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CicLAvia in Glendale? City considers popular cycling event with bike, pedestrian safety in mind

Brand Boulevard is expected to be closed off to cars sometime in September to encourage bike and pedestrian safety and to hopefully entice CicLAvia, a one-day event that shuts down major arteries in Los Angeles to make way for bicyclists, to come to Glendale.

Public Works Director Roubik Golanian made the announcement during a special meeting of the Glendale City Council at the Sparr Heights Community Center on Tuesday.

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At a recent council meeting, Mayor Zareh Sinanyan said he would like to see Glendale host its own CicLAvia-type event following the hit-and-run death of 4-year-old Violeta Khachatoorians last month.

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"We need to make a statement, the busiest, the most central street in Glendale, to make them understand that this is important to us," he said. "It will instill the idea of bicycle and pedestrian safety."

The proposed event would be the latest effort by the city to promote pedestrian safety, which has included sending local police officers to speak with elderly citizens about safely crossing streets.

Community Relations Coordinator Dan Bell said specifics are still being hashed out, but that the street closure is expected to take place on a Thursday after Labor Day in September.

Although there's no official name for the event, it's already been set that Brand will be shut down between Broadway and California Avenue for roughly four hours during the day, Bell said.

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The goal, he said, is to get people out of their cars and to move about on foot or on bikes, especially when it's time for a midday bite.

"We're looking at people who are corporate employees in the downtown district to come out on their lunch break," Bell said.

Metro and Beeline buses will also be at the event, not to get people around town, but rather to serve as a display where people can pick up information about bus routes, he said.

Glendale Police officers will have a booth, where they will distribute literature about pedestrian safety and also hand out pedestrian glow sticks and bicycle lights.

Bell said the intent is to hold this kind of event several times. In addition to the educational component, another goal will be to try to attract CicLAvia to come to Glendale.

There have been more than a dozen CicLAvia events in Los Angeles.

The events are costly, but Councilwoman Laura Friedman said during the Tuesday meeting she was in talks with CicLAvia's organizer to try to bring the event to Glendale for a lower cost.

On his end, Councilman Ara Najarian said he would do what he can in his capacity on the board of directors of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which funds CicLAvia, to get some dollars toward a Glendale iteration.

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Arin Mikailian, arin.mikailian@latimes.com

Twitter: @ArinMikailian

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