Shouldn’t all roads in California be safe and comfortable for everyone of all ages and abilities? Shouldn’t our streets make it inviting for people to bike, walk, or ride public transit? That’s the vision for CalBike’s Complete Streets Campaign.

Complete Streets Are Safe Streets

When Governor Newsom vetoed the Complete Streets Bill in 2019, he said the law wasn’t needed because Caltrans policies already in place would accomplish the same goals. Four years later, we are putting that assumption to the test. CalBike conducted a survey of over 2,000 people who bike, walk, and drive on local streets that are also state routes to find out whether they provide safe passage for all modes of transportation. And we’re reviewing Caltrans project documentation to determine whether the agency has added Complete Streets improvements, as promised.

Check this space for updates and data as we present information and reports based on our research. And look for new legislation to create accountability for a state agency that ignores California’s own climate policies in its push to keep building more roads for vehicular travel.

We don’t think this campaign will be easy or quick, but we know it’s critical. Caltrans-controlled streets are often the most dangerous roadways in our communities, preventing local governments from closing gaps in biking and walking networks that residents want and need. We hope you’ll join us in advocating for Complete Streets throughout California.


CalBike’s Work Bringing Complete Streets to Everyone

In 2017, a CalBike-commissioned poll showed that Californians across the state and across all major political and demographic groups support building Complete Streets—roads with safe sidewalks, visible crosswalks, and protected bike lanes—that are safe places for everyone and not strictly thoroughfares for driving.

Together with our ally Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and over 80 co-sponsors and supporters, CalBike sponsored SB 127, the Complete Streets for Active Living Bill, in 2019. The bill would have required Caltrans to follow its own Complete Streets Policy and prioritize the safety of everyone who uses our roads, not just drivers, on every repaving, maintenance, and rehab project.

Caltrans has paid lip service to the idea of Complete Streets with an internal Complete Streets policy, but they haven’t lived up to their rhetoric. This Complete Streets law would have held their feet to the fire and transformed our communities into comfortable and convenient spaces for walking and bicycling.

The cheapest and easiest time to add a bike lane is when a street is already due for maintenance. Simply repaving dangerous and poorly designed roadways maintains an unacceptable status quo that prioritizes the speedy movement of cars over the lives and health of our children and neighbors.

Despite overwhelming support in the legislature and from constituents, Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed the Complete Streets Bill on October 12, 2019.

One veto is not the end of the road for Complete Streets. CalBike is committed working to bring safe streets to all Californians. We will continue to press the new leadership of Caltrans to build Complete Streets on state routes that serve as local streets. We will keep up the pressure on government agencies to provide funding for projects that facilitate biking, walking, and transit. And we’ll need your help to make it happen.

CalBike recently joined with over 100 mobility, climate justice, and transportation organizations to send a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom, urging and independent investigation of Caltrans, a moratorium on freeway expansion, and better oversight of the agency. You can add your name by signing our petition.

More About Complete Streets

Complete Streets
Glendora Quick-Build crosswalk compressed
Complete Streets