Transportation agency to focus attention and dollars on dangerous Atwater-Glendale rail crossing

Metrolink train passing through the Doran Street crossing.

There are only a few crossings along the nearly two-mile long border between North Atwater Village and Glendale, which are separated by a busy rail line that runs parallel to San Fernando Road. One of those railroad crossings at Doran Street and San Fernando Road  is actually considered among the potentially most dangerous in the county because of its location near a propane gas facility and a large volume of motor vehicle and train traffic.  The Doran Street crossing has been a source of tension for both cities, with the City of Los Angeles resisting attempts by Glendale to close of the crossing for safety reasons.  But now there might be a solution in sight. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is proposing to spend at least $40 million to build an overpass as part of a project to separate train and vehicle traffic.

The L.A. Times reports that several options are under consideration:

 Build a flyover that spans Doran Street and loops around Commercial Street on the Glendale side of the tracks.

Extend Doran Street on the L.A. side north under the 134 Freeway to connect with Fairmont Avenue, as well as an overpass that would extend from California Street to Exchange and Sperry streets.

Extend Doran Street to Fairmont Avenue beneath the freeway and build an overpass to the Los Angeles side of San Fernando Road between Salem Street and Wilson Avenue.

Extend Doran Street to Fairmont Avenue beneath the freeway and build an overpass between Salem Street and Wilson Avenue that also connects to Brazil Street.

About 90 passenger and freight trains pass through the crossing each day and rail traffic would only increase if a high-speed passenger train begins operating on the same line, according tot he MTA.

Construction on the Doran Street crossing is not expected to begin until mid 2016, according to the MTA.  But  work on several other safety improvement projects further south are nearing completion.

At Brazil Street, new signals and additional lighting are designed to improve traffic and pedestrian safety while a new median is intended to prevent cars from driving around the railroad gates when trains are approaching, according to the City of Glendale.  The crossing at Chevy Chase Drive is getting pedestrian sidewalks as well as upgraded traffic signals and railroad gates.

New railroad signals and gates at Brazil Street crossing.

View North Atwater Rail Crossings in a larger map

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