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New solution for dangerous railroad crossing proposed

Councilman suggests two bridges and closing the Doran Street crossing.

April 01, 2014|By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com
  • Councilman Ara Najarian has pitched an alternative to the four options Los Angeles County transportation officials are considering for building a new overpass at the Doran Street railroad crossing, one of the most dangerous in the area.
Councilman Ara Najarian has pitched an alternative to…

While Los Angeles County transportation officials are considering four options for building a new overpass at one of the most dangerous railroad crossings in the area, Councilman Ara Najarian has pitched another idea.

Instead of building an overpass at the Doran Street railroad crossing, he's suggesting two bridges, one that would allow traffic to cross the Los Angeles River and another that would go across the Verdugo Wash.

The Doran Street railroad crossing would be closed permanently, a longtime request from some Glendale residents that has been opposed by Los Angeles officials who say the closed crossing would cut off emergency access to businesses on the Los Angeles side of the track.

"It would be a great solution to our problem because it would eliminate any sort of crossing at Doran; it would give the trucks the access they really want which are the freeways; it would create connection to Griffith Park for bicyclists, pedestrians and equestrians; it would connect to our Riverwalk; and it will keep all those trucks off of Glendale and keep them in Los Angeles, where they come from and they want to return to," he said. "It's a win-win."

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His idea is currently being analyzed by officials at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said Metro spokesman Paul Gonzales. It has already been reviewed by Glendale engineering staff, said Public Works Director Steve Zurn.

Najarian's proposed bridges would begin at the terminus of Doran Street in the Atwater neighborhood of Los Angeles and connect to Zoo Drive to the west and Fairmont Avenue to the north, providing access to on-ramps onto the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways.

Those traveling westbound from Glendale would have to drive through another nearby crossing. Currently, the Broadway/Brazil Street crossing is closed due to construction and drivers have to pass through at other crossings. Although it is scheduled to reopen after safety improvements are complete, it may be closed permanently, a Metro consultant said at a February public meeting.

The current MTA-sanctioned alternatives for Doran Street involve a variety of flyovers from Glendale to Los Angeles and some include extending Doran Street on the Los Angeles side to Fairmont Avenue to the north.

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