Home > Beverly Hills, Infrastructure > One small step: Beverly Hills improves Santa Monica and Wilshire

One small step: Beverly Hills improves Santa Monica and Wilshire

The westbound intersection at Santa Monica and Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills is the worst on my ten-mile bicycle commute. It has no crosswalks on its northern side, and its two right-turn lanes from Santa Monica onto Wilshire make it difficult for cyclists going straight on Santa Monica. For years, such cyclists have had to position themselves in the middle of a cacophony of cars. Here’s how it looks on Google Maps:

SMWilshire

All these problems changed this morning. Overnight, the city removed the optional right-hand turn lane and replaced it with space off-limits to motorists. The change is most likely due to the city moving the westbound bus stop from the west side of Santa Monica to the east, requiring that buses have a way of getting back into Santa Monica traffic. That was difficult when there were two right-turn lanes to Wilshire. Now, with a single right-hand lane, the buses can navigate easier.

For me, this means the single most dangerous intersection on my commute has been removed. That wide space on the first photo below, marked by chevrons, is now space where cyclists can stop can breathe a moment.

1) Looking west on Santa Monica Boulevard. Where I’m photographing used to be an optional right turn lane.

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2) Looking east from the other side of the intersection, a bus navigates back into traffic after picking up passengers

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3) After the bus has left the intersection.

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  1. April 1, 2015 at 11:01 AM

    Thanks for the heads-up! We first brought this horrendous intersection to the city’s attention in September of 2011 (‘Busy Intersection in Beverly Hills Fails Cyclists’) in a post here: http://betterbike.org/2011/09/busiest-intersection-fails/

    Of course, nothing was done.

    So we followed up with another look at the problem and suggested some remedies. That was part of an overall indictment of the state of the Santa Monica Corridor (‘What We Can Do Today About Santa Monica Boulevard’) in June 2014. View the intersection part of the discussion here: http://betterbike.org/2014/06/what-we-can-do-today-about-santa-monica/#Wilshire-SM

    Forget rider safety; Beverly Hills has never given a damn about that unless it faced a lawsuit. So the boulevard is still a hazard from end-to-end. The city acted here only when it had to move that bus stop due to hotel construction on the NW corner.

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