2013 Legislative Year in Review


As the voice in Sacramento for everyone who wants to transform our communities into places where many more people feel comfortable and safe bicycling, we are working on the following legislative priorities.
Three big victories summarize our legislative success in 2013.
  1. We won the “Three Feet for Safety Act” when the governor finally signed the bill specifying three feet as the safe amount of clearance motorists should provide when passing a bicycle.
  2. Thanks to coordinated effort with our allies in active transportation, we can also celebrate a 35% increase in bike/ped funding.
  3. Under most people’s radar but extremely important for bicycle planners, we eliminated an archaic regulation that made it hard to remove a traffic lane and replace it with a bike lane, as Christopher Kidd reports.

But this is just a start on the policy changes we need to achieve our goal of tripling bicycling by 2020. so we’re already planning next year’s legislative agenda. Here’s a preview of the ideas we’re considering. At our California by Bike 2013 summit, we’ll choose which are the first priorities for our network of 30,000 dues-paying members of local advocacy organizations.

We’ve collected most ideas suggested to us in a master list of possibilities. Likely initiatives will include something to further our goal of approving protected bikeways for development throughout California. We’ll work with budget staff to increase funding for active transportation. We also want to strengthen bicyclists’ right to safe travel in traffic lanes by clarifying the Vehicle Code to make it harder for police officers to inappropriately cite for not being “as far to the right as practicable.”

Recent changes to term limits and redistricting are combining to change the dynamics of the Legislature. A new cohort of legislators will usher in new perspectives and then they will likely remain in their seats for a long time. Now is the time to set high expectations for legislative attention to bicycling. -Dave Snyder
More funding for bike projects Governor Brown has approved a boost in bike/ped funding by 35%!
Ease review requirements of traffic impacts of bike projects 1. AB 417 – This bill would exempt from review a bike plan and its projects to the extent its impacts are limited to traffic, bicycle parking infrastructure and signage. AB 417 has passed! Download the fact sheet. 2. Work with environmental groups to clarify the intent of last year’s AB 2254, so that local agencies can be sure that traffic impacts of bike lanes do not have to be substantially mitigated in order to qualify for exemption from review.
Other important bills SUPPORT AB 184 (Gatto) – Extends the statute of limitations on hit-and-run crimes, making it easier to catch the perpetrators of hit-and-run crimes. Read our support letterSigned! OPPOSE AB 738 (Harkey) – Provides public agencies with extreme immunity from lawsuits for dangerous conditions on bikeways. Read more… This bill has been killed thanks to your letters and emails. Thank you! SUPPORT AB 1290 (Perez) – Changes the membership of the California Transportation Commission to give the legislature and public more oversight over its priorities. Read our support letterVetoed by Gov. Brown. SUPPORT AB 380 (Dickinson)- Improves the procedure for disclosing agency decisions about whether a project is subject to environmental review. AB380 is in the Senate, has been read once, and referred to the Senate Environmental Quality Committee as of 06/13/13. SUPPORT ACA-6 the constitutional amendment to lower the threshold for voter approval of transportation sales taxes from two-thirds to 55%. Ordered inactive. WATCH for bills related to the definition of “bicycle” in the vehicle code so that electric bicycles are included in the definition but scooters and other similar, faster devices are prohibited from bike facilities.

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