Sunday, October 23, 2016

Bike lanes? Road diet? Sidewalk repairs? Glassell Park to consider Verdugo Road safety improvements

verdugo street view

GLASSELL PARK — Residents and city officials will gather Thursday night to consider traffic safety problems and potential solutions along an approximately mile-long stretch of Verdugo Road on the western section of the neighborhood. Those improvements could range from fixing sidewalks and making crosswalks more visible to adding bike lanes and removing lanes for cars and trucks.

The Verdugo Road Project would focus attention primarily on the Verdugo Village section of Glassell Park between the 2 Freeway and the City of Glendale. It’s a stretch of road that is a mix of shops, apartments and gas stations.

Unlike the streetscape improvements in the works for Fletcher Drive, the Verdugo project is in the “embryonic state” and has not received any approvals or budget, said Bruce Gillman, a spokesman with the L.A. Department of Transportation.

The office of Councilman Jose Huizar worked with the Glassell Park Neighborhood Council and the Glassell Park Improvement Association to organize Thursday’s meeting.

“This will be the first discussion where we hear from the community about what they might want to see,” said council district spokesman Rick Coca. “Our office and LADOT will be there to listen. We just want to hear what the community wants to see there and we’ll go from there.”

The meeting on Thursday, May 19 will be held at 7 p.m. at the Glassell Park Community Center, 3750 Verdugo Road.

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  1. I hope the bike lanes get built and inspire Glendale to start moving on road diets. With the worst auto safety in California, Glendale needs to take action.

    • Bike lanes will not stop people from using their phones and driving aggressively. Enforcement of existing laws will. Bike lanes for few to no cyclists, it’s a fantasy! How many of you see cyclists on a regular basis on Colorado thru Eagle Rock? 1, 2 maybe? It’s not happening, There is no critical mass of cyclists waiting for bike lanes to take to the road.

      • Why build sidewalks on streets where only a few people walk? Why maintain low-ridership bus routes? Why plant a tree if no one is going to stand in the shade beneath it? Why pass the ADA when a fairly small percent of the population is disabled?

        Livable cities must serve a diversity of interests and needs.

        Don’t worry so much – there is no war on cars; no one wants to ban cars; cars will always zoom around everywhere. Roads will continue to be paid for by everyone’s sales and property taxes – even those who aren’t damaging the roads. It’s all good.

        • Funny. Not a single one of your examples were designed to interfere with anything else. Bike lanes are fine, but that doesn’t mean they should eliminate modes of transport that 99% of the population clearly prefers. That means they certainly should not be done by road diets whose real purpose is to try to create such horrible traffic congestion as to bludgeon drivers out of their cars.

          I’m happy to have bike lanes, but that doesn’t mean they should be used to attack cars. Yes, despite your denials, there absolutely is a war on cars – that is clearly a main reason behind these road diets.

          There is nothing at all wrong with driving cars, in fact no matter how many bike lanes you put in and road diets you create, cars are going to be the primary form of transportation. Gee, even in the oft cited New York City for showing how wonderful it is to not have cars, have you ever been to NYC, it is wall-to-wall cars on every street. Do you think the tons of money spent on driverless cars and on Tesla, and fuel cell cars is all just wasted? Even Uber and Lift are now in trials for using driverless cars, and neither of those takes any cars off the roads. No one is in trials for using bicycles instead of Uber cars.

          And cars that pollute are being phased out, with the transition we already are well into to electric cars and to fuel cell hydrogen cars. This idea that cars should be thwarted is quite misguided and even anachronistic. But yes,is fine to accommodate bikes as possible, but again, that does not justify interfering with other modes of transport – and that interference is the center of the fight over bikes.

          • Sorry, bike lanes aren’t designed to interfere with car travel. They don’t eliminate modes of transport. I won’t respond to your argument that there’s a war on cars, because it’s simply silly.

            And that’s really cool that you’re happy with bike lanes. Eastsidearts up there was complaining about the bike lanes on Colorado Blvd. Those had ZERO detrimental effect on vehicle travel, and have positively contributed to the street experience for ped/bikes. And yet there are complaints. I shouldn’t conflate you too, but it makes me wonder which bike lanes, if any, are acceptable. Only the ones put on roads no one uses (and very likely, don’t connect to anything)?

            Just in case you think the only function of roads is the efficient movement of as many vehicles as possible, then you’re a relic of the past. The City of LA is now positioning safety as the highest priority. Even Caltrans is shifting to a safety-first mentality.

            There will ALWAYS be congestion in LA. Congestion is not bad. Congestion is largely a sign of a vibrant economy and a thriving city. And you can’t build your way out of congestion. You just have to accept it. The Expo Line extension, which is opening soon, will not ease congestion. It is a valuable project because it is will increase access. And to increase access in such a dense city without turning every road into a freeway, the City has to take a multimodal approach. Again, the issue isn’t cars. You can write more paragraphs with your straw man arguments about how great cars are and how people like me shouldn’t hate them. But it’s misguided. I drive, I bike, I walk, I take transit. All of those modes are functional, yet some are exceptionally unpleasant (biking) in large part due to a severe lack of adequate infrastructure. Many roads are overbuilt for cars. If there ever was a war on cars, cars won the war. The war is over.

          • War on Cars… you crack me up!

            Have you been outside today? Motorists dominate 99% of the public right of way. Even if we completed the entirety of the City’s modestly ambitious bike plan, you’d still dominate like 97%.

            Your paranoia and sense of entitlement are adorable though.

    • Glendale already has a network of bike lanes and detailed plans: http://www.glendaleca.gov/home/showdocument?id=19862. They are also inundated with developers developing, so over time the increased traffic should slow down some sections of town. Glendale has some upscale communities with two lane roads (already a “diet” of sorts), which still see plenty of speed contests involving kids in Benzes and Bimmers (despite the occasional presence of brave/stupid cyclists). Perhaps their PD’s traffic division could step up enforcement…

      • Glendale has a very weak scattering of bike lanes (12 miles of bike lanes; 17 miles of sharrows/bike routes). It’s not really a “network” per se, since the routes are pretty disconnected. It would be sweet if that plan came to fruition, though!

        But yeah, some frightening drivers there!

  2. There are a lot of places in Glendale that need help, traffic wise. But this is not one of them. This is one of the best stretches of roadway. What are the problems? Fix the sidewalks. I never see people being forced to walk in the street from unsafe sidewalks. The exit ramp from the 2 fwy is a problem? Extend the time for pedestrians to cross then.
    No need for road diet. The occasional rider I’ve passed has always had room to ride. This appears to be a manufactured problem. Is this a rush hour problem? Certainly not a problem during daytime hours.

    • The purpose of bike lanes in this stretch would be to provide formal delineation of road space. Road diets are mostly paint (though hopefully more is involved here, like better/extra crosswalks and, like you mentioned, optimized signal timing), but their positive impacts extend beyond simply creating bike lanes and a center turn lane. This corridor is primarily residential, and slowing down the large amount of speeding drivers, and creating an additional buffer between moving vehicles and pedestrians/houses makes it a more pleasant place to live.

      (also this proposal is for LA, not Glendale.)

  3. $10 million for LAPD parking and $0 for repainting a mile of street. LA city got their priorities.

  4. This stretch seems like a no-brainer for a road diet. But I looked at the daily vehicle volumes and it was surprisingly high (though the City says that the ADT data is mostly crap… so dunno). Every time I drive on this road it’s basically empty, AND half the drivers are speeding like crazy. It’s a pretty road. Now’s let make it less hellish for anyone outside of a car.

  5. City of LA: is this why you were holding off on giving *all* of this stretch of York Blvd the repavement treatment? Before considering bike lanes, the most needed safety improvement is that the signal on Verdugo at York should include a protected turn. Traveling NB on Verdugo and turning left onto York is always a gamble in visibility: when there are enough SB vehicles turning left, they block the line of sight so NB turners can’t see oncoming SB vehicles traveling straight until it is too late. It seems like there have been a handful of accidents at this intersection in as many years, and how many fatalities??

    Also, want to slow vehicle traffic down? Install some traffic humps on Verdugo, and definitely on York! The Glendale portion of Verdugo has plenty of traffic signals, and the Glendale Adams Hill neighborhood where Adams becomes York has more stop signs (and a light, and electronic speed limit signs) than the LA portion, which is why so many speed up and down the hill. I’m sure residents and businesses won’t mind if vehicular traffic is forced to drive at responsible speeds.

    This stretch of Verdugo has long been in need of beautification. The sidewalks are a mess of tree roots, sections get tagged, and at times some “bulky items” have been inappropriately dumped. The Verdugo Village Arco recently did some updates, and after so long without the plaza with Polka being open after the fire, they’re back! Perhaps this center will also get a facelift? Regardless, I am so happy to enjoy bobas again from Donut Star.

    • Thanks for the detailed and informative response. Hope you can present these at tonight’s meeting.

    • Traffic humps aren’t an option because they impede the travel of emergency vehicles, whereas a road diet lets cars pull over into bike lane to let the fire truck/ambulance whiz by.

      • So, the bike lanes will be empty so that cares can pull into them? That’s why we need bike lanes, so we will have an empty space there for cars, no bicyclist will be hit?!

        • Bikes are mobile, bikes can easily move aside or jump onto the sidewalk in the event that an emergency vehicle needs to get through. This will leave the bike lane open for the cars to move aside.

      • Road humps are also not an option because the city has a policy to not install new road humps anywhere.

    • Why is it necessary to try and cram everything onto one street? If I was on a bike, I’d much rather ride on the streets running parallel to York than on York itself. Wider, less traffic, a bit more hills but hey, you’re getting exercise! Lincoln, Meridien etc. all lovely streets. In fact, I believe there are “Bike Route” signs already in place.

      Honestly, how many cyclists do you all see on York, Colorado thru ER and the best example: Rowena? Please shout out some numbers. As for me I see virtually none……

      • bike lanes aren’t about exercise or even necessarily biking…this is about safety on VERDUGO. Anyone is free to ride a bike on Avenue 42 or (in the case of York) Meridian. So, why don’t you hop on a bike and take Meridian next time you have business on York, eastsidearts?

        • “bike lanes aren’t about exercise or even necessarily biking…this is about safety on VERDUGO.” Excellent example of the ridiculousness of your position:

          “bike lanes aren’t about exercise or even necessarily biking…” Please re read this out loud several times to yourself…….

        • You get hung up on the lack of bicyclists, never mind the fact that York is safer now. There are fewer crashes on that street. I don’t care if there is a single bicyclist on the street, the fact that it’s safer is good enough for me.

          • @Salts: This is also true on Colorado Blvd. There was much anxiety, moaning, and groaning when those lanes went in. But the delays due to having 2 lanes and not 3 are hard to notice.

            What I *do* notice is less speeding between lights, a general drop of speeds from about 40 mph to 35 mph, and less weaving and jockeying for position among drivers going parallel down the boulevard at high speeds.

            Still plenty of drivers blowing through yellow and red lights, though!

      • Sure thang.

        Prior to the road diet on York Blvd, there were an average of 18 bicyclists observed in a two hour period. After the installation, there were an average of 36 bicyclist per two hours (100% increase).

        Prior to the road diet on Colorado Blvd, there were an average of 27 bicyclists observed in a two hour period. After the installation there were an average of 34 (26% increase).

        These observations were made in 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015. Not amazing numbers, but hey! It’s more than “virtually none.”

        As far as safety, collisions decreased on both of those routes after the road diets (save for pedestrian-involved collisions on Colorado Blvd – which can possibly be explained by an increase in peds on the street, plus the new crosswalks that half the drivers seem baffled by).

        Dunno about Rowena. There aren’t longitudinal counts for it. Maybe because it’s hardly a “bike project” but rather, the bike lanes were just an excuse to slow down drivers.

        • Charles M Shorty

          So your argument is: we have managed to serve an additional (let me be generous) 100 people out of the 10’s of thousands that live in the area by installing these dumb road diets and you consider that success? Wow. That is quite underwhelming. But I guess my expectations are pretty low for someone who continues to use “dunno” as a word. I “dunno” if you are qualified to influence important decisions.

        • Yeah, that’s underwhelming and virtually none compared to the people that need to use the roads to go to work, transport kids and other legitimate activities. “36 bicyclist per two hours”, I can’t type I’m laughing so hard

          • People on bike also “need to use the roads to go to work, transport kids and other legitimate activities”. And sometime people in cars go for a drive just for the heck of it-with no legitimate reason. Sometimes people drive for 30 minutes to get to their gym so they can go for a 20 min. walk on a stationary machine. How can you verify which people are traveling for ‘legitimate reasons’?

  6. How about the other side of Vedurgo Road along the stretch of Glassell Park, The Verdugo, pass St. Bernand, to Glassell Park Elementary. You forgot this section where there is lots of foot and vechile traffic. Walk during the day or night and realize the improvement needed!

    • Unfortunately that’s Gil Cedillo’s district so it is unlikely you will see any safety improvements there. But can’t hurt to ask him!

  7. Has anyone taken the time to notice that Verdugo in the area is 2 lane with NO center lane and NO left turn lanes??? With multiple side streets and apartments. So by converting the right lane to a bike lane you now have all traffic in one liane and no way to turn left NB or SB. It will definitely slow down traffic to a gridlock.

    • Actually, to bring bike lanes to Verdugo, my understanding is that a center turn lane would be accommodated too (like on York, Rowena, and 7th St). Would you still object to bike lanes if they resulted in the creation of a continuous center lane/left turn lane?

  8. Charles M Shorty

    Bike advocates are some of the most fanatical zealots. Up there with ISIS and VEGANS in trying to push their perceived utopia. They don’t want bike lanes to serve all the bikes on the road, they want bike lanes because they don’t want you to drive a car. It’ the same ideology barbaric African tribes use for female circumcision. The woman can still “serve her womanly purpose of birth” but damned if she’s going to have any enjoyment in life. You road diet people really need to get a life.

    • Are you comparing yourself (an American car driver in the so called car capital of the world) to a female African woman that has been circumcised? In your eyes, slowing down car drivers for the sake of safety and promoting an environmentally friendly means of transportation is analogous to what you just described? wow. Yes, but people in favor of improving safety are the fanatics.

    • Ahahahah! WTF are you babbling about? ISIS, vegans, female circumcision and traffic engineering — all in ONE comment. Your “thought” process is fascinating… but might be time to lay off the weed a little.

    • It’s always enlightening to read the comments on articles where bikes are mentioned. They definitely bring out complaints from the ignorant. Meanwhile I enjoy driving across the part of Rowena where the road diet created a left turning lane so that I’m not constantly obstructed by drivers trying to turn left. That road diet definitely improved driving there, as well as benefiting cyclists and pedestrians.

    • Let’s see, you have linked bike lane advocates with ISIS, vegans, and barbaric advocates of female circumcision.

      Who’s the zealot?

  9. No More Road Diets

    These road diets causing more Congestion instead of road share lanes.
    You hardly see any cyclist and they cause a lot of back up, look at Silverlake, Griffin, York -their are hardly any cyclist.

  10. Nancy Connolly

    I get the need to keep Cyclist safe and it’s hard to find a happy medium. I drive on Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock and ever since the bike lanes installed the congestion has been horrible. I drive the streets from Beverly Hills, where I work to Eagle Rock, where I live, and I watch some bikers cross on a red go between cars when there is clearly a bike lane and this is very frustrating. I feel we should all follow the laws, red means stop. I think maybe if there was a time frame like rush hour some lights say no left because of the traffic jams they could cause the same should be with bike lanes. Seriously Eagle Rock Blvd is a nightmare, in my humble opinion.

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