Letter to the Editor: Olive Ave. Property Owner Says Metro’s Bus Project Does More Harm Than Good


Letter to the Editor:

As someone who owns properties on Olive Avenue and lives just around the corner in a house that I have been proud to own for 45 years now, I think it’s clear that I have a strong vested interest in our city, its businesses, and its residents.

Because of those strong ties to Burbank and my abiding interest in its future, I am strongly opposed to Metro’s proposed NoHo-to-Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project that would add dedicated bus lanes on Olive Avenue.

The reasons for my opposition seem like they should be obvious, but listening to Metro staff tell it, they appear oblivious as to how much harm this ill-considered plan will actually inflict on Burbank. So allow me to educate you, Metro…

The commercial stretch of Olive Ave. from Buena Vista to Victory (and really beyond that) is emblematic of Burbank, our history, and way of life. Small businesses, one after the other.  Copy shops, cafés, beauty salons, dental offices, music and dance studios, talent agencies, insurance agents, comic book stores, senior apartments, George Izay Park, and many others call Olive Ave home. This wide diversity and care for our local establishments is what makes Burbank so special, not to mention it’s what makes us stand out from the surrounding hustle and bustle of the greater Los Angeles region.

Removing all street parking on Olive to make room for dedicated bus lanes would be hurting the very people you are proposing to help because it eliminates the closest available parking spaces for our customers and employees. This does not help our businesses in any shape or fashion. It only hurts us.

As a homeowner who lives right off Olive, I’m horrified at the idea that our idyllic streets will become crowded on a daily basis with visitors coming and going in front of our homes in search of parking. The net result will be an increase in cars on the neighboring residential side streets. 

Burbank should benefit from Metro’s BRT plan.  But in reality, what is proposed does far more harm than good.

Harlan Steele
Burbank resident and Olive Ave property owner

    Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center


    1. Harlan,

      What most people do not realize is that both BurbankBus and Metro buses in the city are almost always running empty.

      I have many videos to prove it. Here is just one of many: https://youtu.be/0Ed9RQMvZiY

      Before we tear up our streets to accommodate the “green” folks and advocates for low-income groups, let’s be sure to actually run some use figures on how many people ride the buses in our area. Even prior to COVID BurbankBus and Metro buses in Burbank ran empty. That is not true of LA, but Burbank is not LA.

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