Mark R. Madler
When Clancyna Atkins opened her day spa and salon on Burbank
Boulevard four years ago, it was a street lacking in trees and which
didn’t market itself to potential customers.
“It was not an attractive area,” said Atkins, owner of Image III
Salon. “There were things that I thought could be done better.”
Now, the city is taking steps to beautify the 2.2-mile stretch of
Burbank Boulevard from Victory Boulevard to Clybourn Avenue to
attract more people to its businesses.
The council on Tuesday approved by a 3-to-1 vote spending $225,000
to paint the traffic signals, enhance street signs and implement the
final phase of a banner program as part of a long-term effort to
brand the area as a destination for shoppers and visitors.
“This is our major boulevard,” Councilwoman Marsha Ramos said. “It
has our name all over it.”
As president of the Burbank Boulevard Merchants Assn., Atkins
applauded the city’s actions.
Banners hanging from the streetlamps have been in place since
November. The final phase would include a new design and special
designs to hang during the fall and spring seasons.
“Even that little bit made a difference,” Atkins said of the
banners. “Just driving down the boulevard it was warmer, it said
The council vote also approved a conceptual design for additional
improvements to the boulevard that carry an estimated $8-million
Some of the proposed improvements included in the design are
street resurfacing, street trees placed every 40 feet, benches, bike
racks, tree grates and guards, painted light standards and accent
paving at major intersections.
Councilman Dave Golonski cast the dissenting vote, citing the high
cost of the project.
Golonski could not support the conceptual design if that was what
was driving the cost, Golonski said.
“I’m willing to invest in the area to improve the look but not at
this amount of money,” Golonski said.
Meetings took place between city staff and residents, property
owners and business along and near Burbank Boulevard to develop the
The Burbank Boulevard Streetscape Oversight Committee also
reviewed and approved the design.
Mayor Jef Vander Borght, a member of the oversight committee, said
the budget numbers were only preliminary and could change.
As the project proceeds, city staff would be aware of keeping the
costs down, City Manager Mary Alvord said.
“If there are options, we will bring back options,” Alvord said.
“But I think we can use the conceptual plan to move forward.”