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Officials call rail crossing dangerous, but businesses oppose closing it

June 25, 2010 |  7:59 am


Business owners oppose closing a railroad crossing along San Fernando Road that officials have deemed unsafe, arguing it would choke off customer access and create a whole new set of safety concerns.

Metrolink and Glendale officials renewed longstanding calls for closing the crossing near the Los Angeles-Glendale border last year after an 86-year-old pedestrian was struck and killed by a train in November.

But during a public hearing at Glendale City Hall on Thursday, nearly a dozen representatives from nearby businesses located in the Los Angeles portion of the San Fernando corridor said the closure would dramatically affect their businesses by making them difficult to access.

Many of them are in the industrial park, where the only accessible entrance is on Doran and Brazil streets.

"It would greatly impact our ability to do business in the area," said Glenn Bossin of Ferguson Industries, a wholesale plumbing company.

The California Public Utilities Commission hosted the hearing to gather input on the closure proposed by its Consumer Protection and Safety Division after engineers deemed the crossing "redundant and unsafe."

The Glendale City Council approved an at-grade railroad crossing in 2008 for an extension of Flower Street to San Fernando Road for about the same time that the Doran Street crossing was scheduled to close, but it remained open.

State engineers have said the Doran crossing is made hazardous by a constricted intersection, the high speed and frequency of passenger and freight trains and the proximity of a propane and industrial gas loading and storage facility.

"It's our view that the crossing exposes the public to unnecessary hazards," said Laurence Michael, a staff engineer with the Consumer Protection and Safety Division.

Read the full story here.

-- Melanie Hicken, Glendale News-Press

Photo credit: Glendale News-Press