Time to Get the Complete Streets Process Back on Track

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!

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The Bumpy Road to a Failed Mobility Planning Process in Beverly Hills

City of Beverly Hills has been talking about updating its Bicycle Master Plan (1977) since 2010. And for nearly a decade the outdated and moribund plan was left for dead by city officials. With Metro grant money hanging in the balance, city council revived the planning effort by folding it into a larger complete streets plan in 2017. But after a couple of public workshops in 2018 it has again languished. This time it was done-in by a few NIMBY scarecrows. They derailed a two-year planing process despite hundreds of supportive public comments. Let’s take a look at how a perfectly good draft complete streets plan has remained bottled-up ever since.

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What We Won’t See in Beverly Hills: City Manager on a Bike!

We really have to hand it to City of Santa Monica. City officials took seriously the ‘Vision Zero’ goal of street safety and incorporated it into every aspect of city business. That city is so committed to safe, multimodal mobility that it has spent years refashioning streets to include bicycle lanes and even protected lanes to keep the modes separate. The safe-mobility message comes right from the top. City Manager Rick Cole not only pressed for those changes but he (figuratively speaking) walks the walk by promoting those changes to the public.

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Santa Monica Leads, Beverly Hills Hardly Follows

Santa Monica continues to be a regional leader when it comes to supporting multimodal mobility and enhancing street safety. It has installed many miles of bicycle lanes (included protected bikeways) and has emerged as a municipal leader with development policies crafted to put a lid on new vehicle trips downtown. Not least, City Hall is working with the community advocates to bring Vision Zero principles to bear on the transportation planning process. What about Beverly Hills?

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Halfway to one Complete Street (if not a ‘Complete Streets’ Plan)

As we approach the upcoming complete streets workshop this Wednesday, a full ten weeks will have passed without a single word about the process from consultants Iteris or Alta Planning. Gotta wonder if our complete streets consultants aren’t off chasing other business. In the meantime, progress continues on Santa Monica Boulevard: eastbound bicycle lanes are striped bright green. Folks we are halfway to a complete street!

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Beverly Hills Puts the Brake on Shared-Mobility Devices

Beverly Hills City Council adopted a total ban on shared-mobility devices, an action that came in an evening ‘special’ meeting to impose this ad-hoc regulation targeted at device companies Bird and Lime. The ordinance would also ban all ‘dockless’ devices including motorized bicycles. Penalties include impound and fines. Enforcement will target users as well.

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Complete Streets Walk Audit Recap

Beverly Hills conducted a Complete Streets ‘walk audit’ last Saturday. The event was a hands-on opportunity for participants to evaluate our environment for accessibility and safety. And of course to make recommendations. “Everything is on the table” in terms of improvements, said Aaron Kunz from Transportation, and we had some ideas!

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