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

Upcoming Project Site Visit Scheduled for June 2, 2018

On Saturday, June 2, 2018, the City invites community members to join City staff and consultants for a site visit at 9:00 am. The meeting location will be on the sidewalk in front of Starbucks at 1520 W. Olive Ave., Burbank, CA 91506 near the Project intersection of Olive Avenue and Sparks Street. Residents and interested attendees will have the opportunity to speak with Project Team members and provide feedback at the Project site.

Staff will be seeking City’s Council’s approval to move forward with the conceptual design at the scheduled City Council Meeting on June 26, 2018.  Upon receiving Council’s approval, staff will commence with detail engineering design and will take consideration of the comments provided from the second Community Meeting and subsequent Project Site Visit.

2nd Community Meeting Synopsis

On Wednesday, May 16, 2018, the City conducted the second Community Meeting for the Olive Avenue/Verdugo Avenue/Sparks Street Intersection Improvement Project at the City’s Community Services Building. At the meeting, City staff provided a brief overview of the Project and obtained input from residents for three refined conceptual design alternatives and a landscaping and public space concept developed from input received at the first Community Meeting.  Highlights of the meeting are noted below:

  • Approximately 40 residents in addition to the City’s Vice Mayor, the City’s Traffic Commission Chair and a Traffic Commissioner attended the two-hour meeting.
  • Staff presented a brief explanation and goals for the Project and following the presentation, residents were invited to visit five different stations set up in the meeting room to encourage discussions for: 1) the existing conditions, 2) three refined project alternatives and 3) a landscaping and public space concept derived from input from residents at the first Community Meeting.The existing conditions and three project alternatives are described below:

Existing Conditions

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

Proposed Landscape and Public Space Concept

Comparison of Proposed Project Options

  • Residents expressed support for increasing pedestrian safety, optimizing traffic, and landscaping to better their neighborhood.
  • Residents acknowledged existing safety issues due to location of crosswalks and existing intersection configuration and confusing traffic lane assignments.
  • Residents expressed concerns regarding impacts to circulation on the residential streets adjacent to the Project intersection.
  • Staff also received other general comments about congestion and speeding and parking impacts around the intersection, especially on Sparks Avenue caused by Starbucks’ patrons on the south side of the intersection.
  • Residents generally preferred Option 1 the most and Option 3 was the least preferred.

1st Community Meeting

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 Street.
  • 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.

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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