Burbank Approves Major Street Renovations Plan

Photo courtesy City of Burbank
The Burbank City Council voted to approve the new “Complete Streets” plan during its virtual meeting on Tuesday, reserving extra sidewalk space for outdoor dining and identifying a number of priority streets and focus areas based on several factors, including proximity to community centers, traffic and location in disadvantaged communities.

Councilmembers recently approved a sweeping set of recommendations for the improvement of Burbank city streets, including an initial development being built this year.
The “Complete Streets” plan was presented to the City Council during its virtual meeting Tuesday, with city transportation planner Hannah Woo explaining that the recommendations in the plan are aimed at making streets safer and more convenient for those who use them.
Recommendations include adding bike lanes, road signs and highly visible mid-block crosswalks to some streets, as well as expanding curbs with wheelchair-accessible ramps. Woo said that one of the major goals of the plan, which the city has been preparing since the end of 2018, is to help those who may have difficulty navigating Burbank’s streets, such as the elderly and people with disabilities.
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Protesters Encouraged to Seek Change at Ballot Box

As with demonstrations around the nation, recent Burbank protests have been driven by a serious purpose: demands for racial justice and police reform. But as a Tuesday march through the city highlighted, there can also be an expression of solidarity through music and movement.
“Things like music connect us every day,” said Benjamin Abiola, an organizer the protest. “Everyone feels that soul in their body, and it just shows people that there’s nothing different between us besides our skin color. And if we can both dance and sing to music, then why can’t we stand in solidarity against people who want to oppress us?”
But even as protesters danced the “Cupid Shuffle” in 95-degree heat, the signs they carried bore grim references to the issue that led to their presence in the street: the recent killings of black people. Continue reading “Protesters Encouraged to Seek Change at Ballot Box”

Burbank Council Seeks to Reduce Spending on Overtime

The Burbank City Council this week adopted a “needs-based” staffing policy that staff members said will reduce unnecessary overtime for municipal workers. Meanwhile, multiple residents questioned council members about the city’s finances.
Management Services Director Betsy McClinton said that the policy, which the council unanimously approved during its virtual meeting Tuesday, will give the city the flexibility to hire more or fewer staff members depending on need, or have more staff in communities that require it. The policy is also expected to help cut down on overtime.
It is unclear how much money would be saved by the new policy, according to McClinton, who added that the city spent nearly $7.2 million from the general fund on overtime in fiscal year 2018-19.
In accordance with California law, the city must meet with its labor groups before the new policy can be implemented, she said during the meeting. Her staff report to the council did not mention which employees might be affected by the policy.
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