In Beverly Hills, Bike Racks are only Metaphors

This item caught our eye when reviewing the upcoming City Council agenda: “Summary Report – City Council November 5, 2013 Retreat.” The report includes a section called the “bike rack” where discussion items are parked for future consideration. The staff report explains:

Council retreat bike rack staff report excerpt‘Bike rack’? This is amusing because bike advocates have pressed¬†Beverly Hills officials for the past three years to install bicycle racks in our business districts to encourage folks to ride a bicycle for their local trips. But our transportation officials have not installed a single sidewalk rack. And that’s despite the obvious need: more bicycles than ever are locked to parking meters and lamp poles in our commercial districts. We have the racks already. The city paid more than $500 each for them yet they sit in a warehouse.

Yet we create a metaphorical bike rack for parking discussion items at a City Council retreat?

Perhaps we’re not recognizing progress when we see it. Retreat facilitators often create a ¬†‘parking lot’ to sideline thorny issues. Here in Beverly Hills we’re calling it the ‘bike rack.’ Is that progress or a cynical gesture from a city that can’t be bothered to install an actual bike rack? Those of us who take the trouble to ride a bicycle for local errands can’t lock up to a metaphor, after all.