Burbank officials are pursuing nearly $1 million to help build a 12-foot wide path for cyclists and pedestrians that would stretch from the Lake-Alameda Greenway to the Metrolink station downtown.

The South Channel Bikeway — estimated to cost $4 million— would be constructed along the Burbank Western Flood Channel and add to an evolving regional bike network that converges in Burbank.

“All the work we’ve done in the Lake-Alameda focus neighborhoods tell us that people are using that area along the channel as a link to get around anyway,” said Ruth Davidson-Guerra, the city’s assistant community development director.

The dedicated pathway will make it safer for pedestrians and bicyclists to connect with schools, parks and the transportation center, she added.

City officials are pursuing roughly $982,000 in grant funds to complement $3 million from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Burbank is pursuing $982,109 in additional lighting and landscaping funds, which would come from the state Strategic Growth Council Urban Greening Project Program, said Assistant Transportation Planner Cory Wilkerson.

The South Channel Bikeway would provide a strong link between the Lake-Alameda, Elmwood and Verdugo Focus neighborhoods, which are congested and relatively difficult to maneuver for buses.

“Those neighborhoods are hard to serve by transit, the streets are relatively narrow — it’s high-density residential,” Wilkerson said. “It’s not an easy way to run transit through there from an operational standpoint.”

The state could announce the award by early 2012, Wilkerson said. If Burbank wins the grant, it could be one to three months for the City Council to formally agree to accept the funds.

-- Maria Hsin, Times Community News

Twitter: @mariahsin

Photo: Rick Kogler, 26 of Canoga Park, rides his bike to work on the Chandler Bikeway near Mariposa St. on Thursday, May 20, 2010. Credit: Raul Roa / Staff Photographer