Originally published September 3, 2020. Updated September 30, 2020.
The pandemic took a big bite out of CalBike’s 2020 legislative agenda, but we were still able to win two important legislative victories in this session. This was due in no small part to the thousands of CalBike members and supporters who emailed your representatives to urge them to support bike-friendly laws and amendments.
Big win for bike plans
California’s environmental review law, CEQA, is vital to ensuring that construction projects mitigate any damage they cause to the natural environment. However, it makes no sense to force projects that are inherently environmentally beneficial to go through the lengthy and expensive CEQA review process.
SB 288 exempts certain public transit and active transportation projects from CEQA for two years. Even better, it requires large projects to conduct a racial equity analysis that would not be required under CEQA. This will help California expand its public transit offerings as we emerge from the pandemic. And it will allow our state to build the bike network we need much faster.
This bill passed the legislature and Governor Newsom has signed it into law. Now it’s up to California communities to take advantage of this new law and move quickly to implement much-needed bike projects.
Bike share survives
AB 1286 would have effectively ended bike and scooter sharing systems in California. It included several onerous provisions. The worst would have ended liability waivers. That would have made bike-share system operators liable for every injury, no matter who was at fault.
Thanks to lobbying by CalBike and our allies and pressure from constituents, the bill’s author removed this provision, so that CalBike withdrew our opposition.