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Burbank sidewalk controversy revisted: A supporting view

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Luther Burbank student walking on North Screenland Drive in Burbank winter 2011

Photo: FLLewis/Media City G — Luther Burbank student walking on North Screenland Drive in Burbank winter 2011

The issue of sidewalks on North Screenland Drive has blown up into a huge controversy since the first vote on the matter by the Burbank City Council back in December of 2010. At that time, by a three-to-two vote, the council supported the majority of the residents who do not want sidewalks on their street. However, Councilman, Gary Bric, changed his mind, had the issue brought back to council, and eventually voted against the residents and for installing sidewalks on a street that flows right into Luther Burbank Middle School, at 3700 Jeffries Avenue in Burbank.

The Burbank City Council is set to take up the issue again this Tuesday and many hope it will be finally settled.

Janet Diel is a community activist and occasional guest blogger on this site. Here’s a re-posting of her opinion piece from February 13, 2011 on the sidewalks issue.

Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Community activist Janet Diel at the Burbank City Council reorganization meeting May 1, 2013

Photo: FLLewis/Media City G — Community activist Janet Diel at the Burbank City Council reorganization meeting May 1, 2013

My name is Janet Diel. As a 31 year Burbank resident, long time member of the Advisory Council on Disabilities and Chair for the Barriers Sub-Committee, I felt it imperative to present my views regarding the lack of sidewalks on 1800-1900 Screenland.

For Seniors and Disabled members of our community sidewalks would allow street access to those with walkers, canes, wheelchairs and motorized scooters. It is discrimination to have them “move to the next street” to travel up the block.

Having sidewalks would allow access for families with small children using strollers, wheel toys and shopping carts and safety for dog walkers.

Pedestrians most impacted are Luther students currently walking on landscaped /uneven grassy yards (dangerous/slippery in wet weather) or worse, in the street where they could be hurt by vehicles speeding down Screenland. Four of my children attended Luther. We experienced “no sidewalk” dangers firsthand.

Burbank has been a leader in promoting accessibility and we want a community that is totally accessible for all citizens, not only minimally ADA compliant but “real world user friendly”. This is only one of many streets that need to be transformed, but it is a high priority due to the student population nearby.

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