Comment on the Draft Beverly Hills Complete Streets Plan!

After a couple of close calls on a Benedict Canyon ride about ten years ago I started to wonder why Beverly Hills had not striped even a single bike lane. Or acknowledged that bicycle riders share the road. Or gave a single thought to our safety on the streets. I found my answer at City Hall: a 35 year old Bicycle Master Plan that sat moldering on a shelf.

That a 1977 mobility plan was simply carried over decade after decade unchanged was bad enough. But the city had updated every other aspect of our General Plan. Why give bike riders the short shrift? Thus was my introduction to transportation planning in Beverly Hills where officials and staff heard no evil and saw no evil even as the crash injuries ticked upward each year and the police department’s traffic enforcement efforts diminished.

A decade later some things look different. Now Metro is coming. We see new mobility devices sharing our streets. And now we have a city council that values multimodal mobility — and is actually interested in street safety. What a difference a decade makes! On the other hand enforcement still lags and there’s not much to point to show progress in the decade. Except of course those new Santa Monica Boulevard Class II bike lanes.

Today Beverly Hills is at an inflection point. The city has posted a draft COMPLETE STREETS PLAN and we need your support as it gets to city council in January. Even now we hear auto-minded NIMBYs clamoring as they wheel out (sorry!) their usual tired arguments.

How can you help? Attend the  upcoming Traffic & Parking Commission meeting this Tuesday, December 3rd at 6pm at city hall. This is a special meeting to take public comment on the draft Complete Streets Plan and draft implementation Action Plan. Can you attend and beforehand send the city a comment? Use the city’s Complete Streets webform or send your comment by email to transportation@beverlyhills.org.

Got a question about the draft plan? Drop me a line. We want specific or general comments to help push this plan across the finish line in January.

Again, join us for the next Traffic & Parking Commission meeting this Tuesday, December 3rd at 6pm at City Hall. And please send in your comments before.


More About the Complete Streets Plan

Please take a few minutes to download and review the draft Complete Streets Plan and the draft Action (Implementation) Plan which you can find on the city’s Complete Streets portal. In the draft documents you will find:

  • A proposed citywide network of bicycle routes (with key north-south and east-west corridors earmarked for Class II and Class IV bicycle lanes — scroll down for the highlights);
  • Support for bike-friendly business districts and shop-local partnerships;
  • Expanded bike parking facilities and the creation of bike-parking guidelines;
  • Proposed policies like dynamic, variable curb-parking pricing and special assessment districts to fund neighborhood traffic calming measures;
  • Collection and analysis of crash injury data to inform policy-making and prioritize traffic enforcement;
  • Support for PARKing Day and an annual CicLAvia-type open street event in Beverly Hills;
  • Appointment of an advocates advisory board — and so much more!

These proposals represent a landmark shift in how Beverly Hills approaches mobility and street safety. Have a look at this proposed citywide bicycle network and the routes that we’ve proposed for priority implementation: The Charleville-Gregory couplet of one-way Class IV protected bike lanes to connect three schools and two metro stations; and two key north-south Class II lanes on Roxbury and Doheny.

Complete Streets Plan proposed citywide bike network map with recommended year-one routes

This proposed citywide bike route network is the step forward that Beverly Hills needs. Here we have highlighted key north-south & east-west routes that we want to see prioritized for year-one implementation. Click through for the original map included in the draft Complete Streets Plan.

We have worked hard on the advocacy side to get us this draft plan and proposed bike route network. Now we need you! Comment is the key. Even if we can’t attend the Traffic & Parking Commission meeting this Tuesday we can submit a comment. It is crucial as this is our chance to speak directly to policymakers. Use the Complete Streets webform or send your comment by email to transportation@beverlyhills.org.

Complete Streets Draft Plan is Out!

City of Beverly Hills has finally released a draft Complete Streets plan! Transportation consultant Iteris and bike-planners at Alta have posted a two-parter for our review: a 43-page executive summary and a 200-page technical report. Now is time to get busy! Sharpen that pencil and get ready to provide your hard-won local knowledge so that the final complete streets plan is as good as it can be. Continue reading

Recreation and Parks Commission: Bicycles Ain’t Our Thing

Recreation and Parks commission this January formally decided to abandon the bicycle safety and training program the city undertook in 2015. Every month at a city school a trainer was on hand to educate children about bicycle safety and to provide hands-on ride-safe instruction. But the sessions were under-attended so it came as no surprise when the program was put on hold in 2017. More recently the commission showed little interest in revisiting the program. That was just the latest sign of the commissioner’s lack of enthusiasm for pro-bike park policies. Continue reading

Beverly Hills Puts the Brake on Shared-Mobility Devices

Beverly Hills City Council adopted a total ban on shared-mobility devices effective immediately. The sweeping action came at a special meeting called 24 hours prior. The ad-hoc regulation targeted device companies like Bird and Lime but would ban all ‘dockless’ devices (including motorized bicycles). The action prohibits any device from being placed in any public right-of-way or on public property, operated in any public-right-of-way or on public property, or offered for use anywhere in the City. Penalties include impound and fines. Read the press release. Continue reading

Collision Injuries in Beverly Hills Sill Reach for Record Highs in 2017

Nearly 5,000 road users have been injured on Beverly Hills streets in the eleven years that our police has been disclosing monthly traffic data. That’s about ten crash injuries every week – enough for the state’s Office of Traffic Safety to rank our city among the most dangerous small California cities for those who walk, bike and drive. And it is especially dangerous for seniors. This dubious distinction reflects the both city’s lack of multimodal planning and the declining enforcement of traffic laws. Continue reading

Beverly Hills City Council UNANIMOUSLY OKs SM Blvd Bike Lanes

In an incredible turnabout, all five Beverly Hills councilmembers agreed to include bicycle lanes on our segment of Santa Monica Boulevard. The unanimous vote demolished the specious claims put forth by NIMBY opponents. And it recognized the solid arguments brought forth by forty speakers and scores more comments: bicycle lanes not only make riders feel safe, they actually make us more safe! Continue reading

Is a Mandatory Bike Helmet Law the Answer?

State Senator Carol Liu

State Senator Carol Liu recently introduced a bill that would require every bike rider regardless of age to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle. Though a well-intentioned safety measure, SB 192 and its helmet mandate has spurred a backlash among some riders and several established statewide bike advocacy organizations. Why the opposition? Why not mandate helmets for adults?

Beverly Hills OKs Bike-share Feasibility Study

Beverly Hills City Council recently gave its preliminary OK to city bike-share and authorized a feasibility study to explore the merit of a 50-bike system. We’re following Santa Monica’s lead here: it has tapped vendor CycleHop to implement a ‘smart bike’ system (as we previously reported). Should we piggyback on that contract, would this be a significant step forward for mobility in Beverly Hills? Or would it be only a tourist amenity for the ‘golden’ triangle?

TPC Commissioner Alan Gruschow Passes

We are very sorry to hear about yesterday’s untimely passing of Beverly Hills Traffic and Parking Commission member Alan Grushcow. In our experience working with transportation officials at City Hall, Commissioner Gruschcow distinguished himself as a near lone voice for bike safety in the city. And he was always a voice of reason on the commission dais.