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March 9, 2021

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New Bike/Ped Crossing over Railroad Tracks in Burbank – Streetsblog Los Angeles

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It’s not the prettiest or most welcoming walk/bike facility in Burbank, but Caltrans and Metro recently opened a new pedestrian bridge near Providencia Avenue in downtown Burbank. The facility does not cross the 5 Freeway, but hugs the side of the 5 while crossing railroad tracks.

The bike/ped crossing is part of Metro and Caltrans’ $1.3+ billion widening of the North 5 Freeway. That project is five years late and millions over budget. Though earlier Metro had refused to pay cost overruns that Caltrans is on the hook for, next week the Metro board Construction Committee will vote on a staff recommendation (page 12) to approve Metro paying an additional $73.2 million for the mega-project.

The new walk/bike crossing replaces an earlier pedestrian bridge with more-or-less the same start and end points. The north end of the facility is on Bonnywood Place, very close to the Burbank Ikea. The south end of the bridge is on Flower Street, just east of Providencia.

Location of new Burbank pedestrian crossing
Location of new Burbank pedestrian crossing

The new path runs parallel to – and within just a dozen feet of – car and truck traffic on the 5 Freeway, meaning users are subject to plenty of noise, pollution, and particulate dust. Though the facility has some utility and preserves earlier walk/bike access, it’s the kind of hellscape that only a freeway traffic engineer can love.

At the north end, the crossing features a couple of switchbacks. Image via Google Street View
At the north end, the crossing features a couple of switchbacks. Image via Google Street View
The north end, open today, though with no signage or landscaping,
The north end, open today, though with no signage or landscaping,
The middle of the bridge puts pedestrians and cyclists within a half-dozen feet of fast-moving car and truck traffic on the 5 Freeway
The middle of the bridge puts pedestrians and cyclists within a dozen feet of fast-moving car and truck traffic on the 5 Freeway
The bridge is useful as a decent way to get across these railroad tracks used by Metrolink and Amtrak railroad
The bridge is useful as a decent way to get across these railroad tracks used by Metrolink and Amtrak. It also allows pedestrians and cyclists to cross under the 5 Freeway at Flower Street.
Though there were bike wheel tracks in the dust on the crossing, no cyclists or pedestrians were observed using the new facility when Streetsblog visited today
Though there were bike wheel tracks in the dust on the crossing, no cyclists or pedestrians were observed using the new facility when Streetsblog visited today
The south end of the new crossing at Flower Street. In the past the entrance was on the north side of the street; it was moved to the south side (making for a longer less direct facility)
The south end of the new crossing at Flower Street. In the past, the entrance was on the north side of the street; it was moved to the south side, making for a longer, less direct facility with essentially the same end points.