Burbank City Council Candidates
Walk Bike Burbank would like to thank each of the candidates who responded to our questions. We asked each of the candidates these three questions. Their responses follow in the order we received them. Please take a few moments to read through each of their answers.
Bike sales have jumped during the pandemic. We can see increased bike riders in our neighborhoods during the safer at home orders. How would you help people continue to ride bikes safely?
What is your opinion on the proposed Metro BRT line from Pasadena to North Hollywood?
Yes, I support the “Complete Our Streets” project that our city council recently approved, and the bold objectives within it. As the current Chair of the Transportation Commission, I was proud to help shape this legislation.
For decades, Burbank has prioritized driving above all other modes of transportation. This strategy has left us with congestion and traffic every morning and evening, with very few walkable areas around town. The city has ignored active commuters and mobility for the disabled, and Burbank has failed to connect its transit hubs and bike paths.
Safety, not speed, should be our guiding principle when we design roadways. A city becomes more welcoming and its residents happier when walking and biking are given the same consideration as driving. And, I am strongly in favor of protecting our horse trails and keeping them separate from bike paths, which is safer for both users.
Our city needs to build on the success of the Chandler Bikeway and the walkability of downtown. I will prioritize connecting all city bike paths into one seamless system. I want to see buses running every 15 minutes every day, including weekends, and every 10 minutes during commute hours. We must also invest in quiet zones at the handful of remaining rail crossings that don’t have them, to end train horns’ significant disruption of our neighbors’ daily lives.
Our 2009 Burbank Bicycle Master Plan clearly states that “what is good for the bicycling public is good for the community as a whole.” However, its goal for trips made by bicycle by 2035 is a mere 5%. We can and must do better.
In April 2018, I attended the “ghost bike” ceremony for Lenny Trinh, a Burbank postal worker who was killed while riding his bike within the painted bike lane on Alameda Avenue. The driver of a parked car opened their door, striking Lenny and causing him to be ejected into the street and fatally hit by a passing truck. Had the bicycle lane been on the inside of the parking lane, Lenny would have landed onto the grassy parkway, safely out of harm’s way.
For the safety of our pedestrians and bicyclists, we need more than paint. We need wider sidewalks, physically separated and protected bike lanes, and a prioritization of safety over speed for all congested intersections. We can reduce our roadway casualties to zero with a strong transportation policy based on proven strategies.
The new NoHo-to-Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is going to fill a dire need for transit along our east-west corridor. So many of our residents in Burbank are forced to drive to their favorite places because our city, and Metro as a whole, has not invested in fast, long-distance bus or light rail through our busiest neighborhoods. For the last three years, my work on the Transportation Commission has included fighting for these expanded transit programs in the very rooms where Metro is making these decisions. I have debated with all manner of transportation authorities and board members to push for programs like this BRT and an extension of the Red Line to include a stop under the Burbank Airport.
When the NoHo-to-Pasadena BRT rolls out, I will advocate for a dedicated bus lane during commute hours to maximize efficiency. Decades of data from urban planners show that this will reduce congestion, since fewer cars are needed to move the same number of people.
In addition, I would like the upcoming Magnolia Park Circulator to be free of charge to users and for each student, senior, and PASS Program participant to have a free pass for all city buses. This will increase ridership in the economic centers of our city and open transportation opportunities to residents with the least access to a car. I will also work with the LA Metro Board to eliminate duplication of service and demand a portion of their federal and state Transit Operations Funding, of which we currently receive none.
Residents have no way to travel quickly and conveniently around the city. For Burbank to be considered a “World Class City”, a modern, efficient, accessible and reasonably-priced transportation system is a priority. The Burbank Citywide Complete Streets plan is silent on this necessity. The topic of public transportation has never been addressed and acted upon in a constructive way by City Council. The prevalent thinking is that all Burbank needs is a bus system to shuttle commuters to Metro Rail and Metrolink. This is not what public transportation entails and shows a lack of vision, innovation and concern. While I strongly support the Complete Streets goals of pedestrian and bicyclist safety, one of the main ways we could ensure that safety is by reducing traffic by implementing a long needed public transportation system.
The Burbank Bicycle Master plan states “The plan’s goal is a broad statement of purpose that does not provide specific descriptions. Goal: Burbank is an urban environment that fosters bicycle travel as a healthy, environmentally sustainable transportation alternative that reduces traffic congestion and improves the character of the community.”
I agree with that goal and think that, as the plan was created in 2009, Burbank has taken only baby steps to achieving this goal.
There are several ways to keep bike riders safe: we need to enforce speed limits in our residential neighborhoods. This aspect of public safety should be a priority for BPD. We also need to educate drivers on how to keep bike riders safe. For example, many do not know it is now the law to provide a three-foot buffer between a car and a cyclist. Finally, education of bicyclists should be a priority as well. Easy access to learning about safety rules such as riding with traffic should be made available to all residents.
I think that the line is a good idea that is being poorly executed. The vast majority of Burbank residents will have to travel south to meet the line in Toluca Lake or on Olive Avenue. I discussed this fact with an MTA representative who told me the line is designed for people who live near each stop and was not meant for the community at large. This statement showed a lack of vision and planning, and is setting up the project to be underutilized and unsupportive of the goal of promoting more public transportation.
Yes. I do.. I am not happy with the goal of only 5% in the bicycle masterplan as a goal we can strive for much more.
Follow the directives of the bike plan in complete streets in everyway to make is safer and easier to get around and wherever possible separate the bikes (and walkers) from cars. With the new Burbank bridge we need more than a painted area we need a safe separation with a barrier and should add that to Magnolia bridge and both Alameda and Hollywood underpasses.
I am generally in favor of transportation that helps people be mobile. This plan looks like it will be able to have dedicated lanes for express buses which if there is room and it makes sense could move folks a lot more efficiently. Without a thorough study of the routes and plans I can't say I agree with it right now. Just like they want to run an express bus down Olive Ave which might make traffic much worse if it is a dedicated lane and also would be a disaster if they foolishly go ahead and have Verdugo merge with Olive near the Olive/Sparks intersection which I violently disagree with. I think they should make it more like a carpool lane when the buses aren't running and let cars use it the rest of the time like they do up north
Michael Lee Gogin
I have reviewed the shared Complete Street Plans and I have to say that I have found it to be very encouraging as it has been building up on the City Maps since 2009. I do agree with the goals especially in the Burbank Bicycle Master Plan. At one time, I became a sponsor of a Champion BIKE Team out of the Yorba Linda area of Orange County. I would imagine there must be a competitive group here besides the street connection to ride the bikes. And I look forward to this group growing in population. I support it!
I know that this Pandemic crisis that we're going through should be and MUST be (With a hopeful TONE), coming to an end soon. The social distance must be applied here as well, I'm guessing. The use of some form of face cover while riding. And without a doubt, there must be some safety rules in place with protective gear while riding. If all of this is in place, with monthly or even quarterly "Safe Riding The Streets" classes for the young to adult ages would also encourage safety in the Burbank Community efforts using a complete volunteer program.
This proposed route is exciting and hopefully will be safe for all. I cannot give an opinion on this at the moment however, it is a proposal that I will support as eventually will give the Bike Rider the opportunity to travel beyond the city lines / limits exploring our beautiful Southern California neighboring cities.
As more residents are turning to bikes as a mode of transportation, it has become increasingly important that Burbank create safer streets for cyclists. I agree with the goals of the Complete the Streets Plan and those in the Burbank Master Plan. I believe the next step is education and encouragement. As a community, we must educate ourselves and each other on safety and sharing the road. Burbank is heavily dependent on vehicles, so we must remind drivers of the importance of using caution. With both plans being implemented, I hope residents will be encouraged to turn to biking as a mode of transportation.
If elected, I would continue to be an advocate for the Complete the Streets Plan. As the project progresses, I hope to see efforts towards connecting and widening our bike paths. The plan focuses heavily on connectivity, which is incredibly important, but I would like to study the need for more bike lanes in our streets. In turn, I would like to work with the city to create more bike lanes wherever necessary. Furthermore, I'd like to work both with residents and the committees spearheading the plan to ensure that cyclists' priorities are put first through all the stages of the project.
As of now, I support the addition of this Metro line. The environmental impact report has not revealed severely negative consequences, and I believe the addition of this line will actually lead to reduced traffic and pollution. The proposed stops in Burbank are all in high traffic areas, and I would like to poll the residents in those areas on their potential use of the Metro before forming a final opinion. We can only see the positive effects of this proposal if we encourage residents to use public transportation and make it a convenient option. I believe this proposal is an attempt at expanding accessibility and convenience.
Yes. If elected to Burbank City Council, I would invest in transportation and mobility projects in accordance with the City of Burbank’s “Complete Our Streets” plan, as well as the Burbank Bicycle Master Plan. I envision a community where our residents are able to safely and conveniently walk or bike across town with protected walk/bike paths and other crucial measures to ensure pedestrian and bicyclist safety.
There are ample projects that I would like to see undertaken in the coming years. For example, I would support and advocate for the extension of the Chandler Bike Path through the City of Glendale so that it connects to downtown Los Angeles.
Making these investments will boost our local economy by making Burbank the preferred destination to travel through the Los Angeles area. This will, in turn, provide a huge benefit to our local businesses. Making this investment now, at a crucial time when our local economy is suffering, will allow us to build a future version of Burbank that is accessible through alternative modes of transportation: walking, bicycling, bus, and rail.
As our population inevitably expands, each day that we waste to make this investment will have increased hardship on our residents, business owners, and visitors.
As Burbank continues to grow in terms of housing and job opportunities, we will need a significant investment to ensure that our transportation infrastructure is equipped to handle the growth. We need to further invest in mass transit options, protected bike lanes, and improved walkability to reduce traffic congestion create real opportunities to get around Burbank without reliance on cars. We also need to improve transit options that connect Burbank to the rest of the region. As your elected representative I would work to:
Adopt a Vision Zero plan to eliminate pedestrian and cyclist fatalities.
Expanding the Chandler Bike Path so that it connects to the City of Los Angeles.
Fund projects that will improve mobility for pedestrians, bicyclists, and non-motorists so that it is both safe and convenient to walk and bike throughout the City of Burbank.
I support the proposed Metro BRT line. I think it is crucial that we have connective bus service between the San Fernando Valley and the San Gabriel Valley. There are several noteworthy aspects of the proposed project, including dedicated bus lanes, which I anticipate will create a seamless public transit experience for riders travelling from Burbank to North Hollywood, Glendale, Eagle Rock and Pasadena.
One of Burbank’s most charming qualities is that it feels like a “little town in the big city.” Our city has over 100,000 residents. But we have many daily visitors who work at our studios and service industry businesses. We are a tourist hub with thousands of daily visitors passing through the Bob Hope Airport. All of this means increased traffic and congestion. The solution to this problem is an increased investment in our transportation infrastructure. In addition to the proposed Metro BRT line, I would also support the following projects as well:
Expanding Burbank Bus service area and frequency.
Bringing the Los Angeles Metro Rail to Burbank so that we are better connected with the City of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley.
Prioritizing road repair projects and investing in timed traffic lights to prevent traffic accidents.
Ensuring that the proposed Burbank station for the High-Speed Rail project offers seamless transfers to and from Bob Hope Airport.
I wholeheartedly support the Complete Streets Plan that was submitted to the city. Especially now during COVID and beyond, it’s essential that our city be accessible and safe for every mode of travel - pedestrians, bikes, motorized wheelchairs, cars, and public transportation. And in the Rancho, it’s important that horses are incorporated into this plan in a way that is safe and accessible for everyone.
Our three adult/teen children do not own cars and do not drive. They use their bikes as their primary means of travel. Recently, my daughter was hit on her bike, near her high school. While traveling by bike around Burbank is possible, there are a number of areas in our city where biking is not feasible or safe, and it’s important that we update that. Our kids, young adults, and all levels of bike riders should be able to get to different areas of town safely. If our teens and new bikers can get around safely, everyone can.
In particular, crossing the I-5 freeway over the bridges is dangerous for bikes and pedestrians. Also, traveling to the airport area (Golden State) from the south part of the city on Hollywood Way is difficult and often unsafe.
Some of the intersections are also not bike or pedestrian friendly. I support innovative ideas such as the Dutch roundabout, to incorporate all modes of travel in an environmentally friendly way. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FR5l48_h5Eo
I also support widening the Chandler Bike Path for bikes and pedestrians to be separated, and to add green space to the area.
The Complete Streets Plan and the Bicycle Master Plan will help us create a more safe and accessible city for all. I also appreciate that it’s a flexible plan, ready for updates as technology and community needs evolve in the future.
In addition to the Complete Streets Plan mentioned above, which will take time to implement improvements, one of the best ways to improve safety is education.
At the recent BTMO (Burbank Transportation Management Organization) community meeting on Bike to Work/School Day, there were several workshops provided on bike care and safety. These would be excellent workshops to provide on the city website as well as through our two high schools. Public service announcements and education for our drivers and pedestrians will also help keep bikers safe.
It is also possible to add more signage to areas where bikes are likely to be, reminding drivers to be alert to bicycle traffic. For example, around the high schools, alley ways with higher bicycle traffic (for example, California St.), and main residential arteries (for example, Kenneth).
I am in favor of the Metro BRT. I attended both local community meetings held at the Buena Vista Library to learn more about the project. While it will take some work to install it in a way that is appropriate for Burbank, I believe it is possible and will benefit our community. It will help reduce commuter traffic as it will be easier for commuters to travel to and through Burbank on public transportation. And it will allow our residents to travel to Glendale and Pasadena without having to drive. I am also hopeful it will make it easier for our young adults to travel to Glendale Community college.
The planned route for the BRT is down Olive Ave., which goes through the Sparks/Verdugo/Olive intersection. This intersection is due for an update to be safer for bikes and pedestrians, especially being that it’s near Burroughs High School. Bringing in the BRT is an opportunity to share resources with LA metro to improve this intersection in a way that is best for our community.
The Metro BRT is part of the larger Metro plan to connect the entire LA area on public transportation in the next decade or two. I support this plan, and intend to be engaged in the process as it develops, both as an advocate for my children who use public transportation, and as someone who would like to use her car less often, but finds it difficult to do so.
No response received.