Burbank residents discuss what sights to bring to freeway sound wall
Evenly spaced-out trees, numerous vines and possibly having bicycle lanes are some of the ideas Burbank residents had for a landscaping project near homes on Leland Way.
About a year ago, Caltrans installed a sound wall on Leland next to the Golden State (5) Freeway as part of a widening project. For the past several months, Burbank city staff members have been working with residents who live next to the barrier to come up with a way to beautify it.
“Using some of the funds that we received from Caltrans, we’re making up for some of the impacts of the freeway construction and we’re going to be providing lots of landscaping and doing some restriping improvements and changes to Leland Way itself to make it a more welcoming environment for the residents here,” said Janna Smith, an associate planner for Burbank and the manager of the project. “Since the sound wall is closer and taller, we want to improve their view out their frontyards and make it a much more comfortable place.”
After meeting with residents in March, Smith said that city staff is leaning toward turning Leland into a one-way street, with traffic traveling toward San Fernando Boulevard. That would give the city a street width of about 37 feet to use.
However, 7 feet needs to be dedicated to street parking and 20 feet for vehicles to drive on.
It would then give city planners about 10 feet of space to use for landscaping, where they hope to plant trees and bushes to give the space in front of the wall a more appealing look.
Many residents like the idea of having flora against the sound wall, but resident Caroline Solberg suggested that some kind of bicycle pathway be added for those in the neighborhood to use.
Engineers from Stantec, a consultant hired by the city to work on the landscaping project, suggested that 10 feet of the road width should be striped with white lines so that in the event of an emergency, public safety vehicles can drive on them.
“The bike lane will be a place where children can ride bikes and roller skate without feeling that they’re doing in the roadway where the cars are supposed to be driving,” Solberg said. “Because when they go out in the street, they have to get out of the way of the cars. If they’re in a bike lane, cars have to watch out for them. There are a lot of young children in this neighborhood and there are no sidewalks here.”
The project is still in its infancy and city staff members plan to meet with residents again before submitting their project to the City Council sometime by the end of the year.
Anthony Clark Carpio, email@example.com