More Outrage About La Crescenta Avenue Project Outreach

A couple looks over the details of Alternative #1 and how it will affect La Crescenta Avenue.
Photo by Mary O’KEEFE


On March 8 at the Glendale Civic Auditorium, the City of Glendale held a community outreach to discuss and hear comments on the proposed La Crescenta Avenue Rehabilitation Project.

Residents had an opportunity to look at the plans, share opinions and ask questions. The plans presented were “90% design plans,” according to Yazdan Emrani, director of the City of Glendale Public Works Dept.“The intent was to show the attendees what we have designed so far and to receive some feedback in areas where we might be able to make changes without changing the overall Alternative #1 design. The next step is to take these plans from 90% to 100%, or final design,” he said.

He added the City’s policy is to not release plans before a) they are 100% finalized and b) the City Council has approved them to be advertised for bids.

There were originally two alternatives proposed for the La Crescenta Avenue Rehab project. Alternative #1, or the “Bike Lane” proposal, would reduce driving lanes to one lane per direction of travel on La Crescenta Avenue from Montrose Avenue to North Verdugo. In addition there would be a bike lane on each side of La Crescenta Avenue with protective barriers and the addition of a center two-way left turn lane, according to the City.

Alternative #2 would be a class III bike route with shared roadway markings called “sharrows.” The sharrows proposal would include wider travel lanes to accommodate cyclists and drivers; there would be shared lane markings to alert vehicle drivers of bicyclists in the lane. The basic change would be to the lane closest to the sidewalks, or outside lane, that would be marked as a bike lane that would be shared with vehicles, according to the City.

The City Council approved Alternative #1 in October 2022.

According to Emrani, the 2012 Bicycle Transportation Plan provided directions to study the corridor for lane repurposing and installing bicycle facilities. There was a traffic study done and that information was presented at “multiple” public outreach meetings.

But for some in Wednesday’s audience, that outreach seemed to have overlooked those who actually live near the proposed area.

Emrani said that there was “extensive public outreach” that included mailers to residents and businesses within a 500-foot radius of the project.

However, CVW has contacted several businesses within that area and has found none that received a mailer – including the offices of CVW, which is within that radius.

There were outreach meetings with homeowner associations, the Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce, Montrose Shopping Park Association, Montrose-Verdugo City Chamber of Commerce and CV Town Council and email campaigns. However, CVTC was against the Alternative #1 proposal and stated that during an outreach meeting. (CVW will continue to reach out to organizations to gather their comments.)

The feedback of those contacted is, in part, how City staff made the recommendation for Alternative #1.

In addition to outreach, the City conducted a study of the city-wide bicycle demand and connectivity, which included La Crescenta Avenue, in 2012.

During the Wednesday night meeting there were those who praised the City for including Alternative #1, which adds bike lanes. There were several alternatives in the presentation, including a Class IV protected bike lane. The protected bike lane has a buffer zone for bikes. There is the lane of traffic, then parked vehicles and then the bike lane between the parked vehicles and curb. This alternative reduces vehicle driving lanes to one lane in each direction, adds green colored bike lanes on each side of La Crescenta Avenue with protective barriers from North Verdugo Road to Glenwood Avenue, and the addition of a center two-way left turn lane.

Buffered bike lanes result when cars are parked against the curb and the bike lanes are between the parked cars and the one lane [in each direction] of vehicle traffic.

A Class II bike lane reduces driving lanes to one lane in each direction, adds green colored bike lanes on each side of La Crescenta Avenue between Glenwood Avenue and Montrose Avenue and adds the center two-way left turn lane, according to the City’s PowerPoint presentation.

The issue for those who had concerns regarding Alternative #1 centered more on the reduction on La Crescenta Avenue to one car lane each way.

Local resident Kim Mattersteig voiced her concern about fire safety with the reduction of two lanes to one each way. Although there is a center lane, the concern is that emergency vehicles could confront vehicles in the center lane. Drivers may not have any way to exit if traffic is as heavy as it has been in the past.

The City representatives stated they spoke with police and fire department, and the agencies saw no issues.

Another resident, who is an avid cyclist, said he would be very surprised if that center lane didn’t become more of a passing-type lane when drivers became frustrated and attempted to get around traffic.

That same resident voiced concern for the “protected” bike lanes due to debris that is often along the curb and the chance of a passenger opening a car door.

“It gives [cyclists] very little room to maneuver,” he said.

The City was asked if it would do an analysis or contact other bike coalitions with the concerns brought up at the meeting.

“A separate analysis will not be provided as the proposed bicycle facilities including Class II, Class II with Buffer and Class IV Protected Bike Lanes are per California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices standards, as well as taking into consideration the National Association of City Transportation Officials Urban Bikeway Design Guide,” Emrani said.

And cyclists can still access the roadway that is not a designated a bike lane, he added.

There were those who requested crosswalks and lighted crosswalks along La Crescenta Avenue near Manhattan Avenue.

But those in the audience continued to ask why the outreach efforts didn’t reach them, especially since they lived so close to the proposed rehabilitation area.

Mattersteig asked why she would get the mailer notice since she lives near the Briggs Terrace area, well beyond the 500-foot radius.

Another round of outreach meetings is planned.

“Public Works will conduct a final public outreach community meeting when design plans are at 100% completion before going to the City Council for adoption of plans and bid advertisement. Stakeholders will be notified via postcard notification of the meeting, primarily those in the City of Glendale jurisdiction under the following zip codes: 91208, 91214 and 91020,” Emrani said.

One of the last resident speakers to ask a question was Patrick Murphy from the Sycamore Avenue/Whiting Woods area. He thanked the City for the outreach, but made a point that this and future outreaches are being held after the City Council voted in favor of Alternative #1.

Danette Erickson brings her concerns regarding the project in relation to the La Crescenta Woman’s Club on La Crescenta Avenue.


Kerry Erickson