Mailbag: We need alternative transportation

Burbank Leader

As an American, Southern Californian, resident and an inhabitant of this planet, it profoundly embarrasses me that we continue to spend billions of dollars to widen freeways, while cutting Metrolink train service ("Metrolink fares to increase," April 28).

We need more train service, and better linkages, not less. At the same time, oil-well workers are blown off platforms to their deaths, and some of the most fragile, pristine, beautiful coastline in our country is ruined.

Livelihoods are destroyed and wildlife dies, suffocated by a gloppy coating of oil. We demand cheap oil and gas, and pay prices that do not reflect true costs.

The outrage by a few against the Verdugo Avenue re-striping is embarrassing. The Chandler Bikeway should be recognized as the success it is, and evidence of the demand for safe cycling alternatives.

The success should be replicated as much as possible on other selected roadways.

The argument that cyclists should just use Chandler makes no sense. It simply doesn't access the desired destinations of everyone traveling by bicycle. We need to give the Verdugo re-striping a chance. Cyclists have every right to travel safely on the road.

We need to look calmly and intelligently at the high-speed-rail opportunity in Burbank. We need to examine how we can make this work. The airport as a high-speed-rail stop makes sense to me.

At the same time, in an additional effort to get people out of their cars and reduce traffic in Burbank, we need to extend the Red Line to the airport. Also, a Red Line spur to access the Burbank media district would discourage cross-town traffic. This major employment center would have access to the Red Line, the airport, Metrolink and high-speed rail, hopefully, with little or no increase in cross-town traffic.

This enhanced access would increase the desirability of our media district as a place to do business. We're smart enough to consider these complicated issues, and make wise decisions.

Otherwise, we'll go the way of Neanderthal. Archaeologists will excavate our corpulent bodies, cheeseburgers, fries, freeways, cars and attribute our demise to a failure to adapt.



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