About Us

About Better Bike

I am a Beverly Hills resident and longtime cyclist. I created Better Bike in 2010 to spark a conversation about street safety. After a couple of near-misses in one day underscored the peril of riding a bicycle in Beverly Hills, I began to wonder why there was not a single sign, sharrow, or bike lane in the city. There were just a few racks in the central business district.

So I looked to see what our General Plan said about safe cycling. I saw the usual platitudes about encouraging people to embrace healthier and less-polluting alternatives to the automobile. Attached to the Open Space Element was a Bicycle Master Plan, and it described a citywide network of bicycle routes that didn’t exist. The bicycle plan looked different than the rest of the plan though: it was dated ‘1977’ and looked every bit its age – like a bad Xerox.

This was a ‘shelfware’ plan at its worst! Despite a General Plan update the prior year, our new plan simply carried over a 30+ year old document without change because the original was evidently lost to history. Indeed the city upon request couldn’t provide a new printout of that citywide bike route network map.

“This is planning malpractice,” I thought. I’ve been to school for planning and no textbook or instructor would ever dare suggest to carry over a 30+ year old document into a contemporary plan. Because what’s the point? Planning is about the future.

Perusing that old plan was a fitting introduction to transportation planning in Beverly Hills. That is to say there was no planning; the transportation division’s primary duty was to repave the roads. There was no effective oversight of mobility because the Traffic and Parking Commission was more concerned with parking permits than street safety. Pleas to accommodate those who ride a bicycle for many years simply fell on deaf ears – and largely still do.

Persistence has paid off, however. People concerned about cycling safety packed city meetings and ultimately persuaded City Council to include a bicycle lanes on Santa Monica Boulevard. We made some noise about the high-and-rising frequency of crash injuries (and lately fatalities) and officials are now taking a second look at pro-forma police department crash injury numbers. We have pressed the city to embrace complete streets as a value and not just as a box to be checked to qualify for Metro grants.

By the end of 2018 we will know if the city is serious about complete streets and really concerned about street safety. In the meanwhile we’ll keep the focus on City Hall.

Help Us Make Change

Please sign up for the Better Bike email newsletter. Join us at a City Council meeting. Drop me a line with your concerns about safe streets in Beverly Hills. We’re rolling!

Recent Posts

Just Another Sunday Morning in Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills car crash

Except it’s like so many other days in Beverly Hills: a violent crash on local streets. Just like the previous Thursday.

Beverly Hills car crash

One wag asked in the comments over at the department’s Instagram, “Why is everyone hauling ass and crashing in BH?”

That’s a great question! It is a question we’ve asked time and again of our Traffic & Parking commission and police department officials. Why can’t the department enforce our traffic laws? Read our memo to the commission about traffic safety in Beverly Hills. Consider the longtime decline in enforcement. Then ponder some more crashes as seen through the BHPD lens.

Beverly Hills car crash

Beverly Hills car crash

Beverly Hills car crash

Beverly Hills car crash

Beverly Hills car crash

Beverly Hills car crash

Beverly Hills car crash

Beverly Hills car crash

Beverly Hills car crash

Beverly Hills car crash

Not one of these Beverly Hills Police Department Instagram posts came with the standard police advisory: “Slow down, speed kills.”

  1. Santa Monica Leads, Beverly Hills Hardly Follows Comments Off on Santa Monica Leads, Beverly Hills Hardly Follows
  2. CicLAvia Comes to West Hollywood This Sunday Comments Off on CicLAvia Comes to West Hollywood This Sunday
  3. Complete Streets Plan Draft is Posted: We Need Your Input Comments Off on Complete Streets Plan Draft is Posted: We Need Your Input
  4. Complete Streets Draft Plan is Out! Comments Off on Complete Streets Draft Plan is Out!
  5. Recreation and Parks Commission: Bicycles Ain’t Our Thing Comments Off on Recreation and Parks Commission: Bicycles Ain’t Our Thing
  6. Halfway to one Complete Street (if not a ‘Complete Streets’ Plan) Comments Off on Halfway to one Complete Street (if not a ‘Complete Streets’ Plan)
  7. Beverly Hills Puts the Brake on Shared-Mobility Devices Comments Off on Beverly Hills Puts the Brake on Shared-Mobility Devices
  8. Concerns About our Complete Streets Process Comments Off on Concerns About our Complete Streets Process
  9. Complete Streets Walk Audit Recap Comments Off on Complete Streets Walk Audit Recap
  10. Bike Skills via WeHo Bicycle Coalition & Mid City West CC Comments Off on Bike Skills via WeHo Bicycle Coalition & Mid City West CC
  11. Complete Streets Workshop #2 Recap Comments Off on Complete Streets Workshop #2 Recap
  12. Beverly Hills Complete Streets Needs You Comments Off on Beverly Hills Complete Streets Needs You
  13. Lend Your Voice to the Beverly Hills Complete Streets Plan Comments Off on Lend Your Voice to the Beverly Hills Complete Streets Plan
  14. Collision Injuries in Beverly Hills Sill Reach for Record Highs in 2017 1 Reply