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City, drivers need lesson in safety...

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.



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.