The Westside Cities Council of Governments (COG) meets this coming Thursday to discuss and adopt COG policies that will affect this joint powers authority for the coming fiscal year. By way of background, the COG is a creation of the cities of Beverly Hills, Culver City, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, the City of Los Angeles (with participation from the County). The COG serves as a forum for information exchange and, loosely, policy coordination across member cities, which pay approximately $20,000 in dues per year. (Read more about the COG.)
This past Thursday, bike advocates met in Culver City for the <a href=”http://www.westsidecities.org/”>Westside Cities Council of Governments</a> (COG) second sub-regional bike planning meeting. This meeting focused on closing the gaps. The COG came prepared with a Westside map that for the first time synthesized the various proposed routes identified in member cities’ bike plans and (as important!) mapped them in one uniform color.
Richard Risemberg talks truth in Power to the People over on Flying Pigeon LA when he says: “One thing everyone I’ve spoken with has agreed on: the growth of cycling into a constituency, a large number of people with a common interests and an involvement in city government through voting and complaining, is what has made the city council members take notice, and they in turn have driven the administrative bureaucracies to take concrete (no pun intended) actions that will make it easier to ride a bicycle in Los Angeles. “So don’t let anyone tell you it doesn’t pay to get involved. The involvement of hundreds of often rambunctious activists, and the mere visible presence of thousands of cyclists on … Continue reading
Catching up with Aaron Kunz at BH Transportation brought us somewhat up-to-date on the next steps for the Traffic & Transportation’s Commission’s ad-hoc bike planning committee. This body was formed by three Commissioners last August to explore the next steps for fleshing out our city’s bare-bones bike plan (5 pages + old maps adopted in January 2010). Readers will recall that the Committee has only met twice and both times in closed session. There have been no posted agendas or minutes.* So we’re left making telephone calls to find out when the ad-hoc committee will meet next and what it will do.
The March 2011 election is now history. And boy is it history. We seem to have moved on. Election stories have entirely slipped off the homepage. Incumbents are back in their well-stuffed Lay-Z-Boy loungers. Challengers lick their wounds. For voters, the easy work of simply pulling a lever is also behind us…for the barely 12% of registered voters (in City of LA) who even bothered with the polls. Could popular interest sink any lower?
Few folks know that there is a Westside Council of Governments (COG), much less that it plays a role in coordinating and communicating policy. I’m pretty confident that many are aware that this venue brings together council members from Los Angeles, Culver City, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, and of course Beverly Hills on a bi-monthly basis. I’m confident because at the last subcommittee meeting I attended, and now at the most recent COG board, there were ZERO stakeholders in the house. Why the cold shoulder? The Westside COG scopes the big issues facing these cities. Indeed a look at the recent agenda suggests that homelessness, energy, sustainability, and transportation — all important regional issues – are on the COG agenda. … Continue reading
If you ride Santa Monica Boulevard eastbound through Century City, you know that the bike lanes vanish abruptly (below), leaving cyclists and motorists on their own to sort out who’s entitled to the right lane. Guess who comes out on the losing end? Better Bike BH attended today’s Los Angeles bike planning workshop, where the Planning Department and LA DOT were taking comments on the new (i.e., re-do) draft of the bike plan. This is the plan to watch because 1) Los Angeles is the big gorilla that affects very other locality in the region; and 2) Los Angeles abuts our city’s western gateway. And that gateway needs our help now that we’re undertaking SM Boulevard improvements.
Better Bike BH represented the City of Beverly Hills at Metro’s Bike Roundtable Planning subcommittee on Thursday, September 22nd. This roundtable of bike advocates and activists from cities around the Southland offers the regional transportation agency guidance as it undertakes long-range transit planning. On this evening’s agenda was the update to the 2006 Bicycle Transportation Strategic Plan, which is the guiding policy document that establishes goals for the agency’s bicycle program and identifies priorities. It is a credit to the agency that it is updating the strategic plan now even if funding is not currently available.
Better Bike BH attended the Metro Bicycle Roundtable’s planning subcommittee meeting on September 22nd to learn more about this big-gorilla transit agency’s work on behalf of cyclists. The agency is particularly keen on ensuring that our big investment in rail is not undermined by the ‘last mile’ problem: the disinclination of would-be transit riders to take transit because they can’t conveniently get from the station to destination. Linking transit and cycling is a no-brainer!