City, drivers need lesson in safety
I’d like to address two related issues if I may. First, the
potential problems and danger at the corner of Kenneth Road and San
Jose Avenue. This busy intersection is a drop-off/pick-up point for
children going to Emerson Elementary School, with the added
congestion of large apartment buildings on the east side of the
street that utilize much of the temporary parking surrounding the
school. It needs a clearly marked crosswalk, painted in a noticeable
color, a crossing guard and a stop sign on Kenneth Road. Right now,
the situation is of cars backing up in unlawful places, pulling
blindly into the intersection to force oncoming traffic to stop and
double-parking without any apparent supervision. This is the city’s
responsibility to fix an accident waiting to happen.
And if I may, I’d like to address the driver’s responsibility as
well. Many parents sadly choose to drive their children in their very
large sport-utility vehicles the few blocks to school for a false
sense of “safety.” Nothing could be further from the truth; parked
around the school, the high grill and tall body of these cars are
especially dangerous to children trying to cross the street, unable
to see around them. Drivers are unable to see children too, as their
view of the sidewalk is blocked by the large SUVs while passing by.
The other danger to consider is the momentum added to their extra
tonnage that makes for a lethal combination in an accident when the
high front end comes in contact with the chest and head as opposed to
the low bumper at leg level of a standard car. People need to
understand sometimes it isn’t about them, but the well-being of
others. The Hippocratic Oath begins with “first do no harm,” and I
consider it also a small choice to make in everyday life as well.
One can discount the harm done by pollution and guzzling precious
gas inherent with these vehicles, but not the danger toward young
lives. No one wants on their conscience the harm of a child or to be
the source of that harm. Consider that choice before you drive
because I’m saying this from personal experience.
Last year I was driving down Verdugo when a 12-year-old boy ran
out into the street in front of a parked Jeep Grand Cherokee that
blocked my vision. He was perhaps 20 feet in front of me. I happened
to be riding my motorcycle at the time. There was only time to say
“no” in a feeling of slow motion as I laid the bike down to avoid
hitting him. I think often of a different scenario: being in a car,
when I would have surely broken bones in his limbs or in an SUV where
the high front end would have made it fatal. I don’t wish to have to
live with that horror.
A few months later, I worked with a well-known actress who had
killed a 9 year-old boy that summer as he crossed the street. She was
driving an SUV and chatting on her cell phone at the time. I can tell
you that the pain on her face was tragic. No one should have to carry
that much emotional weight in their life.
Please be careful, and thoughtful of others.
KENNETH PAUL SCHOENFELD
Airport pleas falling on deaf ears
The Airport Authority and the Burbank City Council are delusional
on the subject of terminal relocation and the FAA policy.
In a letter to Federal Aviation Administrator Marion C. Blakey,
dated Nov. 4, Authority President Chris Holden wrote, “Achieving a
relocation of the terminal has been a high priority of the FAA.”
The FAA response Dec. 19 was, “The long history of operations with
the [present] terminal ... can continue safely in the future and the
past. As the airport operator, it is your decision whether to
continue to pursue the project or terminate it.”
This doesn’t sound like a high FAA priority to me.
Mayor David Laurell sent a letter to Holden on Nov. 7, stating,
“There is still strong sentiment that the remaining B-6 property
would be the optimal site for a replacement terminal,” “We have been
unable to get all stakeholders to commit to a meaningful discussion
of practical solutions,” and, “The Burbank City Council has been
committed to ... responsible local policy making.”
The only “strong sentiment” for a replacement terminal is in the
minds of the council and its appointees to the Airport Authority.
Assembling the Plan Evaluation and Review Committee backfired on the
council because PERC ignored the city staff “talking paper”
advocating a replacement terminal. PERC said it was not necessary.
The council would like to erase Measure A from everybody’s mind.
About 11,000 voters said no new terminal until we get a curfew. The
council would have us build a new terminal without knowing whether
the FAA will give us a curfew.
PERC, the FAA, airlines and the voters are all stakeholders. None
of these groups see the need for a new terminal, but still the
council doggedly clings to its position that the public needs to be
educated to its way of thinking.
The council will never “get all stakeholders” to commit to
“practical solutions” because it insists the only solution is to
build a new terminal. No matter how long it takes and no matter what
excuses the city may come up with, there is still Measure B, which
says the voters will have the final approval.
The Airport Authority can put this whole mess to bed by selling
the B-6 property for commercial development.