Bikeways separated from traffic with physical barriers, known officially as “Class IV Separated Bikeways” are approved for use in California thanks to the Protected Bikeways Act of 2015, a legislative campaign of the California Bicycle Coalition.
More and more cities want to facilitate safe biking by installing protected bike lanes, but this new-to-California design is still much too rare in California’s bike plans and projects. CalBike aims to help change that.
Our 4-page information-packed brochure:
Download a four-page brochure with more information using the links on this page.
Our in-depth webinar “The Why and How of Protected Bike Lanes”:
Click Here for Downloadable Presentation Slides
We explore the supportive research, technical design, and organizing efforts around the many kinds of protected bike lanes. From advocacy to execution, we cover the ins-and-outs of creating bike-friendly routes through protected lanes and equip you with the tools you need to make your community safer.
The webinar is part of a series of training and outreach efforts focused on disadvantaged communities by the Active Transportation Resource Team, a four-organization collaboration including the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, the California Bicycle Coalition, California Walks and the Local Government Commission, and was funded by The California Endowment.
Read about the roll-out of our campaign to legalize protected bike lanes here. Learn more >>
Will Senate Bill 1 be an Investment in the Transportation System of the Future—or a Return to California's Past?
SB 1 is California's landmark transportation funding package. With it's passage in April of 2017, Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act, funds improvements to the state's transportation systems to the tune of some five billion dollars per year in new revenue. SB 1 is a landmark because it represents the first state gas tax increase in over twenty years, and for the first time in modern history directs more funding to fixing our existing roads and bridges than it does to expanding or building new roads.
Before SB 1’s passage, advocates from across the state worked hard to make sure bicycle, pedestrian, and public transit funding were a priority as we create the transportation system of the future, and that work is even more important as the implementation of SB 1 moves forward. We achieved some success in that SB 1 significantly increases funding to public transit and active transportation programs, but the vast majority of the new funding is still designated for roads that will subsidize driving and auto-oriented development. The legislative process to develop and approve SB 1 was full of ups and downs; read CalBike and our partners’ statement on the passage of SB 1.
Now in the implementation phase, we know that advocating for better, safer, more equitable investment in transportation through SB 1 has to happen at every level.
CalBike has been, is, and will be here every step of the way- from pushing for every road project to create complete streets to standing up to the trucking industry to representing the interests of the most underserved Californians in the Capitol and across the state.
SB 1 creates an opportunity for California to grow smarter and fairer. Over $5 billion per year could transform our transportation system, incentivizing smarter growth, leading to equitable community development, and ensuring environmental justice. If we change transportation planning and investments to be forward-looking and inclusive, SB 1 could advance true livable, healthy, and sustainable communities for all. First, we must lift up the needs of low-income communities, communities of color, and our most vulnerable users as the priority and put them at the center of decision-making.
CalBike and our coalition partners have proposed 10 Guiding Principles that make up a smart growth, equitable development, and environmental justice platform for SB 1. Our principles outline strategies to overcome economic, social, and racial inequality inherent in the design of California’s transportation system. Now is the time - as the state prepares to invest an additional $54 billion of taxpayer dollars in transportation over the next ten years - to ensure we create an efficient, clean, sustainable transportation system that supports healthy, equitable neighborhood development, basic civil rights, and quality of life for all.
To realize the promise of SB 1, implementation across all of its programs should emphasize the following 10 principles:
1. Funding the ‘highest needs’ should be based on social equity.
2. CTC should undertake inclusive outreach and engagement with community groups to solicit input for guidelines’ development across all programs.
3. Reduce air pollution, climate change impacts, and incorporate climate resilience especially for the most vulnerable communities.
4. Projects should promote healthy communities and improve health outcomes, and seek to avoid worsening health impacts, especially in disadvantaged communities that have faced significant and persistent health inequities due to historical marginalization.
5. Expand access to workforce training and jobs for individuals with barriers to employment.
6. Develop strong performance measures tied to state goals.
7. Support mode shift to healthier and cleaner transportation options across all programs.
8. Complete Streets should be a requirement of all projects.
9. Projects should avoid impacts to natural and working lands and enhance regional sustainability.
10. Planning should advance housing affordability, and both planning and projects should seek to mitigate displacement.
Shifting Demand for New Ways to Get Around
Californians are changing how we move around our neighborhoods, regions, and around the state. Demand for alternatives to driving is increasing with demographic changes, as congestion chokes many of our cities and climate and air quality concerns grow.
CalBike commissioned a statewide poll in May 2017 and our major findings reflected this shifting demand. 8 in 10 Californians across the state and across all major political and demographic groups support transportation departments changing how they build and maintain our roads to create “complete streets”—roads with safe sidewalks, visible crosswalks, and protected bike lanes—that are safe places for everyone and not strictly thoroughfares for driving.
In addition, nearly half of California voters support investment in alternatives to driving—such as public transportation, walking, and bicycling—as an equal or higher priority than improving freeways and roads.
Billions of SB 1 dollars will be allocated by formula to Caltrans, regions, counties, and cities and competitively awarded through grants across the state. Ensuring that these funds aren’t used to simply repave dangerous, incomplete streets and build more roads and freeway lanes that prioritize cars will take organizing and work at all levels.
SB 1’s funds are divided into many programs, and in each of these programs there are opportunities for improving our communities. The California Transportation Commission (CTC) and Caltrans are hosting workshops to design guidelines for SB 1 programs, and unless we show up to advocate for sustainable active transportation, many voices will be left out of these conversations.
Workshops are happening NOW through December 2017—head to our SB 1 Programs page to learn more about each program and to find out how you can get involved today.
Read, print, and share our fact-sheet on SB 1 and the implementation process.
Having trouble wrapping your head around what SB 1 will do? Watch our informational webinar "SB 1: Maximizing Accessibility and Community Benefits" and download the slides.
Read some of our work on the ins and outs of SB 1 implementation:
SB 1 - How Can the New Gas Tax Improve Bicycling and Build Healthy Communities in California?
Active Transportation Program Update
SB 1, Goods Movement, Healthy Air, and Bikes
Read more from our partners about SB 1:
Public Advocates highlighting 10 principles
Public Advocates SB 1, in perspective
Coalition for Clean Air SB 1 action alert
Learn more >>
Funding alone won’t make our streets better, if the designs available to engineers and planners aren’t any good. Until 2014, it was essentially illegal in California to build protected bike lanes. In 2014, we changed that, sponsoring the Protected Bikeways Act, legalizing protected bike lanes—lanes that are protected from car traffic by a physical barrier, such as a row of parked cars or planters. These are the kinds of bike lanes have been proven to get hesitant riders to hop on a bike.
We also got the California Transportation Agency to endorse progressive standards for designing great bikeways, making it a lot easier for local agencies to get excellent bike lanes and bike paths built. And in 2015, we pushed Caltrans to include protected intersections, which extend the comfort and safety of protected bike lanes into intersections, in their design guidance for protected bike lanes.
We educate city employees and planners across the state about the new design guidelines, so that they'll have the information they need to plan and build protected bike lanes, protected intersections, and other great design elements that get more people riding.
We educate people around the state about how to actually build great bikeways. We travel around the state training local policymakers and planners about two things: how important it is to build protected bike lanes and connected bikeways; and how to get the money they need to make them a reality. We help communities compete for transportation money to make sure that more of that money goes to bicycling projects like protected bike lanes.
If you're a mayor or local planning department employee who wants to learn more about how to design great bikeways, contact Dave Snyder. Learn more >>