Council Considers Proposals for Bicycle Routes

Residents express concern over the Carmelita Avenue route.

A Beverly Hills transportation official briefed the City Council on proposed bicycle routes for a pilot program designed to increase safety for cyclists, motorists and pedestrians.

Aaron Kunz, deputy director of transportation, said city staff members support routes on Burton Way, Crescent Drive, Charleville Boulevard and Carmelita Avenue.

Residents who attended the study session meeting voiced their opposition to encouraging increased bicycle riding on Carmelita Avenue. The proposed route entails placing a "sharrow," or painted symbol of a cyclist, on the pavement near the curb.

"It's like putting an ugly tattoo down a residential street," said Lillian Raffle, a Carmelita Avenue resident. "The [Carmelita] route does not seem practical to me."

Dr. William Brenner raised safety concerns about the 21 stop signs and 110 residential driveways along the proposed Carmelita Avenue route.

Councilwoman Lili Bosse said she would not support the Carmelita and Charleville routes.

"Twenty-one stop signs at 42 feet wide is dangerous," she said of Carmelita.

Councilman Julian Gold questioned the effectiveness of a sharrow's ability to make drivers more aware of the sharing the road with bike riders and whether cyclists would actually stop at the numerous stop signs along the route that runs between Doheny and Whittier drives. 

Cyclist Mark Elliot suggested the council and city staff go back to the drawing board and design different bike routes.

Cyclist Eric Weinstein said Beverly Hills lacks cycling facilities compared with neighboring West Hollywood and Century City and urged approval of the pilot program.

The council decided to continue discussing the issue at the next study session on July 24.

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Monty Stretham July 07, 2012 at 06:43 PM
The city needs to stop trying to marginalize cyclists by forcing them to secondary streets. The purpose of bicycle facilities is to encourage bicycling in places where people need to go, like Beverly Drive, Little Santa Monica and Wilshire Boulevards. Putting facility markers on the routes cyclists already use, like Carmelita and Crescent, doesn't solve any existing issues. Marking Beverly, LSM and Wilshire with sharrows reinforces cyclists right to use those roads and increases the awareness of automobile drivers on those roads. The real issue here isn't bicycle facilities of course, but how to keep those pesky cyclists out of our way. Nevermind that pedaling through BH is faster than driving, the cyclists are the problem.


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