Complete Streets Draft Plan is Out!

City of Beverly Hills has finally released a draft Complete Streets plan! Transportation consultant Iteris and bike-planners at Alta have posted a two-parter for our review: a 43-page executive summary and a 200-page technical report. Now is time to get busy! Sharpen that pencil and get ready to provide your hard-won local knowledge so that the final complete streets plan is as good as it can be.

The Beverly Hills Complete Streets Plan draft report comes eight months after last August’s “draft plan progress” public workshop. That workshop used a powerpoint presentation and some poster-board maps to suggest the direction the plan was taking.

If that workshop was intended to gauge the public’s interest in new solutions to old mobility problems, the lack of enthusiasm from the smallish crowd suggested only ambivalence.  Was it the reheated presentation? Or were the “enhanced network” maps too much to take in? The workshop was a disappointing coda to that summer’s public outreach phase.

What then followed was quiet. Months and months of quiet. Consultant teams were reportedly reorganized. A new councilmember rotated in as mayor. And now the draft plan comes a bit too late to tee-up first-year projects in time for the budget process.

Next Up: Plan Feedback Workshop

Next we look ahead to the May 8th draft plan feedback workshop where Traffic and Parking commissioners will receive public feedback on the plan, the technical report, and most important the “enhanced” travel networks posted on the project page:

We will have plenty more to say about the plan and these proposed networks soon. But don’t wait on us. Give these documents your attention. And be prepared to add your voice. Heck you can put your feedback right there on the plan!

Indeed the most intriguing aspect of the presentation so far may be the interactive comment feature. Both the executive summary and the technical report accept comments. (Downloadable PDFs of the plan and report are available there too.)

Mark your calendar for the Draft Plan Feedback Workshop on May 8, 2019 at 6 p.m. in City Hall (Room 280-A). If you can’t make it do add your comments online through Friday May 17, 2019. We need all the support from the pro-bike community we can get!

Recreation and Parks Commission: Bicycles Ain’t Our Thing

Recreation and Parks commission this January formally decided to abandon the bicycle safety and training program the city undertook in 2015. Every month at a city school a trainer was on hand to educate children about bicycle safety and to provide hands-on ride-safe instruction. But the sessions were under-attended so it came as no surprise when the program was put on hold in 2017. More recently the commission showed little interest in revisiting the program. That was just the latest sign of the commissioner’s lack of enthusiasm for pro-bike park policies. Continue reading

Halfway to one Complete Street (if not a ‘Complete Streets’ Plan)

Santa Monica Boulevard easbound bicycle lanesAs we approach the upcoming complete streets workshop this Wednesday, a full ten weeks will have passed without a single word about the process from consultants Iteris or Alta Planning. Gotta wonder if our complete streets consultants aren’t off chasing other business. In the meantime, progress continues on Santa Monica Boulevard: eastbound bicycle lanes are striped bright green. Folks we are halfway to a complete street! Continue reading

Beverly Hills Puts the Brake on Shared-Mobility Devices

Beverly Hills City Council adopted a total ban on shared-mobility devices effective immediately. The sweeping action came at a special meeting called 24 hours prior. The ad-hoc regulation targeted device companies like Bird and Lime but would ban all ‘dockless’ devices (including motorized bicycles). The action prohibits any device from being placed in any public right-of-way or on public property, operated in any public-right-of-way or on public property, or offered for use anywhere in the City. Penalties include impound and fines. Read the press release. Continue reading

Concerns About our Complete Streets Process

Here I present my letter to our Traffic and Parking Commission about the state of our complete streets planning process as I see it. There will have gone ten weeks between the last event (the walk audit) and the upcoming workshop on August 22nd without any substantive communication with the public. Has public input to date effectively informed the process? Has the participation component been just a check-the-box exercise that hews to the city’s request-for-proposal? The RFP wasn’t a particularly imaginative document and it seems like we have a singularly unimaginative complete streets process on our hands. Continue reading

Complete Streets Walk Audit Recap

Complete Streets Walk audit overview of the roomBeverly Hills conducted a Complete Streets ‘walk audit’ on June 9th. It followed on the first Community Workshop (read the recap), the Workshop #2 (recap) and an Earth Day Complete Streets pop-up (pic). After those earlier conceptual discussions and associated mapping exercises, this event was a hands-on opportunity for participants to evaluate our environment for accessibility and safety.  And of course to make recommendations. “Everything is on the table” in terms of improvements, said Aaron Kunz, Community Development Department Deputy Director for Transportation. Continue reading

Complete Streets Workshop #2 Recap

City of Beverly Hills has hosted the second in a series of complete streets outreach events. At workshop #1 general concepts were presented and key concerns identified. This workshop was rubber-meets-road as participants hovered over city maps to drill down on opportunities for pedestrian and bicycle networks and ‘vehicle technology streets.’ Good ideas came from five roundtables. Read on! Continue reading

Lend Your Voice to the Beverly Hills Complete Streets Plan

Beverly Hills has embarked on a complete streets plan process. What now? Mobility advocates please lend your voice so that we can create a complete streets plan that is a leading-edge exemplar of multimodal planning. We need your help. We’ve come this far, over too long a time, to simply leave it up to city staff and consultants to shape a draft plan this fall. Continue reading

Collision Injuries in Beverly Hills Sill Reach for Record Highs in 2017

In the eleven years that BHPD has been providing monthly traffic data, nearly 5,000 people have been injured in crashes. Beverly Hills ranks among the most dangerous small California cities for crash injuries – a distinction that reflects our poorly-designed roadways and declining enforcement. Continue reading

Traffic Citations Reach Record Lows in Beverly Hills in 2016

From 2008 (when the department made data available) though last year, police report that 3,805 people have been injured on city streets in collisions. Most concerning, the data show that the most protected travelers, auto occupants, suffered record-high injuries – so many that it pushed the overall injury totals to record highs too. In this post I crunch police data for citations to show that enforcement of traffic laws has withered on the vine. Continue reading

Collision Injuries Reach Record-Highs in Beverly Hills in 2016

The holiday season always makes me mindful of the year drawing to a close. It has produced some noteworthy developments, including the involuntary retirement of incumbent councilmember (and bicycle lanes opponent) Nancy Krasne. And the succeeding multimodal-friendly City Council approved high-visibility bicycle lanes for Santa Monica Boulevard Continue reading