Olive/Verdugo/Sparks Street Intersection Improvement Project

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Olive Avenue/Verdugo Avenue/Sparks Street Intersection Improvement Project

About the Project

The purpose of the Project is to reconfigure the six-legged intersection located at Olive Avenue/Verdugo Avenue/Sparks Street intersection with the goals of improving efficiency and pedestrian and vehicle safety. Surrounded by commercial and residential uses, this intersection experiences high volumes of cars and also pedestrians from adjacent commercial and fast-food uses and nearby Burroughs High School. The current configuration of this six-legged intersection results in inefficient signal timing and long traffic signal cycles, which cannot be easily coordinated with adjacent traffic signals on nearby streets. To improve this intersection, the City has initiated the Olive Avenue/Verdugo Avenue/Sparks Street Intersection Improvement Project and has commenced engineering analyses to consider and evaluate options to reconfigure the intersection with the goals of reducing traffic signal cycle length and maximize pedestrian and vehicle safety. The analysis shall incorporate aesthetic considerations and shall balance safety and mobility for all travel modes, and will implement the Complete Streets policies outlined in the City’s General Plan Mobility Element. Options to be evaluated include: median or other islands, turn restrictions, street closures (cul-de-sac), bulb-outs, minor street alignments, or other optimization measures. The preferred concept may also include any needed rights-of-way. The intersection design considerations shall result in a preferred concept that will be fully designed by the City’s consultant.

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Current Project Status

On December 8, 2016, the first community meeting for the Olive Avenue/Verdugo Avenue/Sparks Street Intersection Improvement Project was held at the Buena Vista Branch Library.  The purpose of the project is to improve traffic efficiency, reduce vehicle delay, and improve pedestrian safety and convenience of this complex six-legged intersection.

Staff provided an overview of the project to nearby residents and business owners, and sought community input on the existing traffic, circulation, and safety conditions.  Staff also sought input on four preliminary conceptual engineering alternatives.  Highlights of the meeting are listed below:

  • Approximately 64 residents attended the hour and half-hour meeting.
  • Staff presented a PowerPoint presentation and following the presentation, residents were invited to visit areas in the room to discuss the four alternatives that were presented by staff which incorporated various street reconfiguration design alternatives including:
    • Vehicle turning restrictions
    • Pedestrian treatments (crosswalks)
    • Medians/islands
    • Traffic signals and modifications
    • Street realignment(s)
    • Street closures (cul-de-sacs)
    • Right-of-way acquisition
  • Residents generally expressed support for increasing pedestrian safety and walkability and improving traffic signals to reduce delay.  Some residents also favored studying the full or partial closure of Sparks Street.
  • Residents generally opposed alternatives that made major circulation changes or that required major street realignments.  Residents on streets other than Sparks Street also generally opposed closing or restricting access to Sparks.
  • Staff received other general comments about congestion and parking impacts around the intersection, especially caused by the Starbucks on the south side of the intersection.
  • Staff will incorporate residents’ input and refine the project alternatives to reflect the general comments received.
  • A second community meeting will be held in Spring 2017.

For More Information

For more information on the Olive Avenue/Verdugo Avenue/Sparks Street Intersection Improvement Project, please contact:

Roy Choi
Senior Planner, Transportation Division
rchoi@burbankca.gov

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