That process included the city, the commission and the Pelanconi Estates Homeowners Assn., made up of residents who live near the site of the proposed crossing. The residents and the California Public Utilities Commission both protested the city's project, citing safety and design concerns.
The commission's changed stance toward the crossing upset residents, association co-founder Patrick Masihi said.
"It was a shock to us," he said.
Not enough was done to work with the community in developing the future of the project, he said. And ultimately, nothing was done to improve the proposed crossing, he added.
"People came out and were opposed to this project … [the city] totally ignored making this into a safe crossing and failed to work with the neighborhood," he said.
Some major reasons for opposing the crossing were recent accidents that had taken place along the railroad and the noise that it would bring into the area every time a train went through the crossing, Masihi said.
The stretch of tracks at Flower Street is near the site where, in January 2005, a Metrolink train derailed after striking an SUV, killing 11 and injuring nearly 200.
"It's a redundant crossing, its not necessary — it's only about 300 feet from the Grand View [Avenue] crossing," he said.
In July 2005, commission staff members protested the city's application for the crossing, saying that the design did not provide adequate space to keep vehicles from backing over the tracks. The city has been working with the commission since then to resolve the issue.
Commission officials did not return phone calls by press time to comment on the reason for their change in decision.
However, city officials have said that in the long run, the crossing is necessary considering the number of vehicles that will be going through the area, where the Disney's Grand Central Creative Campus will be built.
"With predicted [traffic] volumes in that area over the next 10 years … if you don't have the Flower Street crossing, you put that many more cars on Grandview [Avenue] and Sonora [Avenue] and it decreases their level of safety," City Manager Jim Starbird said.
The city is also working to make Glendale railroad crossings more safe through installing high-tech safety equipment, he said.
"Not only have we committed to the highest level of safety improvements, we've committed additional money to install safety equipment at all of these crossings," he said.
ROBERT S. HONG covers public safety and the courts. He may be reached at (818) 637-3235 or by e-mail at robert.honglatimes.com.