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Letter to the Editor: Reader Shares Concerns Against Metro’s Proposed Bus Plan

Letter to the Editor:

I have been a resident of Burbank for 33 years and recently retired from BUSD after teaching for 25 years. I care deeply about this city, my neighbors, the local businesses, and I want what’s best for our town.

I am writing today to commend our Mayor and Councilmembers who continue to go on the record in opposition to Metro’s proposed NoHo to Pasadena BRT Plan as it’s currently proposed. It’s no easy task to stand up to a powerful agency like Metro especially when many millions of dollars are involved. However, there is no price tag high enough to negatively impact the quality of life for Burbank residents and business owners in exchange for such little benefit. The discussions coming out of City Hall and on the streets of Burbank are becoming a broken record. When the City Council, Planning and Transportation Staff, and community-at-large are all publicly saying it’s Mixed Flow or NO-GO, that’s called a consensus. Please don’t continue to tell us this is not an option when the mixed-flow has been and is for much of the planned route.

I watched Metro give a presentation about the BRT plan at the February 15 City Council meeting. Metro staff stated on multiple occasions that this plan was the “first of its kind,” and BRT had never been implemented on city streets in this manner before. Does that make Burbank Metro’s guinea pig? I witnessed Metro staff casually acknowledge Olive Avenue traffic will be diverted into the adjacent neighborhood as if that is some inconsequential detail. Finally, I heard Metro tout that the proposed dedicated bus lanes on Olive will benefit the environment. I’m not so sure… Metro has not analyzed the significant environmental impacts that will result from the increase in congestion and idle times caused by reducing Olive Avenue from two travel lanes down to one. Those increased exhaust emissions created by the increased congestion and idle times will far exceed the emissions savings created by the BRT. Let’s not confuse the facts. Being a “climate leader” is to select the solution with the overall lower carbon footprint, and that would be the Mixed-Flow option.

In closing, I say to the Burbank City Council, the community has your back on this issue. Stand firm when you feel pressure from the Metro Board. YOU have the ultimate power over our streets. Thank you for protecting our City! Barry Sarna Burbank

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