Better Bike Comments on LA Bike Plan

The 2010 Los Angeles Draft Bike Plan’s stated objective is to reduce automobile trips and greenhouse gas emissions by, in part, offering facilities, programs, and infrastructure to encourage the public to make 3% of their daily trips and 3% of home-to-work trips by bicycle by 2020. This s a modest and achievable goal. The Draft Plan also commits to a regional strategy by invoking SCAG and Metro regional plans, where the emphasis is on overcoming traditional jurisdictional divides. Getting local governments in the Los Angeles region to work together is a great start.

We suggest that City of Los Angeles act on recognized opportunities by working with the neighboring municipality of Beverly Hills in two already-identified areas in the Draft Plan: our city’s western gateway at Santa Monica Boulevard (at Moreno Dr.); and the shared Robertson Boulevard gateways to the north and south of the Beverly Hills city limits.

The implementation plan map identifies these as proposed bike lanes but the itemized implementation plan appears not to include them in the first 5-year implementation phase. If these are not identified for implementation there is a potential missed opportunity.

Santa Monica Boulevard

End of eastbound bike lane in Century CityCurrently, the western gateway bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd. terminate prematurely before reaching the Beverly Hills line (at Moreno Dr.). The City of Beverly Hills is undertaking a down-to-gravel reconstruction of Santa Monica Boulevard from Doheney to Wilshire Boulevard. This will be the first improvement since the state turned the corridor over to the city in 2005.

This is the city’s most heavily-traveled boulevard in Beverly Hills – 50,000 car trips per day – and it is a key regional route currently identified by Metro as a ‘gap’ in the regional bike/transport infrastructure. The project is in the early scoping phase now, and is anticipated to reach completion in 2013. Options under consideration include a bike lane in the easterly direction.

Our local organization, Better Bike Beverly Hills, is advocating Class II (on-road) bike lanes in both directions. In the West, these would connect with lanes that exist today in Century City, which need to be extended to the Beverly Hills line.

We recommend that City of Los Angeles move forward on completing the Santa Monica bike lane project by 2013 in order to ensure a regional linkage as envisioned by the City of Los Angeles Draft Plan. The project is identified as:

Santa Monica Bl from Avenue of the Stars to Moreno Dr (.31 miles and currently identifies as a ‘Further Study’ improvement).

This improvement must be coordinated with Beverly Hills to ensure that both cities move forward on the completion of the regional network. Class II bike lanes both east/west on Santa Monica Boulevard is a crucial piece of the network.

Robertson Boulevard

Better Bike Beverly Hills is undertaking the early phase of a stakeholder effort to identify a citywide bikeway network in order to link our city to neighboring cities (including Los Angeles). We must also internally link key employment nodes, transit centers (existing and proposed), and cultural facilities. Much like Los Angeles, we anticipate a dual system of citywide and neighborhood bike-friendly streets working in tandem to move people safely by bike to wherever they need to go.

Robertson Boulevard is part of the anticipated Beverly Hills citywide network and is a crucial point-of-entry from City of Los Angeles (at both Clifton Way and Gregory Drive). Due to the shared jurisdiction of Robertson, it is crucial that Beverly Hills and Los Angeles coordinate bikeway improvements along this corridor as well.

Better Bike Beverly Hills supports soon-as-possible progress on this citywide network within Beverly Hills, which suggests an earlier timetable for Los Angeles improvements. Our City Council has informally expressed interest to move forward on an update to our bike plan (an appendix within the open space element which itself was updated in January of 2010) in the late-Winter or Spring.

Robertson Boulevard will be a keystone in our citywide bikeways network and an important bike connector within the region. This project is listed in the Draft Plan as:

  • Robertson Bl from Beverly Bl to Clifton Way (.52 miles)
  • Robertson Bl from Gregory Way to Robertson Place (2.46 miles).

Both are listed as ‘Further Study’ improvements. We suggest that the Robertson Boulevard projects in City of Los Angeles be accelerated to the second year of the five-year implementation plan so as to coordinate with expected improvements within Beverly Hills. Again, inter-city coordination between Beverly Hills and City of Los Angeles must be a priority.