The Burbank City Council is considering providing on-street parking if the Golden Mall in downtown Burbank is opened to traffic, reversing its position of two months ago.
Pressure from several mall merchants, who complained that their businesses would suffer if parking were not available in front of their stores, is partly responsible for the council's decision, Mayor Mary Lou Howard said Wednesday. City officials had never "been comfortable" with a plan that did not allow parking, she said.
The council voted unanimously to ask the city's staff to draw plans for the mall that include parking.
Under a $4-million plan approved by four members of the council in January, the four-block mall, now open only to pedestrians, would include a street with a single lane of traffic in each direction. Construction was scheduled to start in July, but the council decision to reconsider the parking issue likely will push back the timetable.
The mall has been controversial for several years because of the deterioration of some of the stores and the presence of transients.
Almost immediately after the January vote, which merely approved the plan in concept, merchants began complaining about the lack of parking. Some said city officials cared more about the Towncenter shopping mall, which is to be built next to the Golden Mall, than about merchants who have served Burbank for several years.
"Putting a street through a business district without parking does not make sense," said Morrie Goodstein, president of the Golden Mall Merchants Assn.
City Manager Bud Ovrom said a plan providing some parking will be presented to the council by April 22.