Fed up with Beverly Hills’s disregard for rider safety and insulted by Council turning its back on bike lanes for Santa Monica? We are. So we’re beginning a ‘safety advisory’ campaign through which we’ll hip riders and personal injury attorneys to the extent of negligence where dangerous corridors and intersections are concerned. Stay tuned!
The Alliance for Biking and Walking has announced ten nominees for national bike Advocate of the Year, and our own region’s Cynthia Rose is on it. The tireless force behind Santa Monica Spoke, LACBC affiliate and motor behind that city’s transformation into a true multimodal city. She gets our vote!
California’s Court of Appeals this week gave the OK to drivers to look at a map on a digital device while driving. That’s despite statewide bans on holding one to talk or text, say. The reasoning? “Based on the statute’s language, its legislative history, and subsequent legislative enactments, we conclude that the statute means what it says—it prohibits a driver only from holding a wireless telephone while conversing on it.”
Update: We will meet up before the meeting at Peets Coffee (258 S. Beverly Drive) Tuesday at 5:45 pm. We’ll grab a drink and at 6:45 ride north on Beverly Drive to City Hall. Here is the City Council agenda (item F1) and the accompanying staff report. See you there!
Put this in your calendar: City Council will consider the Blue-Ribbon Committee’s recommendation to incrementally expand Santa Monica Boulevard and add a class II bicycle lane in each direction. The meeting is March 4th at 7pm.
The key question before Council: Should the city increase the curb-to-curb width of the boulevard? And if expanded, should the city stripe bicycle lanes as the Blue Ribbon Committee recommended? Proponents of a separate bicycle lane for this key corridor see it as a necessary step toward creating a future citywide bike network as envisioned in our 1977 Bicycle Master Plan. Public input to the Blue-Ribbon Committee overwhelmingly favored a bicycle lane too. (Read more about that in our committee recaps.)
We know our streets can be made safer for those who walk, ride and even drive because we reviewed 5 years of collision injury data and found that we’re making scant progress on reducing road-borne harm. This is our opportunity to bring directly to City Council our concerns about road safety.
The Council needs your input! Councilmembers can reached by phone at 310-285-1013. Or plan to attend on March 4th at 7pm to address Council during public comment (immediately preceding the item). Drop us a line if you have any questions.
As reported by the NY Times, studies show that THC is unreliably measured in roadside sobriety tests. That creates a problem for policymakers, for how to craft laws to prosecute drivers driving under the influence of Marijuana? But studies show that alcohol remains the far greater danger as inebriation not only diminishes driver reflexes, it adds to aggressive driving too.
A win for good-government in Beverly Hills: Council unanimously OK’d tighter lobbyist registration requirements that now require any ‘legislative advocate’ remunerated above $50 to both disclose their role in chambers and file a form under penalty of city suspension and state perjury law. Kudos to Mayor Mirisch for spearheading it and to the mayor’s Sunshine Task Force for workshopping it.
USC is ramping up another in their periodic SoCal research efforts. Following up on Sprawl Hits the Wall a decade ago, now scholars are looking at equity in mobility. Read the report or start with KCET’s ‘LA in Motion’ summary of the key issues. The objective, scholars say, is “a shared framework for movement and action, together.”
In response to our post on bike racks (“Where are the Bicycle Racks?”) we heard from the City Manager, Jeff Kolin. He provided the schedule for rack installations: starting in late February we should expect 17 sidewalk racks. Too little, and too late, but it’s something.
Kimberly Reiss makes a good argument for rechristening Santa Monica Boulevard as Historic Route 66. In this corridor’s reconstruction she sees Route 66 highway signs, lamppost banners, landscaped medians and bike paths to recall the history of travel and be the gateway to our business triangle. We’re totally on board!
We’ve been calling for bicycle lanes on Santa Monica Boulevard for years because it is a crucial crosstown route. With our recent success, we’d now like to see UCLA step up to make greater Westside crosstown cycling a practical mobility choice. So we’ve added our name to a letter to UCLA Chancellor Block calling for safe bike access to campus. Organized by UCLA Bicycle Academy, signatories number more than sixty. The campaign can use your help so step up!
West Hollywood announced that its employees have raised $42k for AIDS Project Los Angeles. Can you imagine that happening in Beverly Hills? We don’t generally see our workers come together for a good cause, or even to support the city that employees them. Why? Few who work here live here. Fewer than 0.3% of local residents who applied for a city job were hired over the past three years. And policies like ’flex time,’ 4-day workweeks, and generous vacation time encourage employees to make their home elsewhere. (Have you ever seen a City Hall staffer in a coffee shop or restaurant off-hours? We haven’t.) City workers from Thousand Oaks and Santa Clarita aren’t likely to make the welfare of our city an extra-curricular concern. But it seems different in West Hollywood.
We want to thank Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) for stepping up with AB 1532 to make mandatory a 6-month license suspension of any motorist convicted for fleeing the scene of a collision or failing to provide identification. “This is a sensible fix to the law that will lead people to think twice before leaving the scene of an accident,” Gatto said, and we agree. On conviction
The Santa Monica Boulevard Blue-Ribbon Committee meets for a fourth and final time this week to discuss design options and enhancements for the future corridor. From the committee dais (and from the sidelines) we’ve argued that complete streets treatments and class II bicycle lanes should be part of this project. But the committee has been more interested in vehicular traffic flow than a rider’s safety. This Wednesday the committee will vote on the lanes. Here’s what to expect. In three Santa Monica Boulevard meetings the Santa Monica Boulevard Blue-Ribbon Committee has touched on issues ranging from the specific (corner radii and pavement material) to the general (boulevard width and bicycle lanes). But we have not found resolution on any of … Continue reading
When Mayor Mirisch asked the Principal Planner of Beverly Hills if his agency is a victim of ‘Stockholm Syndrome,‘ we had to applaud; planners are too cozy with developers. Mirisch followed up with a letter to the editor and nailed it: “It is my hope that the days when the City was for sale on the cheap are over. I for one am still committed to putting the Community’s and the residents’ interests before developer profits. I’m committed to making sure that the public benefits truly benefit our residents.” – Courier 1/3/14.