In an effort to make traveling through the Westside easier, the transportation committee of the Westside Cities Council of Government (WSCCOG) met Monday to discuss ways to support bicycling in the area.
The WSCCOG is a collaboration between the cities of Beverly Hills, Culver City, West Hollywood and Santa Monica as well as Westside portions of Los Angeles and unincorporated Los Angeles County.
In attendance were the three elected officials on the committee: Beverly Hills Vice Mayor Dr. William Brien, Councilman Jeff Cooper of Culver City and Councilman John Heilman of West Hollywood. The meeting also included WSCCOG Executive Director Maria Rychlicki, staff members from the member communities, a representative from the Federal Highway Administration and members of Angelenos Against Gridlock and Better Bike LA.
Rychlicki said the WSCCOG unites the otherwise autonomous cities so they can take advantage of opportunities as a sub-region.
Among the topics discussed Monday was closing the gaps in bike lanes that pass through multiple cities. An example given was a bike lane on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood that stops when it reaches Beverly Hills and resumes in Los Angeles.
“The cyclist gets on the road and suddenly the bicycle lane drops off the planet,” Rychlicki said.
The committee is working on identifying five bike routes to improve based on project feasibility, safety and connecting as many member communities as possible.
In addition to closing the gaps between cities, the committee will recommend signage to help riders find the bike lanes.
Possible areas to improve include the bike lane on Santa Monica Boulevard and a north-south route into Culver City, possibly on Beverly Drive.
The committee is also studying a bike-sharing program based on those used in Washington, D.C., and Paris, where participants check out bikes to use in different parts of the city in an effort to close the so-called “last mile” between public transportation and user destinations. The committee discussed the best ways to implement such a program in the Westside.
“It’s essential that, in whatever program we develop, somebody can get a bike in West Hollywood, ride to Santa Monica, drop it off there and then, if they wanted, get a bike in Culver City and ride back to West Hollywood,” Heilman said.
The committee will discuss these plans further at its next meeting, which Rychlicki said may be scheduled before Christmas.
The committee’s recommendations will be brought to the entire COG board in January for a vote on whether to adopt them as formal recommendations for the member communities.