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Don't risk grant to appease fears of a few

January 01, 2011

While the prospect of having the big bad government swoop in and throw down a sidewalk on your lawn may sound extremely distasteful, consider this: There's already a sidewalk; it just happens to be a dirt path instead of concrete.

That the City Council voted narrowly to put Burbank at risk of losing at least $125,000 in federal grant funding just to appease the fears of a handful of Screenland Drive residents borders on negligent.

Burbank has received more than $3 million in federal assistance as part of a program to improve pedestrian walkways and routes throughout the city — and deciding to roll over to the residents on Screenland Drive will almost surely ding future applications for funding.

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Without that assistance, Burbank will have to spend its own money, which apparently city leaders seem to think there's plenty of.

And the arguments Screenland homeowners used to bulldoze the council? That installing the two blocks of sidewalks would be unsafe to pedestrians and motorists.

Come again?

As it stands now, students at nearby Luther Middle School are either walking in the street to avoid the dirt — or sometimes muddy — path on the lawns, or walking on the sidewalk right-of-way anyway. At what point did the City Council consider this a salient argument worth $125,000?

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