UPDATED 10:30 p.m. : Despite protests from some residents on North Screenland Drive tonight, the Burbank City Council voted 4-to-1 in favor of the sidewalks. The only “no” vote came from Councilman Dr. David Gordon.
The students at Luther Burbank Middle school in Burbank and their safety have become the debating points in the bitter controversy over the installation of sidewalks on nearby North Screenland Drive. A second vote by the Burbank City Council over whether to approve sidewalks for the 1800-1900 section of Screenland Drive is on the agenda tonight. Most of the residents who live on that stretch of Screenland are opposed to to adding a sidewalk — but it appears to be a foregone conclusion.
End of school day 3 p.m. — students leave campus
In a dramatic twist that still has some baffled, Councilman Gary Bric is leading the charge to get the sidewalks installed on North Screenland Drive. Last December, Bric joined councilmen Jess Talamantes and David Gordon, in supporting the majority of residents there and voted “no” on that part of a sidewalk project.
However, by the first of the year, Bric was talking about a re-vote and the importance of public safety. Yesterday, I observed only a few students walking along North Screenland Drive. If safety is the issue, and sidewalks would provide more of it for students and other members of the public now and in the future — then let the construction begin. Yet, don’t ignore the bigger picture.
On Monday, I saw first hand what a mess that intersection at West Jeffries and North Screenland Drive is when school opens and lets out. School officials are doing their best to protect students. Campus Supervisor, Sherry Ross, is a terrific crossing guard — but she needs some help.
Burbank police should be on site from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. until 4 p.m. to deal with this traffic nightmare. One child was hit here last year — let’s not wait until another accident occurs before realizing more than sidewalks are needed to protect children from harm here.