Tag Archives: Bicycles

Burbank Bike Angels Celebrate 10 Years of Restoring Bikes

On Tuesday, December 18, the Burbank Bike Angels celebrated their tenth Christmas, displaying restored bikes on the steps of Burbank City Hall, located at 275 E. Olive Ave. 

(Photo By Timothy Malby)

Every year, the Bike Angels volunteer their time to restore used bicycles to provide for kids who come from less fortunate households.

The program has expanded over the years, supplying over 200 bikes every holiday season through various local non-profits, such as the Salvation Army, Family Service Agency, the Boys and Girls Club, and Penny Lane. Partnering with the Burbank Police Officers Association has provided new bike helmets, encouraging safety throughout the community. With the help of the Fire Department, bikes are transported around town.

Elaine Pease, Director of the Burbank Bike Angels, recounted the story of when she started the program a decade ago. Originally, the program only restored a few bikes at a time.

(Photo By Timothy Malby)

“Ten years ago, around Christmastime, there were a few tags left on the Salvation Army Christmas tree and they were for bikes. It happened to be at a time when the economy was very bad, and I thought these poor kids will never get bikes,” said Pease.

“I knew some people who could fix bikes, if I could get used ones we could fix them up and make them look nice. The idea just took off, and every year we got requests for more and more.”

Several volunteers were in attendance as City Council members voiced their appreciation for the selfless work of those involved with the program.

“About 8 years ago, the Bike Angels sent out a flyer to my middle school and I thought it might be fun,” said Alexander deCruz, a volunteer. “I started showing up, and learned how to clean bikes and repair them. I’ve met so many great people. I’ve been coming back ever since.”

(Photo By Timothy Malby)

Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy, who has been in City Council since the Bike Angels began, is grateful such a group exists in the community.

“It is one of those events that bring a lot of our community together in support of kids who otherwise don’t have any opportunity to get a bicycle,” said Mayor Gabel-Luddy.

“If there’s one thing I can say about Burbank, it’s that when folks hold together, that is the reward to everyone who lives here, that brings a smile to a child’s face.”

Throughout their 10 years, the Bike Angels have restored more than 1,700 bicycles.

On Friday, December 21, the Bike Angels will be at the Burbank Salvation Army from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. to give away the refurbished bikes.

The non-profit group is always accepting new volunteers to help clean formerly owned bikes and pump tires. More information can be found at the Bike Angels’ Facebook page.

Council to Look at Burbank Channel Bikeway Project

A few months after the city proclaimed May to be Walk Bike Month, the city council will take up the issue of extending a dedicated, off street bike path that proponents say is vital to offering residents and those in the surrounding county more opportunities for getting out of their cars.

Chandler Bike Path

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

On Thursday, the city council could determine the route for phase two of the Burbank Channel Bikeway. Phase one was completed in 2011, and extends from Alameda Avenue to Victory Boulevard. Phase two of the project would extend the bikeway from Alameda to the Downtown Burbank Metrolink Station, itself an important regional connection.

“One of the things this project is doing is helping to implement the bicycle master plan for the city, and implementing a local and regional bike and pedestrian path network,” said Ross Young, real estate and project manager in the Community Development Department who is spearheading the project.

“It is a critical link in a regional bike network,” Young said. “In the future, it could connect the west valley with Downtown Los Angeles if these small critical gaps could be built.”

The Channel Bikeway will end at the Downtown Burbank Metrolink Station, the second busiest Metrolink Station in the five county, Southern California region, Young said. Union Station in Los Angeles is the busiest.

Phase two of the bikeway is .79 miles long, phase one is 1/4 mile and runs along the Burbank-Western Flood Control Channel, a tributary of the L.A. River. The Channel bikeway is considered a Class 1 bike path since it is a dedicated, off street bike path. Bike lanes are considered Class 2 and Class 3 are shared lanes with vehicles, Young said.

“From a regional standpoint, we see this path as a convergence of two regional paths, the Chandler Bike Path (also called the Orange Line Bike Path because as you get further west into the valley, it veers off Chandler and follows the Orange Line) and the L.A. River Bike Path,” Young said.

The L.A. River path eventually takes pedestrians and cyclists to the ocean, and along the route, there are a lot of small gaps, Young said. If, over time, they could be completed, one could literally go from Seal Beach to the West Valley.

Two of those small gaps are in Burbank, one is in Glendale and the other is a gap near the 110 and 5 freeways, along the L.A. River path, Young said.

One of the two Burbank gaps is Phase II of the Channel Bikeway; the other gap in Burbank is the connection to extend Chandler Bikeway to the Downtown Burbank Metrolink Station.

Chandler Bike Path

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Young said the city just received grant funding for Chandler.

“The Chandler Bikeway Extension Project is a new bicycle project that was funded through the 2013 Metro Call For Projects grant program,” Young said in an email. “This $3.3 million project would extend the Chandler Bikeway from its current eastern terminus at Chandler Boulevard and Mariposa Street to the future San Fernando Bikeway, located along the west side of the Burbank Western Channel. At the channel, the bikeway will extend to the Downtown Burbank Metrolink Station and connect to the proposed Burbank Channel Bikeway project. Once the City receives funding from Metro in the Fall of 2018, it is anticipated that it will take four years to design and construct the [Chandler] bikeway.”

As for the price tag of the Channel Bikeway, a $2.7 million Metro grant will cover a portion of the $4.4 million cost, Young said. About $982,000 will be paid for by a grant administered by the California Natural Resources Agency. The Metro grant requires a 20% match, and the city will put $680,000 from development impact fees toward the project. The development fees are paid by those who develop in the city, and are to be used to offset any impacts on transportation, Young said.

The city council will examine five possible routes, although Young said two seem feasible.

Proposed Burbank Channel Bikeway Project (Phase 2) Concept Route (Courtesy City of Burbank)

Proposed Burbank Channel Bikeway Project (Phase 2) Concept Route (Courtesy City of Burbank)

City staff walked the neighborhood on four separate Saturdays, gathering feedback, Young said. The majority of people are supportive but there are some concerns from neighboring property owners about the proximity of the path to their property. If the project is approved, city staff will work with those neighbors to address any concerns, Young added.

If the council selects a path at Thursday evening’s meeting, construction would start in summer 2016, and could be completed in approximately eight months.

More information is available at: http://burbankca.gov/departments/city-clerk-s-office/meeting-agendas-minutes

Burbank Bike Angels Make Santa Proud With Dedication and Giving

By Ross A. Benson
BurbankNBeyond

This year’s Christmas will be a bit brighter for several hundred kids who will be recipients of refurbished and even some bicycles in new condition. Burbank Bike Angels have been working for months repairing, polishing, painting and perfecting bicycles.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The last several weeks’ dozens of volunteers have acted as Santa’s helpers in a small building across from Fire Station 11 (main Headquarters). Some of those volunteers are city employees; some are students from local’s high schools getting needed learning service hours before the end of the year.

Volunteers work to outfit the bikes with new tires, new brakes, new gear cables and plenty of elbow grease which have made the nearly 200 bikes in showroom condition.

The first three years of the program The Bike Angels donated a total of 225 bikes to the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program. This year alone close to 200 bikes have been fixed, shined and tagged for boys and girls of all ages and sizes.  They will be distributed to The Salvation Army, The Family Service Agency, Burbank Temporary Aid, and The Boys & Girls Club as well as an area church.

Those wishing to support next year’s program by donating used bicycles, money or their time to repair bikes can contact the Burbank Recycle Center at 818-238-3900

Several of the volunteers and city employees joined Burbank’s Mayor Dave Golonski and other City Council members on the front steps of City Hall for a brief ‘Press Conference’ to show off the bikes and answer questions from local media.

Photo Gallery by Ross A. Benson

Bike Angels Makes Christmas for Burbank Kids Heavenly

Burbank’s Bike Angels gathered this week to deliver 146 bikes they had fixed, shinned and prepared for delivery this Christmas.

Elaine Pease program founder and Lt. Kari Rudd from The Salvation Army during media event (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Bike Angels consist of city employees, retired and current, and several other volunteers from all over the city.  A couple of years ago Elaine Pease, a City of Burbank Employee in the Code Enforcement Division, came up with the idea to fix and repair old bikes and donate them to the Salvation Army to be given out to kids that would not normally get a bike because of costs.

This year’s bikes came in from everywhere.  A couple were from the police evidence locker and not claimed some were just donated from Burbank residents, with a couple even donated by construction workers who are

The collection of over 125 bikes to be given away as Christmas Gifts (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

completing the renovations at the Police and Fire Headquarters. The Burbank Police Officers Association donated helmets and locks to be given away and the Burbank Firefighters Association donated funds for the needed parts for each bike.

The Bike Angels gathered nightly, sometimes before and after their normal work shifts, they shinned, polished and made whatever repairs were needed.  They completed their task of being Angels to 146 kids who will sometimes receive a bike for the first time. This year, Lochkeed Federal Credit Union has become a corporate sponsor and donated a $1,000 for parts and needed supplies and tools.

The bikes were all transported to the Salvation Army for distribution this Thursday when Santa arrives with other goodies.

 

 

 

Burbank Bike Angels get Corporate Sponsor Lochkeed Federal Credit Union (Photo by Ross A. Benson)