By Mary O’KEEFE
Residents in Crescenta Valley, especially those who live and travel in the far north Glendale area, have noticed quite a bit of construction around local schools.
The curbs close to Dunsmore and Lincoln elementary schools are part of the Safe Routes to School Improvements Project Phases 2 and 4.
“We are going to bump out or bulb out the curb,” said Sarkis Oganesyan, City of Glendale Public Works engineering project specialist.
The construction will make the crossing sections near schools shorter.
“The less time pedestrians are on the street, the better,” Oganesyan said.
The curbs will be bumped out, reducing the expanse of the intersections. This will help in several ways including lessening the amount of road that pedestrians will have to cross and narrowing the driving space, making it less tempting for a driver to pass another vehicle in that area.
Public Works has done this type of construction at other schools in the city for about a year.
“It takes a while for drivers to get used to the [new curbs],” Oganesyan said.
Once drivers have gotten used to the new curbs, and reduced crossing area, Public Work inspectors have not seen any adverse affects and have found that traffic has improved. Oganesyan’s theory is that some of the drivers who did not have children to drop off but still took the school path have found other ways around the area.
Oganesyan said they have also noticed that more kids and parents are walking to school in the areas that have completed construction.
With more walking space it is also hoped that children and parents will walk to school.
The scope of work also includes working on storm drain systems, relocating existing fire hydrants and streetlights and installing new roadway striping and pavement markings.
This is being done via a Safe Route to School state grant that was awarded to the city of Glendale. The purpose is to make safe routes but also to make the area more pedestrian friendly.
Local drivers will have to deal with all the cones and barricades for a few more weeks. The project is expected to be completed by Aug. 8 or Aug. 9.
Phase 2 of the Safe Route to Schools includes: Lincoln, Jefferson, Muir Marshall and Mann elementary schools. Phase 4 includes: Dunsmore, Balboa, R.D. White and Verdugo Woodlands elementary schools.