City Explains Reasoning Behind Recent Restriping of East Olive Avenue

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At a recent City Council meeting, many residents took the time to speak during oral communications about their dissatisfaction with the current restriping that has occurred on East Olive Ave. between Glenoaks and Sunset Canyon.

Many residents complained about the closeness of the single lane to parked vehicles for safety reasons.

Assistant Community Development Director for Transportation and Planning Doug Kriske spoke to the complaints after oral communications. (You can see his response in the video below).

myBurbank sent Kriske some questions to answer to inform readers of what was going on with the restriping and what it meant for the future.

myBurbank: What was the reason the City decided to restripe East Olive above Glenoaks?

David Kriske: The City took the opportunity to implement a striping change on Olive Avenue as part of the Citywide Residential Paving Project, which included repaving of several blocks of Olive above Glenoaks. The street paving required that the roadway striping be replaced, and this provided a good opportunity to reconfigure the street to operate in line with City policies, to enhance safety, and to address complaints.  It also provided an opportunity to implement the City’s Complete our Streets Plan adopted by the City Council in 2020. 

The purpose of the new striping is to reconfigure Olive to be more compatible with a residential neighborhood, to address speeding and crash concerns, to improve pedestrian mobility for those crossing Olive, and reduce potential conflicts at intersections.  The restriping also allowed the City to test a possible long term Citywide Complete our Streets Plan project that would construct a landscaped median in the middle of Olive to improve aesthetics and add potential stormwater capture. The project also reconfigured the roadway below Ninth Street to make the roadway striping consistent all the way from Glenoaks to Sunset Canyon.

myBurbank: When restriping, why were bicycle lanes not included on Olive?

David Kriske: We did consider a plan to reconfigure the street with a narrower median and adding dedicated bicycle lanes between the parked cars and the car lanes.  However, bicycle facilities are not identified for Olive in the Complete Streets Plan, and adding bicycle lanes on Olive would not connect to other bike facilities within Downtown Burbank.  The Complete Streets Plan actually identifies Orange Grove Avenue (the next street over) as a street for future buffered bicycle lanes to carry riders from the hill into Downtown Burbank and to further connect cyclists to bike lanes on Third Street and future protected bike lanes on First Street.

myBurbank: Why were the lanes lined so closely to parked cars?

The wide lanes on Olive were narrowed to help slow cars down.  While narrower than before, the lane width and the distance to parked cars is still comparable to most curb/parking lanes in Burbank and the lane widths are within federal, state, and local standards for city streets.  So people getting in and out of cars, or accessing trucks or loading, are using the same amount of space as along most other streets in the City. And like other streets where double parking occurs, other vehicles are able to move into the oncoming lane or a center turn lane to get around that obstruction.  In this case, cars on Olive are able to use the wide center turn lane to pass around stopped or double-parked vehicles, just like on other streets with center turn lanes.  

myBurbank: We have heard that the restriping was also a test for Phase 2 on Magnolia, which is planned for in a couple of years. Is this true, or is that not part of the thought process here?

David Kriske: The Olive Reconfiguration was meant as a test of a future project in the Complete Streets Plan to add a landscaped median to Olive Avenue.  There are two separate, unrelated projects in the Complete Streets Plan for Magnolia Boulevard in Magnolia Park.

myBurbank also made a video on the lane striping project which you can watch here: