The last day for the Governor to sign or veto legislation approved in the 2017 session has come and gone, and we're ready with updates on several key bills with the power to shape transportation across our state.
CalBike's policy and advocacy work doesn't end when the session ends or when legislators head home on recess; keep up with us here on our blog, on Twitter, and over at Facebook to get The Latest on the day-to-day work of transportation advocacy and learn more about how you can get involved.
SB 702-Stern (D-Canoga Park) Get More State Employees Rolling
California’s state employee bike share program was just launched in Sacramento with 100 bicycles, and Senate Bill 702 from our friend would have expanded the program across the state where feasible.
Although SB 702 had no opposition in the legislature, the Governor vetoed the bill, describing it as “unnecessary” and saying that the Dept of General Services should "assess the demand for bike share and expand the state employee bike share program" within its existing authority.
CalBike sponsored this bill because we know that expanding access to bicycles for California's hundreds of thousands of state employees is a necessary component of any comprehensive program to reduce car trips by state employees. It reduces traffic, reduces the burden of health care costs imposed on the state by making employees healthier, and it enables more cost-effective and efficient transportation.
Technically, the Governor was correct in saying the bill was unnecessary. So was his veto—unless his intention is not to expand the program within the “existing authority” of the Department of General Services.
Your California Bicycle Coalition is meeting with the Department of General Services in November to learn about their plans, or lack thereof, to expand bike share statewide. We'll see if the Governor is serious about meeting the demand for bike share—we'll and keep you informed in case you need to take action.
AB 179 - Cervantes (D-Corona) - CTC Reform
Long overdue, this bill is passed into law and takes us one step closer to reforming the California Transportation Commission. Originally written to require that at least one Commissioner have experience working with disadvantaged communities, the bill was watered down to require the Governor to “make every effort” to ensure the Commission has “a diverse membership with expertise in transportation issues,” and to consider “socioeconomic background and professional experience, which may include experience working in, or representing, disadvantaged communities.” We are hopeful that this—and the next—Governor heeds the message of this bill so that we see a more diverse commission in the future. We will suggest candidates and advocate for their appointment.
AB 17 - Holden (D-Pasadena) - Student Transit Pass Program
Despite near-unanimous bipartisan support from both houses of the Legislature, this pilot program was vetoed by the Governor. Along with our partners, we look forward to having further conversations with the Administration next year to bring clarity to the bill and help all of California's students to get to and stay in school.
SB 150 - Allen (D-Santa Monica) - Regional Transportation Planning
The signing of this bill into law by the Governor will strengthen our state’s climate program by requiring regions to report on their climate protection efforts. The bill secures SB 375’s vision to tie together land use and transportation planning as a strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).
AB 390 - Santiago (D-Los Angeles) - Pedestrian Walking Signals
Finally some clarity for pedestrians in crosswalks, this bill was signed by the Governor and law now states that pedestrians may enter an intersection and cross during a countdown signal that is accompanied by a flashing hand signal or “Don’t Walk,” as long as they reach the other end of the intersection before the hand or “Don’t Walk” signal goes steady. We can't penalize pedestrians for poorly timed crosswalk countdown signals; all our streets should be Complete Streets, where everyone has the right and ability to use the roadways safely.
AB 805 - Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) - San Diego County Transportation Agencies
A major success for transportation justice, this is an important step to better represent transit riders, bicyclists, and pedestrians from low-income communities in regional decision-making.