In Burbank, a Road Diet Appears on Verdugo Avenue

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Although they aren’t advertising it as such, the City of Burbank recently put Verdugo Avenue on a diet, a road diet that is.  And amazingly, the world didn’t end.

Until recently, Verdugo Avenue was a four-lane throughway used by commuters as an alternative to busier streets such as Alameda and Magnolia.  However, with parks and schools along the road, including John Burroughs High School, the Buena Vista Library, Verdugo Park, and Lincoln Park, the city and residents wanted a change.  In 2003, the city included taking a travel lane for a bike lane in its Bike Master Plan.  In December of last year, at the same meeting when the city voted to update their plan, the City Council also voted to move forward what is technically called the “Verdugo Avenue Lane Reconfiguration.”

A planner in the City of Burbank Community Development Department referred to the new road design as a “thing of beauty” which might not make sense at first glance, until you consider that the road didn’t have a bike lane but did have an extra travel lane.  The road hasn’t even been on a diet for one month.  We’ll report back this summer with what lasting impacts the road has had on local traffic patterns and the quality of life for those using the road.  But there is one thing we do know, the City of Burbank decided to remove a car travel lane in favor of a bike travel lane, with the support of those living on the street.  Oddly, this change doesn’t seem to have resulted in a political revolution or, more ominously, the end of the world.

The local media hasn’t caught on to this story yet, but if you want to read more, you can read the staff report and city council minutes, here.

  • joe

    I think I will ride over the Burbank tomorrow and see exactly how nice these new bike lanes are. I often use Verdugo Ave on my bike. GO BURBANK!

  • Cory

    If Los Angeles put lanes on Camarillo between Riverside Drive and Verdugo Avenue through North Hollywood this would make a nice regional east-west alternative to Chandler/Orange Line!

  • Love it!

  • Kevin

    Cory is right. A bike lane on Riverside from Laurel Canyon to Tujunga… and then continuing it onto Camarillo which soon becomes Verdugo would be terrific (I ride that route to work and, as it is now, it gets a little dicey at times). But, meanwhile, hurray for Burbank.

  • Great job, Burbank! It used to be terrible riding on that side of Burbank back in the day! Now I want to come back just to ride the new lanes!

  • Geoff

    That sure does cause those nasty cars to create a lot of traffic congestion in the morning as people drive by the school there. I didn’t see any bikes though. Tough for those cars as the pass the empty bike lane.

    Come on bike enthusiasts support the bike lane.

  • Debbie

    Instead of occasional clumps of cars, now there’s a continuous stream of cars that makes this residential street even noisier. And the school traffic is horrendous.

  • David

    Usually I take the Chandler bike path to Pass to get to work, but with Pass Avenue closed at the 134, I figured I risk the traffic on Verdugo. Wow – was I ever surprised. It really is a thing of beauty and the right thing to do. So glad I live in Burbank.

  • BurbankResident

    “And the school traffic is horrendous.”

    Maybe you should start a bike train to help with that school traffic.

    http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/guide/encouragement/walking_school_bus_or_bicycle_train.cfm

  • Debbie

    If you’re a parent–go for a bike train. Bikes are terrific. I’m just a resident watching an endless line of cars twice a day now. And it was already bad.

  • I love the change! I drive this route almost every day and wish Los Angeles would continue the new design on Camarillo. I find that the traffic travels a lot faster and you don’t get stuck behind cars trying to turn left.

    So far, however, I have not seen any bikes in the bike lanes. Come on cyclists!

  • Raiko

    I love what Burbank is doing. Really smart. Love Chandler bike path, Love the trees on San Fernando road. Now if they could do away with the cheap strip malls and ugly fast-food chains.

  • Nancy

    How do local bikers like the door zone bike lanes? I find it hard to support road “improvements” that encourage cyclists to ride in danger zones.

  • Keith

    FYI. next Tuesday, Nov 2 at 6pm the Burbank City Council has the 6 month review of this project on the agenda. They have a petition from car drivers to get rid of the lanes. Cyclist need to show up and or write the city council or they may be removed.

  • J. K. Wolsefer

    I wish this petition had been given greater advertisement. Intentional? Anyway, The bike path on Verdugo may be nice for those few who cycle on it, but it’s a total pain for the residents who live near it. Traffic is continually backed up now. It sometimes takes three signal cycles to get through intersections on or crossing Verdugo. The bike path has only increased the traffic nightmare around Burroughs High School, especially during school events and use Verdugo Ave. to get there? Please remember, there are residents who live near this bike!!!!!

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