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Cities get money to improve safety programs

June 15, 2004

Darleene Barrientos

The state Office of Traffic Safety awarded Glendale and Burbank more

than $100,000 each in federal grants to install flashing crosswalks

and continue with existing pedestrian-safety programs.

Glendale was awarded $104,000 to install four new flashing

crosswalks along Colorado Street at Cedar, Porter and Fischer and

Lafayette streets. The city hopes to install the devices by this

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fall, Glendale Public Works Director Steve Zurn said.

"We have been happy with the results. It's part of our overall

pedestrian-safety program," he said. "They have definitely raised

awareness on the part of motorists about these crosswalks."

The city has flashing crosswalks along Brand Boulevard in downtown

Glendale and at other intersections near schools and other major

streets.

The money awarded to Glendale will cover 80% of the costs of

installing the new crosswalks and the city will contribute the other

20%, Zurn said. Each flashing crosswalk costs between $25,000 and

$30,000 to install. When the four crosswalks are installed along

Colorado, the city will have 36 such devices.

"I haven't officially checked with anyone, but I think it's more

than any other city in Southern California," he said.

The city spent $975,000 installing the initial 32 crosswalks, at

more than $30,000 each.

Burbank was awarded $115,000 to continue its program, Kids' Steps

to Safety, Burbank transportation analyst David Kriske said.

"We're planning to do a little bit larger program than the one

we're doing now," Kriske said. "It's a good time to do a safety

program."

The federal grant will allow the city to continue its pedestrian-

and bicycle-safety program in the city's elementary schools and at

community events for another two years. The initial project cost the

city $10,000. The grant announcement is timely because city officials

plan to open the Chandler Bikeway Project in July, he said.

The funds were awarded to the two cities because their respective

crash data showed high occurrences of pedestrian and bicycle crashes,

said Marilyn Sabin, a spokeswoman for the Office of Traffic Safety.

"[Their crash data was] higher than cities of like size," Sabin

said. "Our money gives [each] city the ability to focus on particular

issues that are important to the community."

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