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Mailbag

September 23, 2006

It's not about crime on bikeway issue

As residents who would be directly affected by the "Beachwood Bikeway," we have read with great interest the original article and letters to the paper on this project in the last week ("Residents object to bike path," Sept. 16).

While it may appear to the average reader that the residents of Sparks Street and Beachwood Drive want to prevent non-Burbank citizens from coming into their neighborhoods, it is farthest from the true intent of our opposition to the program. In fact, of the 150 residents who came to the two meetings with the city planners, an overwhelming majority expressed their concerns about overall traffic safety rather than crime. Unfortunately, the original article cited only one resident's concern and was the basis of follow-up research with the Police Department, City Council and editorial replies.

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Please understand it is all about traffic safety and the prevention of accidents. With that in mind, we ask that your readers and our City Council consider the following: How does the designation of an additional bike path on two city streets and the movement of traffic signals from their current locations impact the traffic safety of our neighborhood? Areas such as the 100 and 200 blocks of North and South Sparks already are faced with the day-to-day assault of speeding cars trying to make a signal at the six-point intersection of Olive Avenue/Verdugo Avenue/Sparks. Mix that in with parking lots and alleys adjacent to the businesses on those corners and you will soon understand why the children in the neighborhood for years have wisely elected to not ride their own bikes in the street.

Furthermore, try backing out of a driveway on those blocks and you will soon see other issues that have become problematic and disconcerting. If you are not faced with a line of cars preventing your movement into the traffic lane in front of your home, you surely must be alert to the cars that routinely drive through at approximately double the 25 mph speed limit. If you live along Beachwood, you understand and accept why the fire and paramedic trucks utilize your street to access Station 15.

But is the addition of a traffic signal at Alameda Avenue, potentially making your block another Sparks Street raceway, a fair and just reward for your burden? For those below Alameda, already striking a balance between vehicles, skaters and horses is dicey at best.

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