Bike Routes AND the Pilot Come Before Council

beverly hills city hallHere’s a news item! City Council on November 13th is scheduled to hear two bike-related items. First in the afternoon study session, Public Works & Transportation will present for councilmember consideration a bicycle rack program. Then in the evening formal session, Council will discuss specific improvements to be made to two city streets under the newly-approved Bike Route Pilot Program.

The rack item will be the third scheduled appearance before Council in study session. The first two times it was bumped (most recently for an important discussion about Measure J, the LA County transit tax extension which we haven’t ourselves endorsed). Should it come before Council, members will discuss new racks and a proposed bicycle rack-on-request program.

Under the proposed scheme, new bicycle racks would find a place in city parks and some commercial areas – the first sidewalk racks Beverly Hills has installed in perhaps a decade! This long-debated program has certainly taken its time to reach Council, and we’re anxious to hear additional details beyond the generalities presented to the Traffic & Parking Commission in August.

We’ve long supported a rack-on-request program, perhaps even suggesting it first back in 2010. There are good implementations right here on the Westside, we’ve told staffers, so let’s simply copy them we said. We can lift the website and brand it as our own, and then start asking businesses where they need ‘em! Turns out it’s not that simple, evidently. We’ll look forward to hearing what staff recommends when it comes before Council for direction. (We predict no such program will be in place this fiscal year, which ends June 31st.) Here’s hoping that Council finds something in it they like…or at least provides this wayward department with some guidance on how to cobble together a basic bike rack strategy (like every other city).

The big news is that we might finally see something happen with our beleaguered Bike Route Pilot Program. At the formal study session we should learn more about what Council intends for Crescent Drive North and Burton Way. We don’t have high hopes that this program will change any aspect of cycling in our city (as we said in our critique of the Pilot) but at least we’ll have some idea of how the wind is blowing with regard to the city’s perspective on the safety of those who choose to ride in Beverly Hills.

Read about the Pilot on our dedicated page and come prepared to comment. You know that the neighbors will be out in force to deny your right (and legitimate expectation) to cycle safely on their roads.

The background: Back in early 2010, the Traffic & Parking Commission formed an ad-hoc Bicycle Plan Update Committee to take the first steps, but the Beverly Hills Bicycle Master Plan was never revisited. Then the Public Works/Transportation department convened some bike advocates together in 2011 to talk about the facilities that we do need. Officials took what they wanted and forwarded a very limited set of proposed improvements to Traffic & Parking, which forwarded a whittled-down set of recommendations to Council, which choose two routes for improvements.

 

2 thoughts on “Bike Routes AND the Pilot Come Before Council

  1. How do you get info on timing & agenda of these meeetings? I called Park & Rec last spring left phone number & email with staffer(she’s still there) who promised to notify me when exercise station equipment for La Cienega park would be discussed)I’d heard about the possibility from a local merchant with personal/business connections, not from any news reports). The staffer, like the website, offered not a single contact option for Park & Rec commissioners, not email or phone just the staff # with no offer to forward to Commissioners. She did promise to notify me when the issue was put on the agenda, tho, but never did.
    When I saw in BH Weekly that action had been taken, I called staff # & asked afresh how to get on notification list and/or contact Park & Rec commissioners. I was told (by same staffer)
    that she was still only contact point. When I mentioned the exercise equip, she claimed to remember my call & request , but” couldn’t find the folder” & told me she remembered quite clearly that I was a vendor & they hadn’t looked at equip yet. The BH Weekly had reported they’d chosen equipment & gave installation estimate! I apologized for confusing her by saying I lived near the park & wanted to come to any meetings to show my support for the idea, plus advocate for handicapped/elderly friendly stations, since there are already sedentary & trackwalking seniors at the park daily. Tried to focus on current/future info & could not get her to sign me up for notice of meetings. She did say “IT told her” there was a new way on the website, but she could not get to it because “website must be down” or describe how to me verbally because she’d never actually tried it(BH website was not down at my house, but could not find such a link).She stressed that they only released info 72 hours ahead of time, never before, because that was state law, as if state law forbid her to tell me what/when the next meeting of P & R would be if it were more than 72 hours ahead!
    Are you on an automatic agenda list for these subcommittes or committees? What time is the bike rack meeting& where is it held? Thanks

  2. Well it seems like you’ve encountered myriad issues with city staffers (just like I have) simply by trying your best to participate in city government. I’ve seen it all too: the meeting notices that don’t get posted online; the commission agendas that aren’t specific as to what actions may be taken; the e-notices that never go out; the promised heads-up calls that aren’t made; and overall an evident disinclination to interact or engage with the public.

    I was signed-up for e-notices, but with the new site they simply stopped coming. When I raised the issue to communications in City Hall, the spokesperson there manually sent out a few for upcoming meetings, but then…nothing more. The old website was crap, but the new website helpfully offers new opportunities for more broken links, empty pages, and of course, a broken e-noticing system.

    Were these occasional problems, fine. Let’s fix it. But no amount of helpful pointers, reminders, or admonitions can get these communications channels to work better. And the deputy mayor for communications is simply not familiar with online tools. The dysfunction is baked-in. But if you email and call often enough, and start to CC the Mayor and City Council about the problems (like I do) then they’re reminded of how the forces are arrayed against those who want to make the city better.

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