a series of recommendations aimed at boosting pedestrian safety within the city, and they’re expected to go before the Glendale City Council in October.

During a meeting of the Transportation and Parking Commission on Monday, Roubik Golanian, the city’s public works director, outlined a series of proposed crosswalk and outreach improvements in response to major incidents within the past year, including two 86-year-old men fatally struck by cars in separate incidents.

“We continue to have an unacceptable number of auto-and-pedestrian collisions,” Golanian said.

In response to the growing problem, a Pedestrian Safety Task Force was created last fall, comprised of public works employees, city commissioners and members of the local group Walk Bike Glendale.


After five meetings, the group broke down its series of suggestions into three categories: engineering, enforcement and education.

On the engineering side, the task force would like to see a series of crosswalk enhancements put in place, such as restriping yield lines for better visibility and building out some curb extensions.

“We intend to initially target the most high-in-need-of areas for restriping crosswalks,” Golanian said.

Two of the intersections the city is already eyeing are Glenoaks Boulevard and Orange Grove Avenue as well as Kenwood Street and Broadway, he said.


Commissioner Alek Bartrosouf mentioned a few suggestions he’d like to see added to the report that have worked in other communities, including continental crosswalks, which are stripes in a crosswalk painted parallel to traffic instead of running horizontally.

He also said painting yield lines before crosswalks — an enhancement known as stop bars — instead of having cars slow down at the crosswalk would work well toward improving pedestrian safety.

Bartrosouf said he’d like to see those enhancements not on just dangerous intersections, but as many of them as possible when routine maintenance such as repaving is being done.

“I’m confident that with the revised recommendations, we’ll eventually get to a safe place for pedestrians to get around,” he said.

One recommendation also suggests looking into the possibility of implementing additional pedestrian scrambles, which allow intersections to display walk signs in all directions for a brief period of time.

Currently, the only pedestrian scramble in the city is at the intersection of Brand Boulevard and Harvard Street by one of the entrances to the Americana at Brand.

If council approves moving forward with some of the improvements, they could be implemented between March and December of 2015, according to a city staff report.

Looking at enforcement recommendations, the task force suggested the city purchase additional speed-mobile-feedback signs, which digitally display how fast vehicles are going. The city currently has four of them.


Finally, regarding education and outreach, Golanian said one suggestion aims to get schools and businesses involved in disseminating information such as fliers.

City officials recently received funding that can help them reach their pedestrian-safety goals.

Golanian said the city last week received a $500,000 grant from the California Transportation Commission.

“That’s going to help us immensely with the implementation of some of these recommendations,” he added.