This week we at Better Bike celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Ad-Hoc Bike Plan Update Committee’s formation. Since this committee has met in public only one time and made uncertain progress over the past year on bike-friendly improvements, we think it’s time we dropped in to share our observations and concerns. You can read about it in our open letter to the Traffic & Parking Commission. It meets tomorrow at 9am at Beverly Hills City Hall. Please join us if you want to celebrate. One of the points we want to make clearly is that the city seems to view the bike plan update process as one of opposing forces and tension, instead of recognizing that safer streets for cyclists are better for all road users. We’ll welcome your comments.
Here’s an excerpt:
At bottom, communication seems to be the lowest hanging fruit that is ripe for city picking. We seem not to be working together, and we haven’t even begun to encounter the turbulence experienced in other bike plan update processes….Commissioner Levine identified an overarching objective for the city: To get the community and those in charge to play well with cyclists. With all due respect, we cyclists are the Beverly Hills community. We cycle for leisure and recreation, for fitness and transportation. We are fathers, mothers, kids and workers. If you take at face value a remark I hear very often in City Hall, we are even city officials too.
To frame it as opposing parties, or to view the larger community as sub-communities locked in a zero-sum struggle for road or park or any other resource, in my opinion, obscures the relationships that need to exist if we are to move forward. We in the cycling community don’t want to feel cynical about those who work on our behalf, and we don’t need to battle other stakeholders when safer roads for cyclists are better for everyone – including motorists.