For exercise I often walk sections of Burbank Boulevard several times a week in the early morning or evening hours.

As such, I’ve had a pretty fair view of the goings-on during the current “beautification project.”

It’s been interesting, to say the least.

First they cut all the trees down, then they, uh, plant new trees.

Sort of sounds like the Army, doesn’t it? But as far as construction projects go I don’t believe they have been any better or worse than most that I have seen, up until now.

Several months ago, they installed bright blue safety/traction pads at all the corners. For some nonsensical reason these pads, designed to be tough and used as part of the sidewalk, come with a “protective” layer of beige-colored foam rubber on their surface.

At the time of installation, I’d say about half of the pads had the foam removed but on the remaining pads it was left in place.

Since then, during my walks I’ve seen the normal wear and tear of people riding bikes, skateboarding, pushing carriages and such slowly peel away clumps of the foam rubber in bits and pieces and the debris littering the streets.

All the time I wondered if the contractor or the city inspector would finally notice the situation and initiate a clean-up of the remaining foam.

Well, they did, sort of.

With the project apparently winding down during the last week, some workers have been sent out to scrape off the pads with a most horrendous result — they’re just leaving the clumps in the street and in some cases (the northeast corner of Brighton Street) dumping it on private property.

At this very moment there are thousands and thousands of little beige scraps of foam rubber all up and down the newly “beautified” Burbank Boulevard (and being carried off by wind and automobile tires as far away as Chandler and Victory boulevards).

Before this ecological train wreck drifts down the storm drains and out into Santa Monica Bay (and the city gets duly sued and fined for pollution), somebody ought to get off their butts and vacuum this mess up.



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