Letter to the Editor:
Community vs Corridor
Small businesses are part of the fabric of Burbank. These small businesses have survived in Burbank for so many years through hard work, sweat, and the desire to provide their service or trade to their neighbors. Olive Avenue is part of that fabric and an important part of our community.
Olive Avenue is at risk of being devastated.
Parking spaces that have been on Olive for years are to be taken away by Metro.
The county wants to take away the street parking in front of the businesses on Olive to create a permanent bus only lane or make Olive Ave one lane in each direction. The many small businesses along Olive survive off that parking and traffic flow. Many of the businesses and jobs they provide cannot exist without it.
The idea proposed for the bus lane is to get people from North Hollywood to Pasadena with “a faster and more reliable service”. Although connecting communities may be important, destroying part of a community for the sake of speed is wrong. Taking away someone’s lively-hood for the sake of speed is wrong. Tearing away the businesses that risked everything to open their storefronts to save a little travel time is wrong.
The idea that saving a few minutes in traffic, through the short stretch in Burbank, is worth the destruction of a neighborhood needs more thought.
We sometimes give too much concern to speed. In this case the need for speed will kill small businesses. We don’t want to stand in the way of progress but we need our concerns to be truly understood.
Even if a small business is opposed to the project, most people with a business can’t take the time away to object because they need to tend to their shop. The last thing a small business wants to do is speak up against a powerful regional agency. As our businesses become threatened… we must speak up.
Often small businesses can be seen as an obstacle and considered expendable. We are not expendable, we are the community. Our voices need to be heard.
There are other ways to make the bus service more reliable without the incremental erosion of our neighborhoods. Olive businesses and the jobs they provide deserve to be preserved.
Find a solution that keeps Olive Avenue a part of the Community instead of turning it into a Corridor.
Kevin Mc Carney