Mike Lawler’s recent column about the proposed Verdugo Wash Bike Path (PVWBP) sounds like a commercial – all glowing promises, but I am sure residents can look at the wash for themselves and see it is not clear cut.
One reader recently compared the PVWBP to the Chandler Bike Path in Burbank. The Burbank path is in the middle of a wide, flat road in a largely flat city. It does not run through people’s yards and is easily accessible and visible (safe for riders, as well as residents). The PVWBP is not a turnkey project. It is major in terms of cost (hundreds of millions), construction and impact on the community.
I am sure residents know that the majority of those who live here could not easily ride to and from the Verdugo Wash to their homes, and especially from their home to Glendale and beyond, as La Crescenta is just too steep – creating a drive-to bike path. It will not ease congestion or have a positive impact on the environment. Most people I know are unhappy with what downtown Glendale has become and avoid going there.
Proponents compare this path to one outside Denver – the Cherry Creek Bike Path which has brought development and made what was a quiet suburb of Denver an extension of the city.
I am sure most residents will analyze this project – seeing how close it comes to people’s homes, where it is in relationship to schools (adjacent to 17 schools? Which ones in the Crescenta Valley?). They will think about safety, as well as construction, maintenance and policing costs. They will ask, “Where does the path link to?” and “Who are the proponents of this proposed path? Are there political motivations?” Residents will wonder why homeowners have not been contacted while proponents say they have been.
Timely and unbiased reporting about this proposed project, as well as information about the pros and cons of bike paths in general, including the one in Denver, will create an environment where residents can voice their thoughts without being shamed (someone who voiced their concerns to the paper was ridiculed and called “Whitey” by another reader) and allow everyone to participate in the democratic process.