Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy

The Crosby Chronicles: Troubles with Burbank traffic

One of the things the City of Burbank does a very good job at is graffiti removal. If you ever see graffiti around town, all you have to do is call a hotline, leave the specific location of it, and within a couple of days the graffiti has been removed. It is one area the city provides an outstanding service to the community.

One of the things the City of Burbank does not do a very good job at is synchronizing lights. For example, have you ever traveled down Magnolia Boulevard either going from downtown towards Victory or vice versa?  It doesn’t matter how fast or slow your proceed, you will never get all the lights. Not even half of them.

The other night I was traveling eastbound going towards Glenoaks and I had to stop at the light at First Street.  Then I had to stop at the light at San Fernando.  Then I had to stop at Third.  And again at Glenoaks.  Each time I had a green light and began driving, the light right up ahead turned red.  This was at 10:00 p.m. with little cross traffic. 

Why doesn’t Burbank have “smart” lights that change based on the flow of traffic? Olive Avenue that parallels Magnolia flows much better. Why is that?

Considering traffic is a big concern in Burbank, it seems to me it wouldn’t take that much effort to assign a Public Works employee as a signal light ombudsman who asks for citizens’ input about problems like this.  Having cars idle at red lights when there is no cross traffic is a waste of gas and isn’t good for the environment.  Plus, it does nothing for raising citizen morale.

Brian Crosby is a teacher in the Glendale Unified School District and the author of Smart Kids, Bad Schools and The $100,000 Teacher.  He can be reached at