The contentious saga surrounding the building of sidewalks on Screenland Drive concluded Tuesday with the City Council, in a 3-2 vote, approving the project despite a vocal push-back by local residents.
In March 2011, the Burbank City Council accepted a $125,000 federal grant to install sidewalks along the 1800 and 1900 blocks of Screenland Drive to give students a safe path to walk to Luther Burbank Middle School.
While city officials billed the project as a safety issue, a group of Screenland residents said sidewalks would change the character of their neighborhood and likely go underutilized, since the street currently carries little foot traffic.
Sidewalk supporters, however, argued that foot traffic would increase with sidewalks, and would thereby reduce vehicle traffic.
The 5-foot-wide sidewalks will be constructed on public property, said Ken Johnson, the city’s traffic engineer.
Councilmen David Gordon and Bob Frutos stood firmly with sidewalk opponents, noting that throughout their campaigns, they vowed to protect neighborhoods.