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Glendale Downtown Mobility Study

Glendale, California
2006-2011, adopted 2007 & 2011
220 acres, approximately 4000 homes and 1,700,000 ft.² of commercial space in buildings up to 380 feet tall
Honors & Awards
  • 2007 President's Excellence Award for Visionary Planning from the Southern California Association of Governments
  • 2007 Merit Award for Comprehensive Planning from the California Chapter of the American Planning Association
  • 2007 Merit Award for Urban Design from the AIA California Council. 
  • 2015 Award of Excellence for Implementation from the California Chapter of the American Planning Association

Glendale’s Downtown Specific Plan and its corresponding Mobility Study are breathing new life into downtown. Since their adoption, 26 projects have added hotels, shops, restaurants and nearly 3000 homes to a downtown once defined largely by office towers. Pedestrians throng in a place once described as resembling “an edge city more than an old town”.

The Mobility Study tackles the challenge of accommodating all this growth (plus up to 5000 additional homes) without significantly increasing traffic congestion or diminishing Glendale’s quality of life. While a Principal at Nelson\Nygaard Consulting, Patrick Siegman led the development of the study’s street design, performance measurement, parking, and transportation demand management (TDM) components.

The Mobility Study gathers under a single umbrella the full range of best practices for reducing congestion and improving transportation choices. A comprehensive, citywide set of street types and performance measures sets clear priorities for each street. Primary Transit streets, for example, are designed and managed to support fast, frequent, and reliable transit. Primary Pedestrian streets prioritize strolling and shopping on key retail blocks. The approach balances the needs of all modes of transport, maximizes the ability of limited street space to move people, and improves livability.

New parking meters, with demand-responsive pricing, have freed up front-door spots for customers. Parking benefit districts ensure the revenues support downtown. Reducing excessive minimum parking rules has helped attract investment to downtown, while TDM requirements for new projects limit traffic.

“The Glendale Downtown Specific Plan and Mobility Study is an example of how communities can encourage mutually supportive land use decisions and transportation investments…an excellent model for cities throughout the region”

– SCAG’s President’s Excellence Award for Visionary Planning

Images courtesy of Alan Loomis & the City of Glendale