Chandler Bike Path Coming Up on 20th Anniversary in August

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Aug. 20, 2024, will mark the 20th anniversary of the grand opening of the Chandler Bike Path, which is what many locals have long referred to as “one of Burbank’s crown jewels.” It opened the way for the beautifully designed and maintained strip of automobile-free open space where cyclists can peddle alongside people out for a pleasant walk or to push baby strollers. There is plenty of time, therefore, for the city to plan a 20th anniversary like the joyous celebration Burbank had on the 10th anniversary of the bike path in 2014.

Plaque on California St. designating the Aug. 20, 2004 opening of the Chandler Bike Path

While there was some neighborhood opposition at first that tried to derail it, Burbank’s plan was to construct the 2.9-mile long bike path that was planned to run from Mariposa St. to Lankershim Blvd., where the North Hollywood Metro Station is located. In October 1999, the City Council authorized the bikeway’s final design, but approvals were held until the city could respond to neighbors’ complaints. It would be another year before the MTA approved the city’s design and another two years of paperwork before the city could start construction.

In January 2003, city officials pried four stakes from the old railroad tracks to begin work, and in May 2004, the city held a tree-planting ceremony along the path, which was still under construction. The Luther Burbank Middle School cheerleaders and a local doo-wop group joined city officials on Aug. 20, 2004, to herald the official opening of the bike path to anyone who wanted to use it.

Ironically, nearby neighbors found out upon its completion that their property values had increased greatly with their close by access to the bike path which they had so angrily opposed and ever since then when they put their homes up for sale they’ll always include “close to the Chandler Bike Path” as a big selling point.

This unique bike path running through the heart of Burbank is part of what makes the community such a pleasant place for its residents. There is still a short stretch of the old abandoned railroad tracks running east from Mariposa St. to Victory Blvd. to remind Burbank of how unsightly the beautiful bike path of today was before 2004.