First published in the March 19 print issue of the Burbank Leader.
The Metro plan (BRT) to eliminate a lane of traffic on Olive Ave. between Buena Vista and Glenoaks to create a dedicated bus lane is bad for Burbank. It is my hope that the five members of the City Council will remain steadfast in their publicly stated opposition to this concept.
Anyone needing factual information about this plan can find it on visionburbank.org.
In 2017, I bid farewell to my colleagues on the Burbank Unified School Board after serving for 12 rewarding years. None of us was aware that during the same time, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority had begun the process of studying and planning the NoHo-to-Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit Project.
Now, after many years, the community as a whole still lacks awareness, even though the Metro Board is scheduled to vote on the proposal in April. The lack of outreach conducted in Burbank has galvanized our citizens, creating unprecedented public protests regarding the BRT project. Had we been adequately told of the proposed dedicated bus lanes on Olive Avenue, leaving only one traffic lane in each direction from Buena Vista Street to Glenoaks Blvd, many years ago, MTA would have heard the same opposition they hear today.
The truth is, they never made a serious attempt to inform the community and now, the MTA is trying to ram through a project that will have serious negative effects on Burbank for decades to come. Let’s focus on the supposed merits of the proposal. Dedicated bus lanes will save transit riders about one minute of travel time through Burbank. In exchange for that extra minute, Burbank would be saddled with another major thoroughfare having only one traffic lane each way. Did MTA consider that immediately to the north, Verdugo Avenue already has a similar set-up, creating a poorly utilized bicycle lane? John Burroughs High School is adjacent to both.
Can you imagine the angry parents trying to navigate this mess, cutting through neighborhoods to get their children to school on time?
How does the NoHo-to- Pasadena BRT, as proposed, benefit our community? The clear answer is … it doesn’t!