The configuration of traffic in Beverly Hills is poised to shift significantly with the impending adoption of the Complete Streets Plan and the community is invited to weigh in on the anticipated changes. A special meeting of the Traffic and Parking Commission (TPC) is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 3, at 6 p.m. at City Hall.
“I really feel that Complete Streets is the most important project the City will ever have. It presents goals and policies that will change the infrastructure of the City for bicycling, walking, taking transit and driving. We urge everyone to come to our Dec. 3 meeting to help finalize the plan before we present it to Council,” said TPC Chair Jay Solnit.
At the crux of the plan, which has been in development for nearly two years, is the intention to make Beverly Hills a more mobility friendly City that inspires people to not rely solely on automobiles as their primary mode of transportation. The recent draft plan, which was unveiled at a TPC liaison meeting earlier this month, provides a framework for programs, policies and infrastructure projects intended to make navigating the City easier across all modes: bicycling, walking, taking transit and driving.
“Through implementation of the Complete Streets Plan, the City aims to transform Beverly Hills from an auto-dominated community to one that embraces all modes of travel, reduces vehicle trips on our streets, and can be truly considered a world class bicycling city,” states the plan.
The proposed network significantly augments the City’s stock of bike lines, in addition to recommending additional support infrastructure like more bike parking and “encouragement programs” such as Safe Routes to School and open streets events.
The plan also calls for pedestrian improvements including streetscape upgrades to commercial corridors, a new crosswalk policy to guide the installation of new, uncontrolled pedestrian crossings, and even recommends events like “pedestrian only” days to encourage walking.
At Monday evening’s Sunshine Task Force meeting, more than half the meeting was devoted to an unagendized discussion on the upcoming TPC meeting after multiple community members used public comment to voice their frustration with the noticing process that appeared to have neglected to inform the bulk of the community.
“It seems to me we should have a Citywide public hearing in City Hall,” stated former Mayor Robert Tannenbaum, who noted that he was concerned that there might be a “drastic restriction on use of our own property” with the implementation of the plan, which dramatically enhances the existence of bike lanes throughout the City.
Municipal League member Fred Fenster similarly voiced his concern about the City choosing “to just notify people who are in the immediate vicinity” instead of reaching out to the broader community of residents about the impending “major change.”
The plan recognizes that implementing bike lanes and protected bike lanes will “require a robust discussion of tradeoffs with the community during plan implementation to build consensus on the best design for each corridor.” Further, given that existing bikeways in Beverly Hills do not currently provide direct access to the future Metro Purple Line stations at Wilshire/La Cienega and Wilshire/Rodeo, the plan prioritizes creating a comprehensive network of bikeways to connect with the future subway stations.
Councilwoman Lili Bosse, who presided over Monday’s Sunshine Task Force meeting, said she “absolutely” agreed that the upcoming TPC meeting needed to be more widely noticed and instructed staff to “notify everyone as best we can.”
“We have ample time to get those notices out,” she said.
An updated version of the City’s Draft Complete Streets Plan, which will be presented at Tuesday’s meeting in the Municipal Gallery at City Hall, is available online at beverlyhills.org/completestreets. Hard copies of the 170-page Complete Streets Plan and supplementary 16-page action plan are also available in the City Clerk’s office and the Library.
Director of Community Development Susan Healy Keene said staff would make responsive changes to the plan after Tuesday’s meeting before bringing the amended Complete Streets Plan to the full City Council in January.
For more information or questions, call 310-285-1128 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.