Letter to the Editor: Eliminating Parking From Olive Ave. Will Hurt Businesses

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Letter to the Editor:

Hi. Allow me to say that I LOVE BURBANK! The City and the Community has welcomed me and made me “at home” for many, many years. It was this that inspired me to start and grow roots here with my dream for a community destination where people would be welcomed, listened to and inspired to live a healthy lifestyle. That inspiration led to my choosing Burbank as FunXional Fitness’ home.

FunXional Fitness, at the corner of Olive and Verdugo, will celebrate 11 years in business in Burbank this January. As its CEO, I am proud that the City which I chose to do business in models the community which I love to serve. Health and fitness is a big part of my life and PEOPLE are my passion. I always say that the key to sticking to fitness goals is feeling like YOU are a part of a community.

It’s with that sentiment that I am writing today in support of my community who all share great concern about Metro’s “Noho to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit” Plan.  My community is the many small businesses in Burbank who, like me, have struggled to stay afloat during the pandemic. Now, having seemingly made it out the other side, having to deal with ill-conceived public policy like this is not what we need. We don’t want you to remove our only street parking or our travel lanes to save a bus a miniscule amount of travel time. This does not help us—it hurts us.

I only recently learned about this proposal, and I immediately wondered how and why something so invasive has flown under the radar for so long. Metro has been working on this for years, and yet my neighbors and I have been wholly unaware of their plan up until this year, and just a few months away from a potential vote of approval.

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I can assure you a few scattered brochures and a poorly publicized meeting here and there over the span of several years is woefully insufficient community outreach on Metro’s part, but I also have to ask where has the City of Burbank been on this? Having watched the last few City Council meetings, I am just now hearing some meaningful discussion; and it appears that was only triggered by the outrage from a newly informed community. This just isn’t right!

I expect more of the people who represent this community.

No one from my community is against public transit. In fact, we welcome it. We encourage Metro to continue bringing buses through Burbank. Bring more if you like! But, there is simply no reason to destroy our community in the process.

I urge the City Council to protect its constituents from BAD policy like this. It has to be Mixed-Flow or NO-GO! 

Thank YOU… for listening.

Jessica Vitanza
CEO, FunXional Fitness
Burbank