CalBike Insider: First Look at 2023 Active Transportation Bills
It’s still early days, and CalBike is busy working with legislators and allies to firm up our legislative agenda for 2023, but we’ve already got a few bills on our radar. Here’s an early peek at the 2023 legislation that could make California streets more walkable, bikeable, and equitable.
Pave the Bike Lane
Once again, Assemblymember Laura Friedman is leading the way with critical legislation to turn plans into action. AB 6 fixes a misalignment between regional planning and funding to execute those plans. It would require regional transportation agencies to prioritize projects that reduce GHGs and vehicle miles traveled and promote active transportation. It’s a much-needed change that will help move complete streets projects from planning to implementation.
Divest from the Freeway
AB 7, also by Assemblymember Friedman, ends funding for freeway projects that expand capacity for single-occupancy vehicles. It’s a policy shift we need to mitigate climate change and the toxic pollutants and displacement that endanger communities near freeways.
Safety Stop Redux
After the Bicycle Safety Stop failed to become law twice, Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath introduced AB 73, which proposes pilot programs to test the effects of allowing people on bikes to treat stop signs as yields. While the many states that have already adopted similar laws could be considered (successful) tests, we support anything that moves California out of the dark ages on the safety stop.
Read more about these three bills in Streetsblog.
Vehicle Weight Fee
Assemblymember Chris Ward has introduced AB 251, a measure to study the relationship between vehicle weight and rates of injury to pedestrians, bike riders, and other vulnerable road users. The study would look at the possibility of assessing a weight fee on passenger vehicles, making it more expensive to drive a bulkier car. We hope it disincentivizes people from buying more lethal vehicles.
Limit Pretextual Policing
As recent tragic events in Memphis illustrated yet again, giving police the power to stop, detain, and aggressively harass people for minor traffic offenses too often leads to violence, and even death, especially if the person is Black or Latino. SB 50, introduced by Senator Steven Bradford, would limit the police’s ability to make pretextual stops and thus limit racial profiling that continues to be rampant. CalBike strongly supports this measure because this bill will curtail the all-too-common pretextual bike stops that make riders of color even more unsafe.
The legislative slate hasn’t been finalized yet, and many more crucial pieces of legislation are in the works. We’ll have more to report soon when CalBike releases its 2023 agenda.