Better Bike invites you to attend the Beverly Hills complete streets visioning workshop tonight, Monday, March 12th at 6:30pm. This event kicks-off a planning process for which our alternative mobility community has long waited: the preparation of an actual complete streets plan 40 years after the city adopted our first, and only, Bicycle Master Plan.
Finally the city is getting into gear! Tonight’s workshop is a high-level exercise where planning consultants Iteris and Alta will invite your ideas for safer streets in Beverly Hills. It is intended to inform the process with our values and goals looking ahead to a final complete streets plan. (Two subsequent workshops will drill down to the details, such as key nodes and priority projects.) “The workshop will include a variety of interactive stations, table top exercises and visual presentations,” says the city’s press release.
City of Beverly Hills lags behind many localities in the Southland (and indeed all of our Westside subregion peers) for having taken no significant step to make our streets safe and accessible regardless of mode, age or ability. Four decades ago (in 1977!) the city adopted the bicycle master plan. It was the height of the American bicycle renaissance and that plan recommended a citywide network of bike routes to connect parks and schools. But that plan simply sat on a shelf ever since, a red-headed stepchild among city plans.
We need to hear from you because the city still evidently does not consider street safety a guiding value: there was no such direction provided to bidding consultants, and, even today, when city staff talk about this process, they never frame it as a safety effort foremost.
This workshop is our opportunity to inform our values about street safety and mobility policy. I welcome your attendance at this workshop and two subsequent workshops. Can’t make it? Then at least respond to the city’s complete streets survey. Tell our consultants and policymakers that we need streets that are accessible to all road users.
I welcome you to keep in touch with Better Bike. Any concerns suggestions for this process you can bring to me and I will take them forward.
Later this spring look forward to the opening of Santa Monica Boulevard’s new high-visibility bicycle lanes. That was another hard-won battle that suggests the corner may have been turned when it comes to multimodal mobility in Beverly Hills.