Some Good News from Tuesday: Verdugo Avenue Bike Lane and Road Diet Lives (For Now)

The new Verdugo.  Photo: ##http://lacbc.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/verdugoafter2.jpg##LACBC Blog##
The new Verdugo. Photo: ##http://lacbc.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/verdugoafter2.jpg##LACBC Blog##

Last week, Streetsblog warned that car drivers who use Verdugo Avenue were organizing a petition to fight the Avenue’s Road Diet.  However, when the City Council gathered to decide whether or not to continue the diet, the opposition to the traffic calmed street was in the minority in the room and on the dais.  Instead of a packed room of car drivers presenting their petition, it was dozen of community and bicycle activists presenting 450 signatures in support of the diet that ruled the evening Tuesday night.

As a result, the Burbank City Council directed their planning department to keep three lane configuration of Verdugo Avenue in plan for another six months.  During that time the city will continue collecting the data and analyzing the operations of the corridor.

When the Council originally voted to create the diet, they set aside money to return to the old four lane configuration should the diet prove unsuccessful.  On Tuesday, they spent that money towards additional intersection improvements along the corridor to fix some of the  problems at intersections we outlined last week.

After the next six months, the Council will vote, presumably for the final time, on whether to keep the configuration permanently.  The politics look good as two of the five Council Members, including the Mayor, were ready to make it permanent now.  Another two thought it was working, but weren’t 100% ready to commit permanently.  Another good sign?  Staff was also been directed to pursue other funding for expansion of the bike lanes and further pedestrian improvements throughout the city.

Public comments and Council Discussion can be heard on the city’s official website.

7 thoughts on Some Good News from Tuesday: Verdugo Avenue Bike Lane and Road Diet Lives (For Now)

  1. Thanks to everyone who covered this [;-)], showed up and spoke in support. It is a measure of how much work is required to bring about change. None of these kinds of changes are a “walk in the park,” and it took the presence of committed and passionate folks to keep Verdugo on its diet.

  2. Great! I’m forty-three years old, born and raised in Burbank, CA. I’ve been driving since I was eighteen. And the last six months I’ve been commuting on bike to forgo wasted gym memberships and now with my new perspective I can honestly say that cars are what are ruining our communities and creating urban blight. Take them off the road and you will unearth a whole new community full of great hops and clean air.

  3. As a parent who uses the bike lanes on Verdugo with children since they were painted, and a resident, I am relieved to hear the current traffic & bike lane configuration will continue. Hopefully, the current state will be the permanent state. I see bike riders all the time using the lanes, and I think residents in the area are starting to take advantage of the bike lanes & that usage will grow. I never would have known there was a risk of these bike lanes going away except for a vigilant family friend. But we are aware now, and will speak up to ensure the protection of these bike lanes. We are making our neighbors aware of this situation as well – everyone who lives along Verdugo that I have spoken with has nothing but positive remarks about the change of the street lanes and the addition of bike lanes and turning lanes.

  4. Everyday I am more and more impressed by the residents of Burbank and the community they are creating. The passion that so many have shown for this project makes me hopeful. I am not just talking about the folks that supported the project. Petitions were gathered on both sides, letters written to local newpapers, heartfelt speeches at meetings, and emails to staff and council. Burbank cares about its community. This project was imagined by the community, planned by the community, and implemented by the community. Whether you supported this project or not Burbank was activated. And an activated community will always turn out better in the end. It is a pleasure to work for the city. My thanks go out.

    If you live, work, or simply pass through Burbank I cannot urge you enough to go to burbanktownhall.com. We are building a new vision and plan for the city. We need your help!

  5. Please note that the Burbank City Council is in the process of reviewing the Verdugo Avenue configuration, with a view to possibly eliminating the bike lanes! One member of the City Council believes that Complete Streets and bike lane projects are a UN conspiracy to control Americans (!), and that individual is hellbent on combating any initiatives to support bicycles and pedestrians in urban zones. This sounds ridiculous, but is a sad reality. The struggle to enlighten Burbank continues, and needs your support, now, in 2013!

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