Today is the deadline to introduce bills in the California legislature. As of this morning, more 300 bills have been introduced in the Senate and more than 550 have been introduced in the Assembly. Here are some bills I’ll be tracking for the 2014 legislative session in California.
- I’ve already mentioned SB 1183, a proposed bicycle sales tax from Senator Mark DeSaulnier.
- AB 2173 seems to be an attempt to simplify California’s dizzying and contradictory laws on the definition, operation and licensing of electric assist bicycles in California. It would also legalize the operation of bicycles with motors under 750 watts on bike paths, bike trails and other cycleways. This San Francisco cyclist points out that some electric assist cargo bikes might exceed the 80 lb weight limit specified in the current version of the bill. The bill’s sponsor, Steven Bradford (D-Gardena), is the rock star who successfully pushed through his Three Feet for Safety Act through legislative approval and Governor Brown’s signature in 2013.
- Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel) introduced SB 1236 that gives the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District authority to “specify conditions under which a passenger may board a district vehicle with a bicycle and where the bicycle may be stowed.” They need to change state law for this? Currently, Santa Cruz Metro does not allow bikes inside of their buses, with the exception of the Highway 17 service (which is governed by a Joint Powers Agreement but operated by Santa Cruz Metro).
- AB 2054 to define the term “electric motorized skateboard” is clearly a placeholder subject to later amendment. Existing law prohibits a motorized skateboard from being propelled on any sidewalk, roadway, or any other part of a highway or on any bikeway, bicycle path or trail, equestrian trail, or hiking or recreational trail.
- Phil Ting’s AB 1193 has been resurrected from the dead. California law specifies three classes of bikeways: Class I (bike paths), Class II (bike lanes) and Class III (bike routes). The newly amended version of this bill proposes a Class IV bike facility, which would be cycletracks or protected bike lanes. Current California law makes no legal provision for sidepaths that are in the road right-of-way but separated from the flow of motor vehicle traffic with a physical barrier. The photo at the top of this post shows such a cycletrack on Beach Street in Santa Cruz, California.
I’ll watch for more bill introductions after today and report back to you on Monday. There are additional bills introduced in 2013 that were stuck in committee but may come back to life this year.