City Council to Hold Hearing on Rancho Providencia Neighborhood Protection Plan

Raising Canes has caused neighborhood problems (Photo by© Ross A Benson)

Burbank’s City Council will hold a public hearing on December 5 to help solve some of the problems faced by the traffic and parking problems raised by Raising Canes at Olive and Orchard.

The Rancho Providencia Neighborhood Protection Plan (NPP) was implemented in 1998 to reduce cut-through traffic in a Burbank neighborhood. It includes street improvements in the area around Buena Vista Street, Olive Avenue, Victory Boulevard, Main Street, and Alameda Avenue. This region contains about 800 homes, schools, and businesses. Initial improvements were completed in 2001, but changes in nearby commercial activities and traffic conditions prompted an update to the NPP.

In 2021, the City Council initiated an update to the NPP due to concerns over increased traffic from the new Raising Cane’s drive-through restaurant. The Burbank2035 General Plan recommends NPPs to manage traffic and protect neighborhoods. The NPP aims to shield residential areas from cut-through traffic, which uses local streets to bypass the neighborhood.

Throughout the update process, several temporary traffic measures were implemented, including a road closure, speed humps, and permit parking changes. Staff regularly reported back to the Council on these measures’ effectiveness. Public notices and community meetings were held for resident input and during the Environmental Review phase.

The Rancho Providencia Neighborhood Protection Plan update offers several recommendations based on data analysis and observations:

  1. Maintain Speed Humps on South Reese Place: The speed humps have successfully reduced average speeds to below the posted limit at no additional cost.
  2. Maintain Permit Parking Program on South Reese Place and South Orchard Drive: This measure has reduced parking by non-residents and improved parking availability for residents and local businesses. The Burbank Police Department will enhance permit checks and parking enforcement.
  3. Maintain the South Orchard Drive Temporary Closure for One Additional Year: This closure effectively manages the Raising Cane’s drive-through line from entering the residential area. Its continuation will allow for further observation of traffic patterns, especially with new Raising Cane’s locations opening nearby.
  4. Recommend Additional Locations for Speed Humps: Speed humps have been effective in controlling speeds, and fifteen street segments in the neighborhood are proposed to be eligible for speed hump installation without further engineering studies. Concerns about emergency vehicle response times and vehicle maintenance costs are addressed with the suggestion of using slotted speed humps or speed cushions.
  5. No Additional Street Closures Recommended: The current closure on South Orchard Drive is sufficient for now. Further closures are not advised as the traffic volumes on other streets do not justify additional closures.

Staff believes the cost to install the speed humps to be around $90,000 if residents in the affected areas all apply for them.

The plan also involves a strategy for implementing these measures, including budget allocations and consideration of balancing emergency response requirements with traffic calming goals.

In conclusion, staff recommend that the City Council approve the updated Rancho Providencia Neighborhood Protection Plan (NPP) and its recommendations. The measures implemented in September 2022, including speed humps and parking controls, have proven effective. It is proposed to maintain these measures and extend the South Orchard Drive temporary closure for an additional year to assess its future permanence.

The effectiveness of speed humps in reducing neighborhood speeding is a key finding, and expanding the petition process for speed humps to more streets is suggested to further address speeding issues. The recommendation against additional street closures is based on the sufficient role of the South Orchard Drive closure in preventing vehicle queueing into residential areas, rendering further closures unnecessary.

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