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City Buzz: Peace returns to Magnolia Park after parking dispute resolved

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Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- One-hour parking sign in 3400 block of Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank October 11, 2014

Photo: FLLewis / Media City G — One hour parking sign in 3400 block of Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank October 11, 2014

Peace has returned to Magnolia Park after a bitter parking dispute rocked the trendy shopping and eating section of Burbank.  Last summer the parking problems along the north side of the 3400 block of Magnolia Boulevard blew-up into a major conflict. The majority of the merchants on the block complained their businesses were being hurt by the clients of coffee shop/cafe, Romancing the Bean, who were camping out for hours in the parking spaces in front of their stores. The solution they asked for — a change from two hours to one hour parking along their stretch of Magnolia Boulevard and tougher enforcement of parking limits by Burbank Police.

Photo: FLLewis / Media City G-- Romancing the Bean 3413 West Magnolia Boulevard Burbank August 7, 2014

Photo: FLLewis / Media City G– Romancing the Bean 3413 West Magnolia Boulevard Burbank August 7, 2014

Apparently the owner of the “Bean,” Kerry Krull, and some of her supporters, viewed the complaints as a personal attack and they fought back with ugly allegations, bullying, and threats. Well that was weeks ago before attempts by several individuals to broker a peace and the temporary installation of a one hour parking limit on the north side of the 3400 block of West Magnolia Boulevard took effect.  Last September, the Burbank Traffic Commission voted to give the one hour parking limit a 60-day trial.

In November, Bryce DeVincenzi, secretary of the Magnolia Park Merchants Association, circulated  a survey on behalf of the association’s board members.  The survey asked the merchants on the north side of the 3400 block of Magnolia if they supported the one hour parking limit.  Eleven of the 13 merchants signed the document — including the “Beans” Kerry Krull — who apparently had a change of heart. Perhaps, Krull finally realized the one hour parking limit is a plus because it increases turnover for all the stores and shops including her own restaurant. Or maybe Krull decided it was bad PR to fight something that the majority of her neighbor merchants strongly felt was necessary for their businesses to survive.

Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- Traffic Commission meeting on December 18, 2014

Photo: FLLewis / Media City G — Traffic Commission meeting on December 18, 2014

Then last month, that one hour parking limit on the 3400 block of Magnolia was reviewed at the Burbank Traffic Commission meeting. No one voiced an objection to making the one hour parking limit permanent. Burbank traffic engineer, Ken Johnson, gave a brief summary of recent data in a staff report, which showed the one hour parking limit was working and recommended it remain.

Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- Burbank traffic engineer Ken Johnson at Traffic Commission meeting December 18, 2014

Photo: FLLewis / Media City G — Burbank traffic engineer Ken Johnson at Traffic Commission meeting December 18, 2014

The six traffic commissioners, Joseph Terranova, Linda  Barnes, Rebecca Granite-Johnson, Kevin Harrop, Vanessa Rachal, and Robin Gemmill, voted unanimously to accept the recommendation of staff on go on  the record in support of the one hour parking limit going from temporary to permanent status.

Over the weekend, I spoke with a merchant involved in the dispute, Ralph Persinger of Burbank Anitques. Persinger  was very vocal in his support of changing the parking limit from two hours to one hour. Now, he says the situation is much improved. In fact, Persinger says last December was the “best month ever” for his shop  since it opened five years ago. Persinger credits the new one-hour parking limit with helping make that happen.

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4 Responses to City Buzz: Peace returns to Magnolia Park after parking dispute resolved

  1. DixieFlyer Thursday, January 8, 2015 at 8:12 pm #

    Miss Fronnie, you deserve plenty of credit for the current state of affairs on Magnolia.

    Your pieces provoked plenty of conversations. Warm&Cold, Good&Bad.

    Now, after more than enough time to perform, the Traffic Control is not even started and the “T” marks to identify individual spaces are not yet in place.

    Shoppers and employee’s are still PROHIBITED from crossing to off-street parking, or to the largest Bank in the area due to the edict of Ken Johnson-Traffic Guru.

    Thanks for your efforts to inform us of Progress or Lack of.

  2. Fronnie Friday, January 9, 2015 at 3:17 pm #

    Dixie,

    I’m hearing some of the other issues like a crosswalk, traffic light .. etc will be brought up at the next Traffic Commission meeting.

    Also, thanks for the kudos.

  3. Mag Park Reader Saturday, January 10, 2015 at 10:20 am #

    Dixie, anyone can legally cross at that intersection at any time–and it’s quite safe as it is directly boundered by two signals that each go red about every 2 minutes. Johnson is a blowhard if he has stated otherwise! And yes Fronnie your blog, as always, provides an invaluable service to our community.

  4. DixieFlyer Monday, February 2, 2015 at 9:13 pm #

    We still haven’t received a straight answer as to “how” the signs came down.

    It is “legal” again to cross Magnolia.

    Did the Traffic Guru get overruled by a “higher authority”?

    Curiously the first answer from the City Manager was to await Budget discussions, in response to Mayor Gordon’s question.

    Sounds like Money to me.

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