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: 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.