I’ve made the same argument more than once.
While I’m normally willing to back any event that promotes bicycling, it just doesn’t make sense to support a bike event in a city that doesn’t support us.
Like the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills, for instance, which hosts the Gran Fondo Italia at the end of this month. And where anti-bike councilmembers have blocked plans for desperately needed bike lanes on a soon-to-be-reconstructed Santa Monica Blvd.
Nice to see I’m not alone.
Wesley Reutimann, president of the Pasadena Athletic Association bike club, forwards an email he sent in response to a request that the club actively promote the event among its members.
Thank you for reaching out to our club.
As President of PAA cycling, a 350 member bike club, I am unable to promote this event or any other in the City of Beverly Hills as long as its elected leaders and City staff do not take the safety of ALL road users seriously.
Over the past few years the City of Beverly Hills has repeatedly failed to support local efforts to improve the safety of its streets. At the same time neighboring LA, West Hollywood, and Santa Monica have made significant investments to protect vulnerable road users like bicyclists (e.g., bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd).
Until the City can address these issues (e.g., existing bike lane gap on Santa Monica Blvd), I will be compelled to take my business elsewhere, as well as encourage that of our entire membership to do so as well.
Please feel free to relay my message to your contacts in the City.
Meanwhile, Better Bike offers their typically insightful take on the same subject.
Update: Just to clarify, I’m not asking anyone to boycott Beverly Hills or the Gran Fondo; I trust you to make your own decisions.
However, if you haven’t already registered for the ride, consider planning your own ride with friends or your club that day, and donate the money you would have spent on registration to Better Bike or the LACBC to keep up the fight for bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd.
If you have registered, or want to ride the Gran Fondo anyway, ask ride officials to use their influence to demand better accommodations for bikes in Beverly Hills.
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