Here’s a news item! City Council on November 13th is scheduled to hear two bike-related items. First in the afternoon study session, Public Works & Transportation will present for councilmember consideration a bicycle rack program. Then in the evening formal session, Council will discuss specific improvements to be made to two city streets under the newly-approved Bike Route Pilot Program.
The rack item will be the third scheduled appearance before Council in study session. The first two times it was bumped (most recently for an important discussion about Measure J, the LA County transit tax extension which we haven’t ourselves endorsed). Should it come before Council, members will discuss new racks and a proposed bicycle rack-on-request program.
Under the proposed scheme, new bicycle racks would find a place in city parks and some commercial areas – the first sidewalk racks Beverly Hills has installed in perhaps a decade! This long-debated program has certainly taken its time to reach Council, and we’re anxious to hear additional details beyond the generalities presented to the Traffic & Parking Commission in August.
We’ve long supported a rack-on-request program, perhaps even suggesting it first back in 2010. There are good implementations right here on the Westside, we’ve told staffers, so let’s simply copy them we said. We can lift the website and brand it as our own, and then start asking businesses where they need ‘em! Turns out it’s not that simple, evidently. We’ll look forward to hearing what staff recommends when it comes before Council for direction. (We predict no such program will be in place this fiscal year, which ends June 31st.) Here’s hoping that Council finds something in it they like…or at least provides this wayward department with some guidance on how to cobble together a basic bike rack strategy (like every other city).
The big news is that we might finally see something happen with our beleaguered Bike Route Pilot Program. At the formal study session we should learn more about what Council intends for Crescent Drive North and Burton Way. We don’t have high hopes that this program will change any aspect of cycling in our city (as we said in our critique of the Pilot) but at least we’ll have some idea of how the wind is blowing with regard to the city’s perspective on the safety of those who choose to ride in Beverly Hills.
Read about the Pilot on our dedicated page and come prepared to comment. You know that the neighbors will be out in force to deny your right (and legitimate expectation) to cycle safely on their roads.
The background: Back in early 2010, the Traffic & Parking Commission formed an ad-hoc Bicycle Plan Update Committee to take the first steps, but the Beverly Hills Bicycle Master Plan was never revisited. Then the Public Works/Transportation department convened some bike advocates together in 2011 to talk about the facilities that we do need. Officials took what they wanted and forwarded a very limited set of proposed improvements to Traffic & Parking, which forwarded a whittled-down set of recommendations to Council, which choose two routes for improvements.