Burbank Leader reporter Gavin Quinton wrote in the Sept. 2 issue of the Burbank Leader what many may see as a heartwarming story about photographer Gail Just and her documentary photos of Burbank’s Rancho neighborhood and the public Mariposa Bridge, which was built in 1938 for all local residents, including horseback riders and bicyclists.
Over the years, however, the owners of the nearby Circle K Stables claimed the bridge as the exclusive domain of equestrians, and in 2015, pressured the Burbank City Council into banning bikes from being safely walked, or even carried, across the bridge to go riding along the L.A. River.
The Rancho equestrians over the years became the most powerful neighborhood group in Burbank and consistently showed up at Council meetings to loudly demand they get their way in blocking development of much needed new housing in our city.
Finally, however, these people were told by a city official at the last Council meeting that “the Rancho is not exclusively for, or exclusive, to equestrians,” among other statements letting the horse folks know, at long last, that they have no right to claim that part of Burbank as their own personal fiefdom. Powerful people never like being told they can’t have their way, but times are at last changing for the Rancho and Burbank.
Doug M. Weiskopf
First published in the September 16 print issue of the Burbank Leader.