Glendale's top 10 collision intersections

Recent data compiled by the Glendale Police Department showed the city's intersections with the most collisions were downtown. (Steve Greenberg / Glendale News Press / March 19, 2014)

Two of the top 10 intersections with the highest collision rates in the city are situated in Glendale’s busiest neighborhood: downtown.

Police logged 43 collisions at North Brand Boulevard and Goode Avenue, which leads drivers off and onto the Ventura (134) Freeway, according to 2013 statistics from the Glendale Police Department.

The same number of collisions occurred at 201 S. Central Ave, where entrances for the Americana at Brand and Glendale Galleria are across from each other.

The collision information is compiled by the Glendale Police Department to better track the frequency of crashes in certain neighborhoods, so officials can direct more enforcement to those areas, Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

The data include all collisions, including those involving injuries, no injuries, pedestrians and fatalities.

Increased enforcement efforts are often directed at speed issues, pedestrian crosswalks, drunk driving and distracted drivers.

Even though officers step up their enforcement in high-collision areas, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will be issuing more citations.

Glendale Police Chief Robert Castro wants to take a balanced approach in dealing with traffic safety, utilizing both enforcement and education.

“I am looking for results,” he said. “The success is not just in numbers.”

Castro said he doesn’t want officers only issuing citations to traffic violators. He wants officers to give warnings and educate violators about traffic safety.

“I don’t want to victimize the community,” he said.

He fears that issuing too many citations could drive people away from Glendale and its many downtown businesses.

Three intersections on the top 10 list were along Glendale’s bustling San Fernando Corridor. Another two intersections were on Pacific Avenue at Glenoaks Boulevard and Colorado Street.

The intersection at Glenoaks Boulevard and Western Avenue ranked sixth among the intersections with the most collisions. Police logged 31 collisions at the busy intersection — which is a block away from the Glendale/Burbank border.

The intersection has been the subject of several deadly traffic collision investigations.

In 2010, prominent Glendale physician Dr. Jacob Orphali, 61, was struck by a motorist after he had just parked his car and was standing next to his vehicle’s open driver's side door in the 1100 block of Western Avenue.

Three years later, Leleh Issakhanian, 75, was struck and seriously injured last October by a hit-and-run driver near the same intersection. She also had exited her parked car when she was struck by a white utility van.

It would only be three months before another person was killed at the intersection.

Abram Mehrabian, 86, was killed Jan. 27 after he was struck by a vehicle on Western Avenue near Glenoaks Boulevard.

Castro said police also work closely with the city’s Engineering Division on ways to improve streets, such as installing traffic signals, evaluating traffic equipment or increasing signage visibility.

But better engineered roads can’t fix people’s behavior and attitudes toward traffic safety, he added.

“We can’t engineer our way out of this either,” Castro said.

As the city expands with more business and residential development, he said streets are also changing to accommodate more pedestrians, cyclists and vehicular traffic.

“All accidents are preventable if we can change the behavior,” he said.

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