Burbank has more than 9,000 free off-street municipal parking spaces, mostly within the downtown Burbank Golden Mall and Magnolia Park areas, all provided and maintained through the city's General Fund. There are also hundreds of free on-street parking places on Magnolia between downtown and Magnolia Park that allow unrestricted automobile parking.
Recently, as a trial installation, the city converted one of these on-street parking spots into a dedicated bike parking facility, commonly known as a bike corral, in an effort to increase safety and overall vehicle parking capacity on West Magnolia.
Bike corrals are a new type of on-street parking facility that can accommodate about 16 bicycles in the same area that once was a single car parking space. They work best where sidewalks aren't capable of accommodating additional bicycle racks and in areas with both high levels of people bicycling and demand for bicycle parking.
When placed near street corners and transit stops, bike parking corrals also increase driver visibility while creating an additional buffer between people walking or waiting for the bus and drivers.
The first corral installation was planned to coincide with the busy Metro 183 bus stop on Magnolia at Reese Place. This stretch of Magnolia is surrounded by local residential neighborhoods, adjacent restaurants, unique retail and specialty shops, a costume shop and tailor, a dog groomer, a pet shop, insurance agencies and a popular local craft-brew pub. This area is an ideal local bicycle-friendly location, one that is sure to benefit from 15 additional overall parking spots that a bike corral creates.
The new bike corral on Magnolia is the culmination of a five-year coordinated effort between Burbank's Sustainability Commission, Burbank Community Development Division, Public Works and the City Council. This pilot effort began in 2012 when City Council accepted a Sustainability Commission grant of three new parking corrals, at no cost to the city, and approved the current pilot-trial installation.
These types of alternate transportation amenities can clearly benefit everyone; bicyclists, motorists, bus riders and pedestrians. When everyone benefits — the entire community wins.
Rarely used bike lane makes things difficult for drivers on congested road
Being that it is National Bicycle Safety month, I thought I would at least see one or two of the said to be 100- to 200-a-day cyclists traveling in the Verdugo bike lanes — the same Verdugo bike lanes that are going to be extended. But I saw no bicyclists. How is it that we are not seeing these 100 to 200 bicyclists a day?
If we have to keep these not-so-used bike lanes that make it difficult for drivers to turn onto Verdugo, maybe the oh-so-many cars that are stuck in that one lane will be kind enough to help the other motorists who are trying to turn onto Verdugo from that one driving lane.
Bicyclists (if there are any), enjoy your bike lanes. Motorists who are stuck in that single lane, please be patient and courteous to the many other drivers who are having such a difficult time just trying to turn onto Verdugo.