About Our Safe Streets Campaign

Congestion on Santa Monica Boulevard

Our Campaign for Better Transportation Choices

Better Bike is all about making our streets safe and accessible for travelers. Since 2010 we have pressed City of Beverly Hills to leave behind twentieth-century thinking and join our city neighbors to support safe, multimodal mobility. After all, that’s exactly what our own city plans say we should do! But follow the advice in our Sustainable City Plan and we risk injury. Indeed for walkers and riders, Beverly Hills is among the most dangerous small cities in California, according to the Office of Traffic Safety. And the trend is toward more injuries and fatalities.

The First Step to Safer Streets: A Real Plan

We look forward to complete streets one day and the planning process is currently underway. City Council has engaged a consultant, Iteris, to move us through the process this year. Public workshops will commence in late February with the process scheduled to conclude with a final complete streets plan in September. We will be watching every step of the way.

Since 2010 Better Bike has called for facilities that would make walking and cycling safe: on-street bike lanes, intersection improvements, better signage for safety, and bike parking. These are measures we’ve seen embraced by other cities but only haltingly implemented in Beverly Hills (when implemented at all). “We’re not Santa Monica,” we’ve heard councilmembers say many times. “We’re not West Hollywood.”

Indeed! We are far from being a city of complete streets. A deputy director for transportation recently conceded to City Council, “We’ve got some work to do.”

We can start with a designated citywide bicycle route network. It could look something like this the one envisioned in our 1977 Bicycle Master Plan, still on the books but never updated. Or it could look like something that riders ourselves would suggest:

Bike routes Beverly Hills proposed map

A citywide bicycle route network could include:

  • Class II bike lanes on key corridors;
  • Intersections designed for rider safety; and,
  • Signage throughout the city alerting drivers that we can lawfully use the entire lane.

Getting There from Here

A first step toward a city of safer streets came in 2016 when councilmember Lili Bosse persuaded a bare majority of the City Council to support complete streets by making it an A-level priority.

A second step came when City Council agreed in 2017 to include bicycle lanes on the reconstructed North Santa Monica Boulevard. Our current City Council doubled-down on that promise in February of 2018 by directing the Class II bicycle lane would not only be reflective but colored green from end-to-end.

Now as we look ahead to the complete streets plan process we seem to have City Council support for a robust process in contrast to past window-dressing efforts that produced ‘shelfware’ plans. Those did nothing to make streets safe for users. (Ironically the best mobility plan we have on the books is forty years old: the Bicycle Master Plan from 1977.)

Better Bike hopes to suggest the path forward. Sign up for our occasional email newsletter to be kept informed about the process and let us know what changes you feel we need in Beverly Hills.

Recent Posts

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.

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