Burbank resident Tod Himmel got it right in his Nov. 23 letter, “Educate drivers, not bicyclists,” when he said that this city has “some of the most reckless, careless, dangerous drivers” he’s ever encountered.
Daily, I’ve witnessed drivers flying up and down Kenneth Road at speeds well beyond the posted 25 mph. I’ve even had motorists driving behind me honk in frustration because I wasn’t going fast enough to suit them. More than once a driver pulled into the oncoming lane to pass me.
Last year, I appeared before the Burbank City Council to ask for extra police patrols on Kenneth. I had hoped that if the police vigorously went after these offenders and issued lots of citations, the roadway would get a reputation as a speed trap and drivers would avoid it.
But during the council response period, then-Mayor Anja Reinke told me that the city didn’t have the funds for additional policing on Kenneth. A short time after my futile request, I learned that the city had been handing out roughly $1 million a year in employee bonuses, and months later learned who received these bonuses.
Apparently in Burbank, it’s more important to give taxpayer-funded bonuses to family members, and most likely friends and neighbors who work for the city, than to spend that money on public safety.
While I agree with Himmel that money should be used to combat reckless driving, I don’t see it happening with the current mind-set of the majority of Burbank council members.