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Mailbag

March 01, 2008

Masonry program makes a lot of sense

I was pleasantly surprised to read “Dugout of Dreams” in Wednesday’s Burbank Leader. Wow, what a brilliant concept — a masonry class at Monterey High School that helps to build a baseball dugout for Burroughs High School.

Finally the school district does something that makes sense. The kids get a real world, bankable experience, both schools come out ahead, and the community wins all the way around. Well done, indeed.

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RICHARD J. TAFILAW

Burbank

Hillsides need better public transportation

Once again, the Metropolitan Transit Authority is planning on largely eliminating its Burbank wing of the No. 183 bus line, the route that now goes from East Glendale to Van Nuys.

This must be stopped.

In defending itself, it claims that Line No. 94 and the Glendale Beeline are adequate substitutes for Burbank and Glendale residents. It’s a ridiculous contention, because they are clearly not. And we don’t even have the Beeline here in Burbank.

Even worse, Burbank has no municipal bus system that will replace the 183. It is the only bus line that provides service into our hillside residential areas.

In fact, it’s the only public transportation that goes into any of Burbank’s residential neighborhoods.

The 183 also provides a vital link between downtown Glendale and the North Hollywood transportation hub.

Line 183 has run for years in our Burbank and Glendale neighborhoods. The Metropolitan Transit Authority has been trying to kill it, but in doing so it has always evaded a big issue for Burbank.

Because of our abysmal public transportation options here in town, we have absolutely nothing to replace it with. It is the only lifeline for those residents who lack the means of getting around on their own.

Elimination of the 183 could also mean the complete disappearance of any public transportation options above Glenoaks Boulevard. This is not a complicated issue.

The demise of the 183, if allowed to happen, is a further example of the disenfran- chisement of our hillside neighborhoods. In my own town, any quick look at the Burbank transportation map will show a concentration of bus services in the flatlands. If you live on the hill, you’re out of luck, unless you happen to also live at the mall — which seems to be the only area of concern to the powers that be, i.e., being able to shop at the stores.

So what’s happened to equitability, let alone our building of a decent public transportation system of benefit to everyone? A few years ago in Burbank we had a mayor whose boyfriend ran the local cab companies. It was obvious why we were neglecting our bus lines. Glendale also once had a very useful hillside bus line of its own.

But what’s our present-day excuse for ignoring the problem of providing decent transportation options for our residents?

JIM CARLILE

Burbank


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