HomeLettersTransit Plan Would Turn Burbank into ‘Tronville’

Transit Plan Would Turn Burbank into ‘Tronville’

[Regarding the proposed Burbank Rapid Transit plan discussed at the Feb. 27 Council meeting:] I have become revolted by Burbank’s purely staff-devised scheme to radically alter our city’s street traffic flow.

Such is the amplifying scale of economic and political power lodged in Burbank’s land and property elite that many homeowners and renters wonder if it really requires an organized political lobby to guard its interests.

So much subtly inflicted change has already been forced on Burbankers that a widespread sense of being intentionally left out of essential decision-making prevails since, obviously, nonbureaucrats are not organized, leaving effective and vociferous opposition to imposed change to mere chance and personal contacts.

All those vacant retail spaces are, in effect, ruins that contribute nothing to the “Smart City” look so adored by vapor-locked bureaucrats and many amateurish politicians, bolstered by a home-grown and imported membership property lobby. The city’s chief post-public comment segment of the Council meeting in late-February offered a farrago of vapid “Planner Speak” — most infuriating, “It’s only paint” — of the kind exposed in Paul Josephson’s book “Traffic” (2017).

Apparently, the defender’s sole goal is to reshape Burbank by grand design. Currently … and for many happy and prosperous decades, Burbank has offered its citizens flexible real-world spaces that induce a strong sense of community. It seems clear that some ambitious bureaucrats, hirelings who are burdensome to taxpayers, want to promote a more sweeping form of emergent urbanism, vaguely futuristic infrastructure configurations that repel many Burbankers!

Burbankers I have listened to do not desire government master-planning or abusive corporate profit-seeking that markedly transforms our town in ways we will never appreciate!

In effect, the city’s chief planners appear to have become a bureaucracy that is, weirdly, an aggregation of choices perpetually seeking problems, issues and emotions searching for decisive situations in which they might be publicized, contrived alleged solutions building an aura to which they are the only answer, and decision-makers looking for lucrative long-term employment as well as post-career perks. Their existing plan ensures the institution of a “Tronville.”

Small Town America is our desire, not to become a unit in some ghastly SoCal-wide traffic grid sporting only a uniformity of personal lifestyle. Burbank’s traffic planners have adopted the slash-and-burn mentality of federal- and state-funded bureaucrats. … We wish to avoid the economic Black Hole that is Los Angeles, not to be increasingly linked to it.

The plan offered to voting Councilmembers does not support a kind and gentle nonrural reality. Instead, it offers a traumatizing “Tron” (2011) world of EV motorcycles in its coldly calculated hideous traffic plan.

If the staff plan in its most recent iteration is ultimately adopted by the City Council, then our elected leaders might also consider renaming our city: How about “Burrr-Bunk”?

Richard B. Cathcart


First published in the March 23 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

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