Beverly Hills is midway through a multi-year mobility planning process called ‘complete streets.’ The goal is to take our auto-dominated city into the 21st century (albeit a couple of decades late) by making our streets accessible to all road users regardless of mode choice. Yet after five public events and $150k was spent to create a draft complete streets plan, only a few NIMBY scarecrows were able to bring it all to a halt last December. We need to get back on track to bring our city into the mobility present. You can help!
Next Sunday, December 6th at 1 pm the city will conduct a long-delayed virtual ‘town hall’ to gauge public support for the current draft complete streets plan. This town hall was tentatively scheduled then effectively put on hold last winter after NIMBY resistance reared up late in the game. Now that it is back on the calendar, it is time for all of us get involved if we care about streets that are safe for walking, riding (and driving) in Beverly Hills.
What is Complete Streets?
The term ‘complete streets’ is a handle for a coordinated planning and infrastructure program that designs streets so that they enhance safety and user access regardless of the chosen travel mode. Beverly Hills may be a walkable city, for example, and it may be convenient to drive and easy to park, but that doesn’t mean our streets are ‘complete.’
The city has simply failed to accommodate the needs of those who would ride a bike or a scooter or choose to take transit. We must make our streets complete and welcoming to all road users if we want to encourage travelers to leave the car behind.
Complete streets should not be controversial: state law since 2008 has encouraged localities to make travel safe regardless of mode choice. Our own city plans call for reducing congestion and greenhouse gas emissions by moving local trips to alternate modes. Yet the NIMBYs stalled the complete streets process for nearly a year.
You can get involved by reviewing the draft complete streets plan and logging-on to the virtual town hall meeting this Sunday, December 6th at 1pm. Find the meeting details on the city’s complete streets website. The key message we want to send to the city is threefold. We must retain the measures included in the plan that will make cycling safer in Beverly Hills. We must create a citywide bicycle route network that includes separate and highly-visible bicycle lanes. And We must make enhanced multimodal mobility our goal.
More About the Complete Streets Plan
Please take a few minutes to download and review the draft Complete Streets Plan and the draft Action Plan which you will find on the city’s Complete Streets portal. The draft plan includes these proposed program and infrastructure improvements that we can all support:
- A citywide network of bicycle routes that includes both north-south and east-west corridors earmarked for sharrows or Class II bicycle lanes;
- Expanded bike parking facilities and the creation of bike-parking guidelines;
- Bike-friendly business districts and shop-local partnerships;
- Collection and analysis of crash injury data to inform policy-making and prioritize traffic enforcement;
- New public parking policies such as dynamic and variable pricing;
- Support for CicLAvia-type open street events in Beverly Hills; and,
- Appointment of an advocates advisory board.
The highlight of the citywide bicycle route network is a proposed Charleville-Gregory protected bike lane that would connect three schools, two metro stations and several parks; and bicycle lanes on two north-south lanes on Roxbury and Doheny that also connect city parks and schools.
The complete streets draft plan represents a landmark shift in how the city plans for mobility and, if implemented, it would signal a commitment to street safety in Beverly Hills. But it is not assured!
Please plan to ‘attend’ the virtual town hall on Sunday, December 6 at 1 pm. Find the details here. Do visit the Better Bike complete streets project page to learn more about complete streets.