CalBike In the News

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California is poised to abandon one of the most problematic conventions in American transportation. On September 8, the California Senate advanced a bill that would eliminate fines for crossing the street outside of a crosswalk — the practice better known as jaywalking. Proposed by Assemblyman Phil Ting of San Francisco, AB 1238 is part of a wave of similar decriminalization efforts across the nation, following a turbulent year of norm-shifting public crises.

California has recognized that there are environmental, public health and mobility benefits to getting people out of cars and into other modes of travel, including biking, walking and taking public transit. Yet in too many instances, state law still favors cars.

California cyclists could treat stop signs as yields if a new bill becomes law. KCBS’ Alice Wertz has this report.

When Parker Day approaches a stop sign while biking in San Francisco, he slows down, looks for any oncoming cars or pedestrians, and advances through the intersection if it is safe to do so.

Streetsblog recently joined BikeTalk and the California Bicycle Coalition in a conversation with new Deputy Director of Planning and Modal Programs at Caltrans, Jeanie Ward-Waller, about changes and challenges at Caltrans. Below is an edited version highlighting some of what we talked about; listen to the entire conversation at BikeTalk.

On a rainy Thanksgiving night in 2019, Jihad Muhammad, 62, was standing by a crosswalk on Adams Boulevard near West View Street when he was struck by a white Audi whose driver sped off, leaving him lying on the street.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump is suing the city of Beverly Hills and the captain of the police department over a program called “Operation Safe Streets.”

Assembly Bill 122, also known as the Bicycle Safety Stop bill, has passed all committees and could be coming up for a vote on the Senate floor as early as this week. If passed and subsequently signed into law, the statewide pilot program would allow bicyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs until January 1, 2028.

One thing the group has been pushing for is to get California’s lawmakers to give e-bikes the same public support that larger electric vehicles have been getting. For example, one can get thousands off the purchase price of an EV (on top of federal tax credits) if their income is low enough, and that has helped spur the purchase of EVs. Similarly, it’s difficult for many Californians with lower incomes to purchase an e-bike, due to the extra expense.

A 66-year-old black man was given a nearly $200 ticket for walking across the street. Richard Milton of Culver City, California was recently fined $198 by two officers for jaywalking. After late fees including civil assessments given when he couldn’t pay, Milton was left with a bill of $500.

Five years ago, Oakland planners broke ground on a bold project on Telegraph Avenue: a protected bicycle lane. It might not seem like that big of a deal until you see it. Most bicycle lanes in Oakland and the rest of California are the buffered type, which place bike riders in a painted strip next to vehicle traffic, with parked cars on their right. Protected lanes entirely separate bicyclists from moving traffic by putting a barrier in between them.

Within the budget bill awaiting the governor’s signature is $10 million for incentives to buy electric bicycles. This is included in a planned $425 million investment in the Clean Vehicle Rebate Program, which is part of nearly $1 billion in investments in clean vehicles, including trucks and transit and school buses.

In the next few weeks, current bills that have already passed their house of origin are being heard by committees in the other house. All must be passed – or held, or die – before the legislature goes on summer break, starting July 16.

The Walking College will provide fellows with an opportunity to hone their skills and knowledge around creating vibrant, safe, accessible communities for people of all ages and abilities. Fellows, paired with experienced leaders in the urban planning field, will learn about the historical underpinnings of the car-centric transportation landscape and the basics of design and policy that foster safe, inclusive, accessible design for non-motorized transportation while developing essential leadership skills. Over the course of the program, fellows will also create a blueprint to address a specific problem in their community. AARP California will cover the fellowship program fees and provide fellows who successfully complete the program with a $1,000 stipend.

Richard Milton walked out of his medical appointment in Culver City into the noon sun. He needed to get back to the garage space he calls home. Black, 66, and a proud Army veteran, Milton has struggled with homelessness for years. “The garage is my sanctuary,” he said. “I have privacy there.”

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The debate over e-bikes continues in Kern County. This time about whether or not they should be banned from bike paths at the Kern River Parkway.

In April 2017, Nandi Cain Jr., who is Black, was beaten by a Sacramento police officer. Following a verbal altercation, Officer Anthony Figueroa threw Cain to the ground and punched him repeatedly.

Sacramento, CA – A bill intended to seek fairness and prevent escalating police stops for jaywalking passed the California State Assembly on Wednesday.

JUNE 2, 2021

Assembly: Phil Ting

I’ve done it. You probably have, too. You’re walking on Clement or Irving streets, and a store on the other side of the street catches your eye. Giving in to temptation, you look both ways and cross in the middle of the block once it’s safe to do so. Most of us don’t realize we’re breaking the law, but that’s jaywalking – something you can get a ticket for.

I’ve done it. You probably have, too. You’re walking on Clement or Irving streets, and a store on the other side of the street catches your eye. Giving in to temptation, you look both ways and cross in the middle of the block once it’s safe to do so. Most of us don’t realize we’re breaking the law, but that’s jaywalking – something you can get a ticket for.

I’ve done it. You probably have too. A flower shop or a store catches your eye on the other side of the street while walking. Maybe coffee or ice cream is calling your name. Giving in to the temptation, you look both ways, and when safe, you cross in the middle of the block. Most of us don’t realize we’re breaking the law, but that’s jaywalking—something you can get a ticket for.

Black Californians are up to 4.5 times more likely to be stopped for jaywalking than their white peers, according to data the state collects under the Racial and Identity Profiling Act (RIPA). The Freedom to Walk Act, a bill introduced by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) and pedestrian safety groups, aims to address this disparity by decriminalizing walking in the street outside of a legal intersection.

Circulate San Diego joined a coalition letter supporting AB 1238, the Freedom to Walk Act, which would repeal California’s “jaywalking” laws by legalizing certain common and safe street crossings that currently qualify as traffic infractions. The Freedom to Walk Act does not change existing law that requires pedestrians to avoid potentially hazardous situations on the roadway.

Jaywalking is one of those criminal offenses that many of us don’t think twice about committing. We need to cross the street, any approaching cars are a safe distance away, so off we trot from one side to the next mid-block.

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A California lawmaker is proposing a new bill that would decriminalize jaywalking in the state.

California Assemblyman Phil Ting wants to repeal the state’s jaywalking law and supporters point to past cases where people have died at the hands of police after being accused of walking across the street against the light.