BURBANK (CBSLA.com) — A two-and-a-half-year-old battle over sidewalks near a Burbank middle school is continuing to brew.
In 2011, the city received a state grant of approximately $130,000 to build sidewalks up and down a one-block portion of Screenland Drive outside Luther Burbank Middle School.
“That is at the core of the issue…is having a safe route for the children to get to school,” said city spokesman Drew Sugars.
Many of the residents, however, don’t want the sidewalks and have been putting up a fight.
“Number one, they’re not needed. Number two, it cuts so much out of your front yard and brings people closer to your homes,” said John Pinnow.
Some residents have their landscaping all the way to the curb, so if the sidewalks are put in, their front yards could be altered.
“We want to maintain the character of our neighborhood. It’s always been this way. We’ve had no safety issues ever,” said Jan Strong.
Strong, who could lose a tree in her front yard that has been there since before she was born, has the support of Vice Mayor David Gordon.
“We need to respect the people who live on the street. They’ve been there, they’ve had children, they’ve seen it, and there’s been no documented issue of children or other people being harmed on the street, as far as I know,” he said.
Many parents disagree.
“Sometimes the street is filled with cars; there’s no parking. So they have to go into the middle of the street, in between cars, to try to get into the car that’s picking them up,” said Samantha Alonzo.
“My oldest daughter just started here today and that was my comment while I was walking down there. This is really unsafe because we had to walk in the street. I thought, ‘Why don’t they have sidewalks in the street?’” said Bernadette Reardon.
The city council will vote again on the issue next Tuesday.