Thoughts from the Bullpen: Restrictions without enforcement

Reading the story recently about the residents of Cordova Street wanting more restrictions to relieve their problems with overflow parking from Porto's Bakery, I was wondering if they really think having more rules is going to actually fix the situation.

If you go to the city's website and pull up the municipal code, you are going to find rules for everything. How high your fence can be, how many animals you can have (and the type), what kind of business can be where, and so on.

It's great to pass all of these laws and ordinances, but the problem is, who is going to enforce them? Are authorities even going to pay attention to them unless there is something that comes up?

For you people on Cordova, I submit this. I live in an area of Burbank that has a ton of traffic restrictions — in fact, there is an entire neighborhood plan in place. Streets in my area were sealed on one side and changed to one-way only on others. Strict resident-only parking was put in until 8 p.m. on one of the streets, and then there were the speed bumps.

There are speed bumps everywhere. They put in speed bumps between stop signs that are about 100 yards apart. Who can speed within 100 yards anyway? I would love to see all the cars that have developed suspension problems over the years in this small Burbank neighborhood.

So all of these rules and regulations are in place, and guess what? On my street cars constantly go through the one-way sign — the wrong way. The same goes for other streets in the area.

Parking in the 100 block of North Rose Street is restricted to residents only until 8 p.m. on weeknights, but on any Friday night the block is completely parked up with people who want to go to Bob's.

I called one night and asked for a parking control officer and was told none were working on a Friday night at that time, and they could send a patrol officer out. I declined for the simple reason that I want patrol officers on the street catching real criminals and not spending an hour writing 20 parking tickets. Maybe the residents of Rose Street can hire an overtime parking control officer to enforce their parking rules and even keep some of the fines to pay for the officer.

For two years I discussed why newspaper vending machines were in front of painted curbs (especially red zones) in violation of the municipal code. It went all the way to the City Council, which said the ordinance was fine as written. It has been several months since the decision by the council was handed down and those machines are still there, even though I was told they were not given permits this year based on the appeal.

Somebody has to care and follow through.

I can go on and on when it comes to small things.

It is against the law to remove a shopping cart from the premises of a market. Ever seen one on the streets? Ever seen anyone arrested or given a ticket for it?

How about banners on buildings? Ever see a banner on a business announcing some special sale? Did you know you have to have a permit for that banner, and there is a specific time frame that banner can be displayed? Bet you will see banners in the city and no one after them about permits.

So people of Cordova, as far as I am concerned, you can have all the restrictions you want. Because just having them will not guarantee that they will be enforced.

And on the city's side, I will say this. I am sure they would love to enforce everything on the books. If you are not prepared to have your taxes raised so that more people can be hired to supervise all of these areas, they are simply not going to be enforced unless there is an immediate need.

Many of the ordinances are designed sometimes as a condition exists, but sometimes over time is no longer an issue and is not enforced as heavily since the need no longer calls for it.

Maybe residents of Burbank who read this will make a concerted effort to not park on Cordova because they want to do the right thing. Why not park a little farther down on Magnolia and visit some of the great small shops as you walk back down the street?

CRAIG SHERWOOD is the executive editor of BurbankNBeyond.com and a baseball coach at Burbank High School. He can be reached at csherwood@burbanknbeyond.com.

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