Thursday, June 25, 2015

APA LA Recognizes Glendale at the Alex

The Los Angeles Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) recognized the City of Glendale with the Implementation Award of Excellence for the Glendale Downtown Specific Plan (DSP) & Mobility Study. The award was presented to the City at the Annual APA Los Angeles Awards Gala, which will took place on Thursday, June 25th at 6pm at the Historic Alex Theater in Downtown Glendale.

The Implementation Award recognizes the DSP and Mobility Study’s Originality & Innovation, Effectiveness, Ability to Overcome Challenges, and Participation. Together, the Downtown Specific Plan and Mobility Study create an optimum transit- and pedestrian-oriented environment intended to reduce auto congestion. The Plans implement a city-wide policy to focus development away from established neighborhoods into locations where growth can best be managed. This focus beyond the City’s downtown has enabled Glendale to plan for improved open space and transportation connections to the surrounding region.

The implementation of policies in the DSP and Mobility Study, have resulted in substantial progress throughout the City:

Downtown Specific Plan
The DSP was adopted in 2006 and has become the platform for growth in the City, helping Glendale bounce back from the recession. By attracting a substantial amount of private investments, including 26 mixed-use and commercial projects totaling over 2500 residential units, the DSP has been able to absorb two thirds of the City’s housing growth goals, channeling development away from the City’s hillside and suburban neighborhoods. Additionally the DSP guided the renovations to the Glendale Galleria, the expansion of the American at Brand and two new hotels. Through the DSP, the City has established an Arts & Entertainment District that has given way to the construction of the 42-unit Laemmle Loft project with mixed-use housing and 6 movie screens, the renovation of the Historic Alex Theatre, affordable housing for artists at the YMCA Arts Colony, and the soon to be open Museum of Neon Art. The DSP also enabled the $15 million dollar renovation of the City’s Central Library and Park, orienting the library’s front door to pedestrians.
Mobility Study
A primary goal of the Mobility Study has been to promote alternative transit within the City. As a result, transit reduction programs have yielded a 35% increase in membership in the City’s Transportation Demand Management Association, Go Glendale. Membership growth is also projected for the future as 82% of all incoming development in Downtown Glendale will be required to join Go Glendale and participate in programs that encourage transit, walking, carpooling and bicycling, reducing the reliance on single-passenger vehicular travel.

Another goalin the Mobility Study was securing locally-generated financing to fund multi-modal policies and infrastructure. Since adoption of the Downtown Mobility Study, the City has secured over $4.8 million dollars in grant funding for a coordinated system of Wayfinding Signs, a Citywide Pedestrian Plan, a Citywide Safety Education Initiative, Safe Routes to School Infrastructure Improvements, and a Prop 84 Green Streets Demonstration Project illustrating best practices in pedestrian safety & water quality, at the heart of Downtown Glendale along Harvard Street and Louise Street.