Oh, 2020. It’s been a hard year for too many. We extend our sympathies to everyone who is suffering from loss.
CalBike 2021 Agenda
CalBike’s plans for 2021 are still developing, but we have five initiatives already in the works.
- E-bike purchase incentives. Our e-bike rebate bill, which would allow people to get a voucher to buy an e-bike, was one of the casualties of the pandemic in 2020. We’ll bring it back better than ever in 2021. Electric bikes have been proven to be the best option for replacing car trips. They have surged in popularity this year. However, the price tag for an e-bike puts one out of reach for many Californians. We believe an e-bike purchase incentive program is the most effective way to make energy-efficient transportation available to everyone.
- Micromobility. Shared bikes and scooters should be integrated with public transit and accessible to all. We want cities to take ownership of their shared mobility systems so users aren’t subject to the whims and price increases of a private company. This will also ensure that micromobility options are available in neighborhoods that have been historically underserved by transit.
- Complete Streets at Caltrans. Despite the pandemic, CalBike was able to work with Caltrans to greatly improve its Complete Streets policies in 2020. The agency increased funding for biking and walking improvements and made positive changes to bring the needs of people who aren’t in cars into their planning processes. However, there is still more work to be done to change decades of car-centric planning at Caltrans. In 2021, CalBike will redouble our efforts to transform Caltrans-controlled local streets into Complete Streets.
- Rewriting the street design rulebook. Two manuals hold sway over local planning decisions about street design in California: the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) and the Highway Design Manual (HDM). If you’ve ever been at a planning meeting in your city and watched an innovative bike facility get rejected, the MUTCD and HDM may have been to blame. Planners are often reluctant to approve roadway designs that aren’t in them. CalBike is working with state administrators to revise these manuals to include designs for safer streets for people on bikes. These changes could turn a no into a yes the next time your local bicycle coalition lobbies for a new protected bike lane or protected intersection.
- Equitable traffic enforcement. CalBike is committed to doing our part to change state laws about traffic enforcement to reduce the risk of police violence for Black and Brown people. The measures we are considering include:
- Automated speed monitoring and ticketing.
- Changing the Vision Zero grant process to money doesn’t go pay for more police traffic stops and instead goes to measures that will be more effective at reducing traffic injuries and fatalities.
- Decriminalizing walking and biking. This includes legalizing mid-block crossings (jaywalking) and the Idaho stop (which would allow bikes to treat stop signs as yields).
- Reforming Office of Traffic Safety grants so they don’t support police stings of bike riders running stop signs on quiet, low-traffic residential streets.
Finishing 2020 strong.
CalBike has two important initiatives that we’re still working on that we believe will make a big difference for bikeable communities.
CalBike has partnered with Alta Planning to produce the Quick-Build Toolkit. Quick-build is a revolutionary philosophy that streamlines the roadway design process. This puts the bike lanes and other safety features we need on our streets in months rather than years. Our design manual (coming very soon) will give planners across California the tools they need to quickly implement bike projects as we emerge from the pandemic and confront the climate crisis.
Many of us are, understandably, laser-focused on the presidential election this year. However, as we know from firsthand experience fighting for bills in unfriendly committees in the State legislature, the people we choose to represent us in our state and local government play a bigger role in shaping how bike-friendly our communities are.
We have endorsed candidates in several races that we believe will be crucial to achieving our ambitious goals for 2021. Please check out our endorsements and support bike-friendly candidates.
Ride your bike + Raise money for CalBike = Fun!
The California Dream Ride is one of CalBike’s biggest annual fundraisers. This year, the Dream Ride Challenge is a self-guided 300-mile ride to wherever you choose. Ride all 300 miles in the saddle, or earn miles and get rewards for taking on fun, bike-related activities and daily pop-up challenges along the way.
As a Dream Rider, you’ll join a fabulous bicycling community online to share the joy of riding in a brand new way. We’ve got perks and prizes, tips and tricks, an awesome support team, Happy Hours with special guests like mountain biking pioneer Gary Fisher, and so much more.
Best of all, the Dream Ride Challenge is a great way to raise money to support CalBike’s work in 2021 and beyond. You can register for as little as $25 and raise money as you ride. We hope you’ll join us from October 3-11 for this fun event.
We hope that 2021 is better than 2020!
No one can argue with the fact that 2020 has been crazy. For a lot of people, it has been a simply terrible year. Our heart goes out to anyone who’s dealing with COVID-19 or who lost a loved one, everyone who lost a job or had to risk their health to keep a job, everyone on the West Coast dealing with fires and smoke. In addition, while racist violence and oppression started long before 2020, the burdens of our inequitable society have supersized this year’s many tragedies for Californians of color.
Here’s to a better year in 2021.