Glen­dale seeks to lure cy­clists

Brand Boule­vard will be closed in an ef­fort to pro­mote safety for bik­ers and pedes­tri­ans.

Los Angeles Times - - LOS ANGELES - By Arin Mikail­ian arin.mikail­ian @la­times.com

Brand Boule­vard is ex­pected to be closed to cars in Septem­ber to en­cour­age bike and pedes­trian safety and per­haps 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 last week dur­ing a spe­cial meet­ing of the Glen­dale City Coun­cil.

The push comes af­ter Mayor Zareh Si­nanyan said he would like to see Glen­dale host its own CicLAvia-type event af­ter the hit-and-run death of 4-year-old Vi­o­leta Khacha­too­ri­ans last month.

“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 po­lice of­fi­cers to speak to cit­i­zens about cross­ing streets safely.

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

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 about four hours dur­ing the day, Bell said.

The goal, he said, is to get peo­ple out of their cars and onto their feet or on bikes, es­pe­cially when it’s time for a mid­day meal.

“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 will have a booth where they will dis­trib­ute lit­er­a­ture about pedes­trian safety and 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 last week’s meet­ing that she was in talks with CicLAvia’s or­ga­nizer to try to bring the event to Glen­dale for a lower cost.

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 fund­ing to­ward a Glen­dale event.

Mar­cus Yam Los An­ge­les Times

BI­CY­CLISTS POP wheel­ies as they ride on Lanker­shim Boule­vard dur­ing a CicLAvia event in Stu­dio City in March. Glen­dale of­fi­cials are hop­ing the street clo­sure could lead to host­ing a CicLAvia.

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