In Burbank, a Road Diet Appears on Verdugo Avenue
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.