Last night, I and my partners on the Transportation subcommittee of the Burbank Sustainability Task Force achieved our first two “victories”:
1. Helping to revise, update, and push through the City’s Bicycle Master Plan, and
2. Pushing through a resolution for the City of Burbank to restripe a healthy section of one of its main community arterials. Now, instead of a “two lane on each side with no turning lanes” highway cutting through a residential neighborhood (past a variety of single family homes, a high school, a public library, a daycare center, and other community landmarks), we will have one lane on each side, with an additional center turn “refuge” lane, and extra wide bike lanes on each side! I am thrilled. We even managed to add some automotive parking spaces!
It was not easy, though. Burbank is a city run under a laboriously democratic principle of governance, whereby even the simplest of decisions must undergo pre-qualification via a multitude of resident feedback open forums, council meetings, staff reports and surveys, and more.
Last night’s council meeting showed clearly the care taken over each aspect of the proposal:
1:45:00 – ADOPTION OF THE 2009 UPDATE OF THE CITY OF BURBANK BICYCLE MASTER PLAN
3:20:45 – RECONFIGURATION OF ROADWAY STRIPING ON VERDUGO AVENUE
4:37:00 – Staff Report on RECONFIGURATION OF ROADWAY STRIPING ON VERDUGO AVENUE
Burbank is like many small cities in the US, however, still somewhat stuck in a nearly 50-year old mindset: subservient to the automotive culture that was born and grew swiftly in the post-war years of the 20th Century. Helping to transform these municipalities into dynamic 21st Century communities is going to be a tough challenge, but well worth it!
I am inspired by the work done on a municipal level by the likes of Janette Sadik-Khan, Commissioner of NYC Dept. of Transportation. I am further inspired by people such as MIT grad student Christine Outram, inventor of the Copenhagen Wheel:
Here below is an interview with Christine, during the Climate Summit: