Area cities don't apply for open-streets program grant

While Pasadena, South Pasadena, El Monte and other cities have been recommended to get a piece of a $4-million grant to host programs that open streets to bicyclists and pedestrians and block off cars, Glendale and Burbank aren’t on the list of possible funding recipients released this week.

Glendale and Burbank didn’t apply for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Agency’s funding, although officials from both cities have said they want to host open-streets programs similar to


, a popular event produced by a nonprofit organization in Los Angeles.

Councilwoman Laura Friedman, a longtime supporter of bringing an open-streets event to Glendale, said she was saddened that city staff didn’t apply for the grant because a main impediment to hosting the daytime event has been money.

“I’m disappointed,” she said.

Glendale spokesman Tom Lorenz said the city didn’t apply for the money because by the time officials had researched possible routes, the nonprofit that organizes CicLAvia — which is also called CicLAvia — had already partnered with other cities to apply for the grant.

Burbank officials skipped the grant application because they want to see how open-streets events play out in areas other than Los Angeles before they recommend a similar program, said David Kriske, deputy city planner for transportation.

In addition, Kriske said, Burbank officials want to focus on delivering several infrastructure projects, such as the new Empire Avenue interchange along the Golden State (5) Freeway and bike paths in the works, before they bring in a new open-streets program.

Applicants were not required to pair up with CicLAvia. Some cities, such as Carson and South Pasadena, have been recommended to receive money for open streets events scheduled for 2016 without partnering with CicLAvia, according to the applicant list. Carson and South Pasadena may net $100,000 and $393,600, respectively.

Lorenz said Glendale officials would rather pair with an established organization that has run an open-streets program before rather than go it alone, and if


opens up more funding for future events, Glendale would likely apply.

Aaron Paley, executive director of CicLAvia, said his organization wants to work with Glendale and Burbank eventually, but the nonprofit decided to apply for the Metro grant with governmental agencies that were further along in the planning process.

“We went with things that were more developed already and in the hopper,” he said. “My hope is that more [Metro] funds will become available as this becomes more and more compelling and that this is just a start.”

CicLAvia partnered with the cities of Los Angeles, Pasadena, South Gate, and others to submit their grant applications, he said.

The funding recommendations are set to go before the Metro board next month for a final vote.