Letter to the Editor:
Metro has been working on the NoHo to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit plan for years, and now cities like Burbank are being forced to make an impossible decision: hurt local Olive Avenue mom-and-pop businesses by taking away their only street parking or harm the community at-large by turning Olive Avenue into a narrow, traffic-jammed one-way corridor. Talk about a “Sophie’s choice!”
Whatever direction the agency goes, curb running (AKA parking removal) or side running (which translated into English means travel lane removal) will ruin Olive Avenue in the name of saving transit riders barely a minute of travel time through Burbank.
The impacts of curb running are predictable. Replacing parking lanes with dedicated bus lanes will kill small businesses and force drivers to park in adjacent single-family neighborhoods.
The impacts of side running are equally predictable. Replacing travel lanes with dedicated bus lanes will grind Olive Avenue to a virtual stand-still in an attempt to make way for a few buses an hour, while cramming thousands of cars into one lane. Has Metro studied the environmental impacts of thousands of cars stopped and idling in the road all day? The significant addition of greenhouse gas emissions polluting Burbank on a daily basis?
As a resident living in the immediate neighborhood, I say “no thank you.” Metro should go back to the drawing board and devise a sensible, sensitive solution.
That’s why I choose option 3, “mixed-flow.” Mixed-flow is not currently among the offerings on Metro’s menu, but it should be as it is the clear preferred choice of Burbank’s staff, elected City Council, and our community. Mixed-flow says, “keep the buses coming,” and will allow Metro to achieve their goals for “NoHo to Pasadena BRT” without the unwanted and unwarranted impacts.