or so, city officials are encouraging residents who want the path to
write letters to the board and voice their opinions at the Sept. 28
meeting where the 11-member board is scheduled to decide the issue.
"This will be the final decision," Associate Planner Joy Tuncay said.
"We're just trying to get the word out there."
Tuncay said Mayor Bill Wiggins and Councilwoman Stacey Murphy would be
willing to meet with MTA board members -- including Los Angeles Mayor
Richard Riordan, County Supervisor Gloria Molina and other heavy hitters
-- to pitch the city's plan.
At the Sept. 28 meeting, which is set for 9:30 a.m. at the transit
agency's downtown headquarters, MTA staff members are expected to
recommend that the board either reject the bikeway's current design or
require Burbank to make several changes. An MTA subcommittee will
consider the design plan Sept. 21.
Burbank is asking the MTA to approve the $2.2 million bikeway project
with several elements that don't conform to a recently approved set of
MTA landscaping guidelines. Burbank would split the cost of the project
with the MTA. Burbank would like to plant grass as well as California
pepper trees and purple orchid trees along the bike path.
The MTA objects because the pepper trees are brittle and shed branches
while purple orchids litter the ground with pods. As for the grass, the
MTA said planting it would constitute establishing a park, which they
would be prohibited from removing. The MTA wants to keep the option of
using the Chandler railway as a Valleywide transit corridor in the
The MTA and Burbank bought the three-mile-long corridor in 1991.
Burbank owns 41% and MTA owns 59% of the section of Chandler that
stretches from Clybourn Avenue in the west to Mariposa Street in the
City officials hope to begin construction of the bikeway, which would
replace rusted railroad tracks, in March 2001. The project could be
completed by August 2001, according to a city staff report.