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Leader Editorial: Officials made a right turn

The opinion of the Burbank Leader

February 21, 2014

In a rare unanimous vote, the Burbank City Council this month approved a four-way stop sign at the intersection of Oak and Myers streets to improve the odds that pedestrians — particularly students at St. Finbar Catholic School — will make it across those streets safely.

The council members all agreed to ignore a city staff report that said there was no need to add to the current two-way stop sign there. It’s not that the staff didn’t do the necessary legwork: A traffic engineering study was done that revealed there were far fewer motorists traveling through the intersection than the Caltrans-recommended threshold for additional stop signs. The study also showed that no accidents had been reported there since 2005.

However, reported accidents are in a different category than excessive speed or near misses, and parents of St. Finbar students report there have been plenty of problems in both of those categories over the years.

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In this case, we believe the council members’ instincts to go outside staff recommendations were right. The cost of installing two additional stop signs is minimal and any potential inconvenience to drivers is slight. But it can be fairly argued that the peace of mind given the parents of schoolchildren after the installation ofa traffic-calming four-way stop is incalculable.

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