Is there something in the water of Beverly Hills that just makes those people totally cray-cray? The Beverly Hills North Home Owners Association has published an open letter to the city council in this week's Beverly Hills Weekly (page 7) urging the city to deny new bike lanes on Santa Monica Boulevard for a host of reasons, but mainly because the bike lanes will lop off a piece of Beverly Gardens Park. How much? Per the city's web site, widening will include a three-foot widening beyond the existing northern curb face from Doheny Drive to Canon Drive and a six-foot widening from Canon Drive to Walden Drive. That opposition might seem reasonable, until pictures from the city's web site reveal the area is just a glorified parkway. Despite an earlier vote against bike lanes, proponents are hoping to convince one of the councilmembers who voted against to switch their vote at a city council meeting on April 1, where they'll discuss the overall street improvement project. But as for that opposing argument, we've broken down the letter into a helpful listicle format for your reading pleasure.
-- The addition of bike lanes would encroach into and thereby diminish Beverly Gardens Park. "Parkland is precious, in short supply and must be preserved."
-- A "cost excessive" widening proposal. The cost to widen Santa Monica Boulevard for the bike lanes is "somewhere between $30-35 million."
-- Bike lanes on heavily traffic-impacted streets create dangerous conditions. "There are so-called 'White Paper' analyses that argue just the opposite in theory. But would it offend your common sense to suggest that a bike lane on the north side of [Santa Monica Boulevard] would create an un-safe condition when motorists make right hand turns across the bike lane to proceed in a northern direction while travelling in the west bound lane?"
-- "Blind-spots" for drivers on the rear right-side create a hazard for motorists and bicyclists when drivers make a right-turn.
-- "New York City had in excess of four thousand bike related accidents/ deaths last year."
-- Beverly Hills also incurs "substantial additional liability."
-- "[Santa Monica Boulevard] bike lanes would have a "de minimis," if any, impact on traffic congestion, and/or pollution."
-- "The extra excessive expense for consultants [seems] to be unnecessary and wasteful."
-- A bike lane on Santa Monica Boulevard that "encroaches into Beverly Gardens Park, that is projected to be utilized by 70%-80% non-residents, that creates a dangerous condition for all operators and that is "cost excessive" is 'NOT' in the best interests of our City."
-- Beverly Hills must enhance and preserve parkland, for purposes both aesthetic and useful. "To do otherwise would negatively impact our quality of life ..."
· SAVE and Preserve Beverly Gardens Park [BH Weekly, pg 7]
· Local Campaign Builds for Santa Monica Boulevard Bicycle Lanes [Better Bike]
· Beverly Hills Votes Down Bike Lanes For Santa Monica Blvd. [Curbed LA]