Letter to the Editor:
Thank you for the article focused on the challenges Burbank residents have had and continue to have regarding transportation in our city.
The reality that Burbank does not have a public transit system. We provide specific services for specific demographics, but we do not have a transportation system for our entire city. Keep in mind that a flourishing public-transit system is inseparable from an effective climate policy. Our zeal for and myopic focus on clearing up bottlenecks has just produced more traffic and has not addressed economic growth, expansion of housing, climate change and so many other factors.
Instead of measuring speed and traffic flow as a proxy for success, we should determine how a new, comprehensive and modern transit system would address our local economic and climate policy goals as well as the quality-of-life goals set out by City Council. Business communities around the country know that public transit is not only an economic boost but now a necessity and they have formed Chambers for Transit which pushes for Federal funding for public transit.
We need to ask – how do people who live in Burbank connect with transportation – how do they use transportation to connect with Burbank’s services. Our current and severely limited transit system ignores the needs of the majority of residents. There is only talk of implementing a new but limited form of public transportation in the form of a trolley going up and down Magnolia and, again, this is not a solution for the majority of Burbank.
The point of transportation is to get people where they need to go. Let’s get the Federal funds now available from the American Rescue Plan Act ($30.5 billion that this Act devotes to public-transit agencies and specifically $26 billion which will be handed out to urbanized areas through formula grants). We can then determine a transit system that connects our residents to not only jobs but services and businesses all over Burbank. Tell City Council to prioritize public transit projects that will improve for all of us our ability to easily travel throughout Burbank, reach local services and ultimately create new jobs, economic opportunity, less traffic, a cleaner climate and an improved quality of life for everyone in Burbank.