Beverly Hills Bike Route Pilot Outreach Meeting #1

Bike Route Pilot public meeting #1

Beverly Hills doesn’t have much to stand on when it comes to cyclist safety, so it’s heartening at least that a Bike Route Pilot program is underway to bring, for the first time, cycling-friendly improvements to some of our city streets. With the first public outreach meeting under our belt and two more upcoming on April 25th and May 9th, here we recap where we are and the next steps to safer bike routes.

The city’s first-ever bike facilities planning workshop just wrapped up, part of the Bike Route Pilot program to bring safer bike travel to city streets. This meeting is the first step; subsequently the Traffic & Parking Commission will formulate recommendations on or after the third meeting on May 9, with City Council action thereafter. The city mailed out 3,000 flyers (below) and Better Bike did some legwork too. Nevertheless, turnout was rather light. Hot-button issues draw the crowds (and the attention) but bike planning meetings? Not so much.

About seven or eight speakers total took the microphone. Collecting public input was the ad-hoc Bike Plan Update Committee members Levine (Chair), Grushcow, and Friedman.

The meeting began with planner Martha Eros presenting an update on the Pilot, including the city’s bike rack effort. The latter includes new racks for commercial districts, new racks to replace the few substandard ‘wave’ type racks already installed, and (prospectively) a rack-on-request program so businesses can ask the city for a needed nearby bike rack. As presented, it’s clear that the city has come a long way in recognizing the value of bike parking. (And we appreciate it!) We look forward to these racks and this program in late summer and autumn.

The four routes identified for possible improvements (basic map) include Charleville Blvd., the most direct connection between La Cienega and Century City; Beverly Drive, the city’s commercial spine; and Crescent Drive and Carmelita Avenue. The latter seem to be the city’s preferred routes: they are less-traveled than the others, but they are also, we feel, a complement rather than a substitute. Should the city move forward on all four, we’ll see the kernel of a citywide bike network emerge, a prospect envisioned by our Beverly Hills Bicycle Master Plan from 1977.

The Pilot Program Feasibility Study

Our old bike plan hasn’t been a foundation of this effort; instead, the city commissioned a Pilot Program feasibility study from Fehr & Peers. On hand to present that study (PPT) was civil engineer Sarah Brandenberg. Emphasizing that “no decisions have been made yet,” Sarah enumerated the key parameter: the study assumed the existing right-of-way with no change to parking or vehicular flow. “We’re not removing anything,” she said. “This is what we could do for bicyclists.”

Moving through the four corridors (plus Burton Way, a late addition) she identified the possible improvements: bike lanes; share-the-road lane markings; and traffic circles. For most of the route segments, bike lanes are off the table; there simply isn’t room, she said. For sharrow-applied routes, like Carmelita and Charleville, the many stop signs that exist there could be replaced by innovative intersection treatments like roundabouts. “Nothing is envisioned [like that] now,” she added. “Maybe down the road.”

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! Continue reading

A Sobering Recap of Beverly Hills Bike Planning

Ad-Hoc Bike Plan Update Committee at work

Leafing through the city’s ‘feasibility study’ (provided not in advance but at the meeting itself).

Looking back over the past year, it’s difficult not to be profoundly disappointed by the utter lack of progress in bike planning in Beverly Hills. Not a single new rack has been installed in any business district to accommodate bike-riding patrons. No bike lane or sharrow to ease our safe passage. No sign will remind motorists that we’re allowed to use the road too. And no ground gained on updating our 1970s-era bike plan. As we meet again with Commissioners this coming Wednesday, we need to ask what we can expect from the Traffic & Transportation Commission. Continue reading

Beverly Hills Posts Bike Rack Map

Aside

Beverly Hills has finally posted a map of the city’s 22 bike racks. Clustered in the business triangle, these racks won’t do much for those with destinations beyond it, but at least with a map in hand now we’ll know where to look for a rack. The map [an 8mb download] is the only deliverable to emerge from the 18-month old ad-hoc Bike Plan Update committee and good for it, because some of our non-standard racks are easy to miss. Now, after a year of preparation, and an insufficient earlier version (see our improved version), the new map is still called a draft!

Bike Plan Update Committee Meeting #3

Ad-Hoc Committee - Ellen and TerryThe ad-hoc Bike Plan Update Committee met for the third time on November 16th with representatives from the Beverly Hills cycling community. This was the latest in a bi-monthly series to bring the city & bike community together. We last met in August to discuss the our need for bike-friendly facilities and programs, and to identify candidate bike corridors for a pilot program here in the city. Here is the recap from this third meeting, with comment to follow in subsequent posts. Continue reading

Beverly Hills Posts an ad-hoc Bike Committee Page

Ad-Hoc Bike Plan Committee website screenshotNewsflash! Beverly Hills Transportation has created a webpage for the city’s ad-hoc Bike Plan Update Committee. It sure took long enough: after beggaring the city to merely pick this lowest of low-hanging fruit – creating a webpage – we finally have something to show for our year-and-a-half effort.

Heck, Transportation has even gone ahead and posted the agenda for this Wednesday’s committee meeting. That’s about 48 hours in advance. Yet it’s too short a lead time to satisfy Brown Act requirements. That’s why it’s an ad-hoc committee. Continue reading

Bike Plan Update Committee to Meet Mid-November

Ad-Hoc Bike Plan Update Committee table view

Ad-Hoc Bike Plan Update Committee meeting 8/29/11.

Put on your mental calendar an upcoming meeting of the ad-hoc Bike Plan Update Committee, tentatively scheduled for the 3rd week in November. The committee has met since early 2010 – twice behind closed doors and twice with the cycling community – and this meeting should suggest whether we’re wasting our time, or making even limited progress on bike facilities, plans, and programs going forward. I’m not optimistic. Continue reading

Beverly Hills Bike Plan Update Progress Report

We caught up with Aaron Kunz, Deputy Director of Transportation, for an update on the Beverly Hills bike plan update process. In a wide-ranging recap we discussed the timetable and process for reconstructing Santa Monica Boulevard; opportunities for adding on-boulevard bike lanes to that corridor to support regional connectivity; progress on bringing a bike rack program to the city; and next steps on the pilot program. Here’s the recap – first the corridor reconstruction then the rest. Continue reading

Stakeholders’ Agenda for the 8/29 Ad-Hoc Bike Committee

When last we checked in with Aaron Kunz, Deputy Director for Transportation in the Department of Public Works in Beverly Hills, he sounded an optimistic note about future bike planning efforts here:

  • Monday’s meeting of the Ad-Hoc Bike Plan Update committee was freshly agendized;
  • The city is seeking a paid intern to honcho bike improvements in the city, like the rack program now in the works; and,
  • We will be scheduled for a meeting with the City Manager, Jeff Kolin.

When we expressed skepticism, Aaron responded, “I understand your frustration,” but emphasized that now things are moving.  Are they? We’ll know more after Monday’s meeting with the Commissioners from the Ad-Hoc Bike Plan Update Committee: 345 Foothill Rd. @ 5 pm. Continue reading

Traffic & Parking Commission Meeting

Better Bike was in the house for last Thursday’s Traffic & Parking Commission meeting. Joining us were members Ron Durgin (of Sustainable Streets) and Aviv Kleinman, the latter a promising, motivated new member clearly interested in bringing change to Beverly Hills transportation. Ron spoke about the need to get bike facilities and education on the front burner; he should know, he’s a professional in both areas. Aviv is a recent graduate of Beverly Hills High School with an interest in robotics and politics. (No jokes please!) He lamented the lack of safe travel for students who would bike to school. That is a new focus area for Better Bike, which is trying to bring Beverly Hills United’s attention to Safe … Continue reading

BH Bike Rack Map: New & Improved!

The cyclist who searches for an actual bike rack in Beverly Hills is bound to be disappointed.There are just so few, and none of them where you’d need them. Want to latch up near your bank, cafe, or employer? You’re out of luck. Think you’ll find one in a public parking garage? Keep looking – there are only two such racks we’ve been able to find. But the city has installed a score of racks some years back as part of the Golden Triangle rehab. Those racks are of unconventional design are very difficult to spot, however.

Bike Plan Update Committee Meeting #1

The Beverly Hills Traffic and Parking Commission’s Bicycle Ad-Hoc Committee met on Wednesday, June 8th for the first time in public. You’ll recall that the Traffic and Parking Commission is the advisory body that reviews, well, traffic and parking issues, but it’s also the commission that works most closely with the city’s Transportation division. This Bicycle Ad-Hoc Committee meeting (agenda) invited a handful of Better Bike members to communicate concerns, gripes, and ideas that show our support for a real active transportation planning process and bike facilities.

Update on the Ad-Hoc Commmittee

Catching up with Aaron Kunz at BH Transportation brought us somewhat up-to-date on the next steps for the Traffic & Transportation’s Commission’s ad-hoc bike planning committee. This body was formed by three Commissioners last August to explore the next steps for fleshing out our city’s bare-bones bike plan (5 pages + old maps adopted in January 2010). Readers will recall that the Committee has only met twice and both times in closed session. There have been no posted agendas or minutes.* So we’re left making telephone calls to find out when the ad-hoc committee will meet next and what it will do.

Ad Hoc Bicycle Committe Formed

You can’t say that your two minutes at the City Council microphone is totally wasted. After Better Bike members showed up in Council Chambers for a study session back in September to highlight the inadequacy of the bike plan, the city has taken the first step forward by creating an ad hoc committee to look at evolving it. This is a long-overdue effort that should have preceded the adoption of the General Plan this past January, when City Council stamped its approval on this 5-page skeleton of a plan – one without significant detail and with no implementation timetable in any case.