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No tickets, but still no crossing

Ben Godar

Although tickets will no longer be issued to pedestrians who use a

disputed street crossing at the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport,

airport officials say they might revoke the security clearance of

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employees who cross there.

The crossing leads from Terminal B to Star Park, a privately owned

lot that opened in January. Airport officials removed a crosswalk

from the area and put up no-crossing signs, and airport police issued

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about 120 citations to pedestrians.

Airport officials have said increased pedestrian traffic at the

intersection has caused safety and liability concerns, but the owners

of the lot have accused the airport of trying to eliminate a private

competitor.

A judge this week threw out the $90 tickets of three people cited

for crossing, saying the Airport Authority did not have the power to

prohibit pedestrian traffic at the intersection.

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Airport Police have since stopped issuing citations to

pedestrians, but airport spokesman Victor Gill said officials have

not rescinded a letter sent earlier this month warning employees that

their security clearances could be revoked for not following airport

rules and crossing in the disputed area.

“Employees sign an agreement pledging to follow all airport

rules,” Gill said. “If [someone] can’t follow those rules, it gives

us great concern.”

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Gill said no employees have had their security clearances taken

away for crossing the access road, even though Star Park parking

manager John Rodriguez said more employees have been walking to the

terminal since Monday’s ruling.

The Burbank City Council took up the crosswalk issue at Tuesday’s

meeting. Airport Executive Director Dios Marrero told the council he

was not at liberty to discuss what, if any, future action the

authority might take to restrict crossing at the intersection.

Councilman Dave Golonski made it clear he felt revoking employees’

security clearance was inappropriate.

“I don’t think the employees of Southwest, or any other employee,

should face losing their job for crossing at a crosswalk with a sign

that says you shouldn’t,” he said.

Marrero reiterated airport officials’ safety concerns, and said

when pedestrians leave the curb, they fan out in all directions

across the airport’s access road. He also said the lot’s owners have

not made an effort to educate their customers about how to safely

reach the terminal.

“You show up in that parking lot, go to the covered parking and

there’s no signage,” he said. “The property owner is not helping our

situation at all.”

Rodriquez acknowledged there are only temporary signs at Star Park

directing customers and said permanent signs, such as those

indicating where shuttle pickup occurs, are being made.

Despite the judge’s ruling, Rodriguez said Star Park officials are

directing customers who ask to take the shuttle instead of crossing

to the terminal.


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