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New Raised Protected Bike Lanes on Hollywood Way in Burbank

This article supported by Los Angeles Bicycle Attorney as part of a general sponsorship package. All opinions in the article are that of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of LABA. Click on the ad for more information.

The city of Burbank recently upgraded bike lanes on Hollywood Way, installing the city's first raised protected bike lane. Burbank's Hollywood Way protected bikeway extends about 0.8-mile from San Fernando Road to Empire Avenue - essentially along the Burbank Airport's eastern frontage, between Burbank's two airport Metrolink stations.

According to the city of Burbank Assistant Community Development Director David Kriske, all of the new bike facilities on Hollywood Way between Empire and San Fernando were installed as a condition of approval for the Avion development project. Avion (company website, city approval documents webpage) is a 61-acre redevelopment, featuring a half dozen large "creative" industrial/office/warehouse buildings, with some smaller retail and a hotel.

Map showing bikeway area - via Urbanize
Map showing Hollywood Way bikeway area (vertical line in center) and Avion site (in orange) - via Urbanize coverage of Burbank Airport adjacent zoning changes
Map of Avion - via project EIR
Map of Avion transportation features, including bike lanes, walkways, multi-use paths, bike parking and bike-share - via project Environmental Impact Report - EIR. (Note that what is labeled "Metro station" is the Burbank Airport - North Metrolink station.)

Though there's quite a bit of surface parking surrounding the buildings (~2,150 spaces), Avion is, according to its website, fairly oriented toward transit/walk/bike - with a "Transportation Demand Management Plan and mobility in the project via surrounding public transportation and multi-purpose paths through the project."

Kriske noted that the bikeway improvements were part of an overall $23+million community benefits package, which also included:

    • contributions toward maintenance of Burbank Airport - North Metrolink Station and BurbankBus service
    • improvement and maintenance of three bus stops
    • subsidizing 75 percent of a Metro or Metrolink monthly pass for 20 percent of employees
    • providing a 60-space public parking lot for the Metrolink station

Prior to the current facility, Hollywood Way had basic painted bike lanes. The city required Avion to install a raised protected bike lane along the project’s frontage. That southbound bikeway runs at sidewalk level, separated from pedestrians by a planted strip.

New sidewalk level protected bike lane on Hollywood Way
New sidewalk level protected bike lane on Hollywood Way

The bike lane runs behind transit shelters - creating what is called a bus island - to minimize conflicts between buses, pedestrians, and cyclists.

Hollywood Way xxxx
Hollywood Way bus shelter island. The protected bikeway runs behind the bus stop.

The landscaping features curbside rain gardens, which capture and infiltrate street runoff.

Slots in the curb allow rainwater runoff to water landscaping
Slots in the curb allow rainwater runoff to water landscaping

The nicest part of the new bikeway/walk facility is along Avion's Hollywood Way frontage (the west side of Hollywood from San Fernando Road to Winona Avenue), but the developer was also required to install protected bike lanes on the remaining parts of Hollywood Way between Empire and San Fernando.

Near the Burbank Airport entrance (at Thornton Avenue) there is another block-long stretch featuring a sidewalk-level protected lane running behind the airport bus stop.

Hollywood Way protected bike lane running behind floating island bus stop - just south of xxxx
Hollywood Way sidewalk-level protected bike lane running behind floating island bus stop - just south of Thornton Avenue

The remainder of the bikeway, including the east side (northbound side) of Hollywood Way, features a street level protected lane, with plastic bollards.

Northbound protected bike lane on Hollywood Way in Burbank. (Avion buildings visible in the upper left.)

In a couple short relatively-narrow stretches, protection is dropped - and there is only a conventional painted bike lane.

Short stretch of unprotected bikeway

Kriske wrote that the developer designed and constructed the improvements, with design assistance and approval from Burbank's Public Works and Community Development Departments. "Public Works did a good job stepping out of their comfort zone to make several civil design decisions to implement Class IV [protected] facilities" noted Kriske, "as this is the first raised protected bike lane in Burbank."

Overall the bikeway treatments are indeed a few steps up from conventional bike lanes: safe and visible, with great treatments at bus stops and significant landscaped stretches. It's not quite a pinnacle of walkabilty/bikeability though, as Hollywood Way remains a six-plus lane thoroughfare used by lots of drivers to access the airport.

The Hollywood Way bikeway is nearly completed and very much in use. Per Kriske, most of the facility opened in June 2021. There is still some construction underway on the connector road from San Fernando, across from the Burbank Airport - North Station.

Protected bike lane on Hollwyood Way in Burbank
Protected bike lane on Hollywood Way in Burbank

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