Good morning, all. I anticipate a busy year on the legislative and political advocacy front so let’s get under it and lift while we can.
California Bicycle Coalition Legislative Priorities for 2017
At the end of 2016, the California Bicycle Coalition (CalBike) announced their 2017 legislative priorities. They are:
- Build the infrastructure. This includes better funding and improved rules to implement Complete Streets.
- Mainstream bicycling. CalBike would like to begin with a bicycle purchase incentive.
- Protect bicyclists and their rights. Change state law to allow automated speed enforcement on a pilot basis in San Jose and San Francisco, and continue the effort to clarify the right of cyclists to use the full lane.
- Build the movement. CalBike is campaigning for a bicycle license plate.
For details: CalBike 2017 Legislative Agenda.
Bicycle safety expertise for California Transportation Commission
Last week, Assembly Member Sabrina Cervantes (D-Riverside) introduced AB-179, which she says will restructure the California Transportation Commission (CTC) by requiring “specific technical backgrounds” for some commission members. The bill would change state law by mandating “training and experience in sustainable transportation that includes addressing bicycle and pedestrian safety issues in transportation” for one of the 13 members of the commission.
The CTC programs and allocates funds for the construction of highway, passenger rail, transit, and active transportation improvements in California. The commission consists of eleven voting members and two non-voting ex-officio members. Of the eleven voting members, nine are appointed by the Governor, one is appointed by the Senate Rules Committee, and one is appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly. The two ex-officio non-voting members are appointed from the State Senate and Assembly, usually the respective chairs of the transportation policy committee in each house.
In addition to somebody with expertise in bicycling and pedestrian issues, Cervantes would like other CTC members to have other, specific requirements: a member with knowledge of sustainable transportation that includes addressing transit issues; another who is an authority on the public health effects of transportation; another who is knowledgeable of climate change mitigation.
AB-179 also creates a five-member Environmental Justice Advisory Committee to the CTC, with members nominated by environmental justice organizations and community groups representing communities disproportionately burdened by, and vulnerable to, high levels of pollution and other environmental justice issues. This committee would advise the CTC Board in its allocation and programming of transportation moneys and any other pertinent transportation policy matters.
Proposed signs to allow Neighborhood Electric Vehicles in bike lanes, paths
The California Traffic Control Devices Committee, which creates the uniform standards and specifications for all signs, lights and pavement markings used on California roads, has proposed new sign designs for Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs), which are battery-powered small vehicles with a top speed of 25 MPH and are typically seen in retirement communities. You might know them as golf carts.
Proposals include new signs to designate lanes that are allowed for both NEVs and bicycles (as shown above), including signs for NEV parking, and NEV prohibited.
These sign proposals will be discussed at the next Caltrans Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting on February 2, 2017. The CTCDC will vote to accept or reject these new signs at their March 2, 2017 meeting. If the signs are accepted, they’ll go into the next update the California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (CA MUTCD). Thank you Jim Baross of the California Association of Bicycle Organizations.