The $8.24-million San Fernando Bikeway along the Burbank Western Flood Channel eventually will come within just a few blocks of the terminus of the Chandler Bikeway. But connecting the two is proving to be complicated because of issues involving rights of way.
Linking Chandler to a larger bike network, and ultimately to downtown, was the intent since the bikeways’ inception, and as plans for the larger network come closer to fruition, extending Chandler is taking on more urgency.
The Chandler bikeway ends at Mariposa Street, three blocks west of Victory Boulevard. Just east of Victory, along the Burbank Western Flood Channel, the San Fernando Bikeway is in the works.
More funding is being received for other bike connections and a request for proposals to build the bikeway is scheduled for the spring.
“We believe it’s a high priority for the city to extend [the Chandler Bikeway] and have it connect with the San Fernando Bikeway,” Senior Transportation Planner David Kriske said.
Connecting Chandler to the San Fernando Bikeway means eventually connecting the bikeway system to the downtown Metrolink station, Kriske said.
An extension of Chandler from Mariposa to Victory would stretch roughly 1,300 feet, or about a quarter mile, Kriske said. Extending Chandler from Mariposa to connect with the San Fernando bike path would extend Chandler an additional half mile.
The proposed connections, however, are complicated by the fact that Metro and Burbank own the right-of-way the proposed extension would use. But Union Pacific, which leases the tracks for its freight operations, opposes sharing the right of way for any other use.
Kriske said the city has had limited success with Union Pacific.
“They told us they use [the area west of Victory] as a turn-around, although they use it very rarely for that, and they use the tracks to deliver lumber to Stock Building Supply,” Kriske said.
Stock Building is a lumber and hardware store at Victory and Chandler.
A sales manager at the store said larger jobs are delivered by train, but trucks make most deliveries to the store.
Construction on the San Fernando Bikeway is scheduled to begin in 2014, Kriske said, although the railroad work near the Empire Interchange that’s part of the Golden State (5) Freeway improvements must be completed first.
Sustainable Burbank Commissioner Nicholas de Wolff said that a successful bike system calls for inter-connectivity.
“You have to be able to get around the city to understand the value of bike transportation as an alternative to a car,” de Wolff said. “A certain section with bike travel doesn’t mean anything.”