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Burbank Ignores Call for Study : L.A. Councilman Vows Fight Over Traffic Issue

Times Staff Writer

Los Angeles City Councilman John Ferraro will lead a homeowners’ campaign against the city of Burbank for refusing to participate in a study to ease traffic along the Cahuenga Pass corridor, a spokesman said Tuesday.

Ferraro said Burbank has not responded to his proposal for a joint transportation study that would look into traffic issues involving the Barham Boulevard bridge, which passes over the Hollywood Freeway between Burbank and Los Angeles.

Ferraro wants Burbank to implement temporary controls on development along streets in its Media District, the headquarters of several film studios near Barham Boulevard.

Ferraro spokesman Bill Gilson said the councilman is surprised that Burbank has not responded to his many letters asking for its participation in the study.

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Burbank city officials said they see no reason to participate in such a study. They said they are finalizing a plan to restrict development in the Media District.

“We don’t see any point for us to get involved in this, because we are already far down the road in implementing permanent controls,” City Manager Bud Ovrom said. “Those permanent controls will be much more restrictive than any temporary measures Los Angeles is talking about.”

Ferraro helped host a meeting Tuesday of the Hollywood Knolls Community Club, a group of homeowners who live in the hills along the Cahuenga Pass corridor that goes into Hollywood.

Dan Riffe, club president, said there is a traffic bottleneck in the neighborhoods near Barham.

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“It’s gridlock during rush hour,” Riffe said. “We need to learn how to handle the growth and development, which is inevitable. I hate to see planning by disaster.”

Pleas Ignored

Riffe and other members of the group said Burbank has ignored their pleas.

“They tell us they’re not concerned,” Riffe said. “We’re not talking about anything long term. A study that could just take a look at what’s happening would only take 6 months.”

The two cities entered into an agreement in 1977 that Burbank would not allow more than 500,000 square feet of development in the West Olive Redevelopment District, which includes the Media District, until the Barham Boulevard overpass is widened or something else is done to ease traffic congestion. The bridge has two northbound lanes and three southbound lanes.

Edward C. Dygert, an assistant Los Angeles city attorney, said in a letter to Ovrom earlier this month that an 800,000 square-foot office high-rise project within the Media District, under consideration by Burbank, might breach the agreement.

Ovrom said that project has not been formally approved.


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