Recently we spoke with Aaron Kunz, Deputy Director for Transportation, about Santa Monica Boulevard reconstruction and what to next expect in the process. Recall that back in March, the Council majority seemed unwilling to concede an extra foot of width to accommodate them. But the ballooning cost estimate stalled the project, and the Council deferred action pending more information about costs and traffic mitigation.
Beverly Hills City Council Disses Road Safety, Slaps Riders in Santa Monica Boulevard Session A split Beverly Hills City Council last night dismissed the safety concerns of over two hundred riders (and twenty who showed up in person) to blithely wave off any prospect for class II bicycle lanes on tomorrow’s Santa Monica Boulevard. Those of us who hoped that the corridor would close the regional backbone network gap, or perhaps illustrate the current thinking in complete streets principles, will be sorely disappointed. Living up to our reputation for insularity and parochial thinking, a majority on our City Council last night affirmed our city’s disregard for connectivity and road safety by ruling out bike lanes.
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.
Beverly Hills City Council just created a ‘blue ribbon’ residents committee to coordinate public input about conceptual designs and alternatives for the first phase of the Santa Monica Boulevard reconstruction project. Expected to break ground in early 2015, the project will reconfigure this key corridor. Many design questions remain, however – not least whether bicycle lanes will one day find their place here to complete the regional ‘backbone’ bicycle network that cyclists care about.
Beverly Hills City Council took a major step forward on Santa Monica Boulevard reconstruction today when councilmembers agreed to create an appointed blue-ribbon committee to manage public outreach this fall. This move broadens stakeholder participation beyond the limited opportunities afforded by commission oversight and instead puts oversight of the process in stakeholders’ hands. In other developments, the Council recognized that cyclists have a place on this key corridor and said safety was paramount. Let’s recap!