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Judge dismisses jaywalking tickets

Ben Godar

A judge has ruled the Burbank-Glendale- Pasadena Airport did not have

the authority to restrict pedestrian access from a privately owned

parking lot and issue citations to violators.


Monday’s ruling in Burbank Superior Court by Judge Pro Tempore

Andrew R. Cervik prompted airport police to stop issuing citations

for the time being, airport spokesman Victor Gill said.

The case was brought to court by two Southwest Airlines employees


and one traveler who received $90 tickets for crossing the airport

access road to an area near Star Park. After the private lot opened

in January, airport officials removed a crosswalk leading from the

lot to Terminal B, erected signs saying it is illegal for pedestrians

to cross and issued citations to 120 people for doing so.

Al Augustini, who represents Star Park owner Zelman Development

Co., represented the defendants. Augustini received a similar ticket

and planned to argue on his own behalf as well, but said he received


a fax from airport officials Friday, saying his case was dismissed.

After hearing arguments by Augustini and the testimony of Airport

Police Officer Anthony Snow, Judge Pro Tempore Andrew R. Cervik ruled

that the airport did not constitute a local authority that could

erect and enforce signs as defined in the vehicle code.

“It appears to me the authority had the right to remove the

crosswalk, but they did not have the right to put up no-crossing

signs,” Cervik said.


Cervik threw out the tickets given to two Southwest Airlines

employees, saying no violation of the vehicle code occurred. Airport

Police agreed to drop the citation against the third defendant.

Airport Security Chief Mike Post and spokesman Victor Gill

attended the hearing, but did not speak in court on the airport’s


Since the ruling, airport police have stopped issuing citations to

those who cross the airport access road in the disputed area, Gill

said. It has yet to be determined whether officers will appear in

court for those people who challenge the tickets.

Gill added that airport officials believe they did have the right

to erect the signs and are considering legal action to articulate

that right.

“The airport put those signs in place with the advice of legal

counsel,” he said.

While he said the Airport Authority could attempt to issue

citations for some other type of vehicle code violation, Augustini

believes Monday’s ruling is the end of tickets for Star Park


“I’m very pleased to see a nice, clear ruling that these signs are

illegal,” he said.

Luis Aguilar, one of the Southwest employees whose ticket was

thrown out, said he has crossed at the disputed corner for seven

years. In addition to his citation, he said airport employees were

recently notified that the Airport Authority might take away their

security badges if they were caught using the crosswalk.