Rick Risemberg of Bicycle Fixation & Orange 20 likes to grouse that Beverly Hills is the least welcoming of Westside cities to cyclists. Yeah, we’re inclined to agree. If you think you get the cold shoulder from the city, consider how it feels to get snubbed on a bike rack inquiry from a national sales tax-generating chain that wants to welcome cyclists. “They’re not warm and fuzzy,” said the regional manager. “Talking to this city is like a root canal.”
The call came about when the lack of a nearby rack was brought to the attention of the store management. Luckily, the regional rep was standing right there, and couldn’t have agreed more with the need. “I’ll give the city a call,” he manager said, and did. When we followed up this week, the rep was discouraged. Not only did City Hall not know anything about a rack, they gave the rep the bum’s rush. The next step is to take it up with corporate instead, the rep said, which then[ opens a host of liability issues for lawyers.
Is this how Beverly Hills wants to receive a retailer, when City Hall is all about the retailing? Wouldn’t it be simpler to just roll out a rack program already? (Santa Monica is putting a half-dozen out on every block. They’re wasting no time.) In Beverly Hills, you’re turned away at the door.
Rick seems optimistic about a pro-bike turn in Beverly Hills after a recent bike plan update committee meeting, but we’re still skeptical. If we can’t roll out a few racks, dammit…. And if the problem is a communications SNAFU? Then let’s put in place a rack-by-request program already to field the retailers’ calls. Because they’ll keep coming.