That would create problems with existing traffic infrastructure that abuts the route, as well as surrounding properties, proposed developments, planned freeway expansion and Glendale’s historic Amtrak/Metrolink station.
When Glendale City Council members raised concerns about the potential demolition of the commuter station, built in a Spanish colonial revival style in 1923, authority representatives responded with a possible compromise.
“You won’t lose that,” said Steven Ortmann, station planning manager for the authority. “Just move it.”
Coming up with a plan to adjust or relocate a historic station to accommodate the tracks will be a challenge, said Jano Baghdanian, Glendale’s traffic and transportation administrator.
“It’s not as simple as moving a street 10 or 15 feet,” he said.
Similar challenges will face the authority all along the corridor, where it will have to expand the current right-of-way into roads and properties, including the 2.1-acre site of a planned six-story, 163,090-square-foot mixed-use project that Glendale officials hope will transform south Glendale.
“What should we tell them?” said Glendale Councilman Ara Najarian, referring to the developers of the planned Mitaa Plaza project on Los Feliz Road, which he estimated could cost more than $20 million. “Back off? There’s going to be eminent domain?”
In Burbank, similar infrastructure changes to the already-crowded corridor could cause traffic problems, said David Kriske, the city’s principal transportation planner.
The most significant spatial challenge for the high-speed line would be between Burbank Boulevard and Magnolia Street, where the planned addition of carpool lanes and an interchange to the Golden State (5) Freeway will pinch the rail corridor width to 90 feet, Kriske said.