Bike Route Pilot Public Meetings Announced

South Beverly Drive congestion Beverly Hills has announced a roster of public meetings to discuss the previously announced Bike Route Pilot program study corridors: Charleville, Carmelita, Beverly Drive, and Crescent. The April 11th and April 25th meetings are open workshops and the final May 9th meeting will provide input directly to our Traffic & Parking Commission. This is your opportunity to tell the city why you need safe streets! So plan to attend and prepare your best ideas for bike-friendly improvements to these four possible routes – we’ll need them!

Public outreach for the Bike Route Pilot program of improvements comes after five meetings held since mid-2011 that brought together Traffic & Parking Commissioners and members from the bike community under the aegis of the ad-hoc Bike Plan Update Committee. In these meetings we have discussed good practices from other cites and sorted through possible bike routes here at home. Ultimately we choose four ‘pilot’ routes to review for improvements, and last Fall the city contracted with an engineering firm to survey them and then return to the Committee with options. Fehr & Peers produced a Bike Routes Pilot Feasibility Study and a Bike Routes Pilot Program map that outlined the opportunities.

Pilot feasibility study map for CharlevilleThis public process will work off of these four identified routes - Charleville (left), Carmelita, Beverly Drive, and Crescent. (Bike racks will be addressed at the beginning of the next fiscal year in July, we’re told, while a request for proposals for the Santa Monica Boulevard project was just released. But the timeline on that will extend through 2014.) City staff will take your questions and convey your suggested bike route improvements to the Commission, which will review them and make recommendations to City Council.

So your participation is important. But how to prepare for these workshops? Follow the links to the study (above) or consult the ad-hoc Committee’s page where the documents are posted.

You can also consult our notes on these meetings. Better Bike has attended all of the past meetings and have recapped them, beginning with the first meeting in June of 2011, the second in August, the third in November, the fourth in January of 2012 (which we’ve covered in three parts addressing the three key initiatives: the Pilot routes, the bike racks, and the Santa Monica Boulevard reconstruction).

Beverly Hills proposed bike routes mapWe haven’t generally been positive about the city’s efforts, though, as we’ve viewed the Committee’s pace as too lagging given that it’s safety we’re talking about, and even in bad faith given the city’s intransigence at scheduling these meetings so more folks could attend. But now that we’re embarking on a public process, we’ll be there to support real improvements that make a real difference – like a real bike route system for the city as was long-ago anticipated by our first (and only) bike plan in 1977. It’s still the plan we’re using, by the way. While the Pilot moves through the city’s decision-making machinery, we will advance our own vision of what a bike route network would look like (above right).

If you have an interest in safer streets and cycling-friendly infrastructure, please plan to attend these meeting and if possible prepare a statement to the Traffic & Parking Commission beforehand. The Commission is the stop before their recommended improvements hit City Council on May 9th, so it is important that the Commissioners clearly understand our needs. (Feel free to forward your statements on to Better Bike too.)