Bill Wiggins, officials said.
In the letter, which could be sent as early as Monday, Wiggins will
ask the MTA to approve the Chandler project with a number of elements
that don't conform to the agency's design guidelines, said Joy Tuncay,
Burbank's Chandler project manager. The 3-mile long bike path would
replace rusted railroad tracks running down the center of Chandler
Already six years in the planning, the $2.2-million project hit
another snag in April when the 11-member MTA board -- which includes the
five Los Angeles County Supervisors and Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan
-- approved a change in the agency's design guidelines.
Though Burbank's plan, which was submitted in December, runs askew of
those guidelines, city officials said they don't intend to revise the
"They didn't clearly look at the plans we have," Tuncay said. "We
really feel that the design we have is consistent with the overall intent
of the guidelines."
Burbank must secure MTA approval for the project since the parties
co-own the railway property. The MTA owns 59% of the 3-mile Chandler
transit corridor from Clybourn Avenue to Mariposa Street. Burbank's share
MTA Chandler project manager Lynne Goldsmith said she told city
officials about the landscaping guidelines during several fall 1999
"I try to get together with the project manager, so they don't fully
design something ahead of the game," Goldsmith said. "We thought we had
been communicating with them."
The MTA leveled several complaints at Burbank's landscaping scheme,
Goldsmith said. The agency bristled at plans to install trees and low
brush close to the center of the Chandler median instead of along the
edges of the 36-foot wide median.
The MTA and Burbank bought the Chandler corridor in 1991, the
transportation agency using money raised from state rail bonds. The MTA
has said it wants to install a transit project on Chandler to connect the
North Hollywood Red Line depot with Burbank's Metrolink station. By 2020,
whether the bike path is built or not, the property is likely to be used
for a San Fernando Valley east-west transportation corridor, Goldsmith
With that in mind, a Burbank citizens advisory committee recommended
on Oct. 19 a plan placing the bike path just off the median on the south
side of Chandler. But after angry objections from south side residents,
the City Council approved a center-line bike path.
Michael Bandiera, a Niagara Street resident who sat that committee,
said he has been frustrated by the lack of progress. As the delays drag
on, the vacant railroad tracks continue to blight the neighborhood, he
"It's just an eyesore," Bandiera said. "I always describe it as a
Berlin Wall that separates one side of Chandler from another."