[Image via Prayitno / Creative Commons]
Beverly Hills businessowners might be one of the few segments of Angelenos that actually want tour buses to come around; the rest of BH it seems is not so keen on them, taking steps that don’t outright ban them on the streets in the city’s fancy retail core, but that do push them out. In January, the city shut down its main tour bus loading zone at Rodeo Drive and Dayton Way, right by the Louis Vuitton store, and opened two new location, one nearly a mile away on Third Street and another near Santa Monica Boulevard and Canon, just a hop up from the shopping district, but still too far for many tour-busing shoppers, apparently. Tour buses are now starting to skip over Bev Hills in favor of The Grove or (gasp!) the Citadel outlets in Commerce, says the LA Business Journal. And now the city wants to make it even tougher for tours.
Potentially making the streets even more tour-unfriendly is a new proposal that would limit the weight of vehicles in the Golden Triangle retail district to either 7,500 pounds or 6,000 pounds. The 7,500-pound limit would mean that most tour buses would be too big to travel the streets. A 6,000-pound limit would mean that even tour vans couldn’t drive through the heart of BH.
As a workaround, the city is now considering another tour bus drop-off point (the SMB one will have to close for road widening soon), but isn’t sure where to put it—it’s now considering several spots just barely outside the main shopping area, including one at the Montage Beverly Hills hotel.
Tour buses are a huge part of BH tourism. Last year, 1.5 million tourists—nearly a quarter of their total tourist traffic— came on one of those buses. The proposals come on the tail of a February report that found that, “proliferation of tour buses creates a safety risk and increased traffic congestion, especially on narrow streets such as Rodeo.”