September 10, 2021, was the last day for bills to make it out of their second house in the California legislature. CalBike’s three sponsored measures were all effectively passed by the legislature: one is fully funded, and two have passed both houses. But CalBike engaged with many bills during this legislative session. Here’s where they stand now.
Next stop Newsom’s desk
Now that voters have decisively rejected the undemocratic and dangerous recall, we can move our attention back to transforming our communities through bicycling. Besides our two bills that decriminalize everyday behavior by all of us, there are many important bills we are working on getting the governor to sign.
Regional transportation planning reform (AB 1147, Friedman)
One of the most exciting bills in this legislative session, AB 1147, came in a plain brown wrapper. Assemblymember Friedman’s visionary bill will change the priorities in regional transportation planning documents. Among the priorities AB 1147 would enshrine into law is creating bicycle highways and 15-minute neighborhoods. We hope the governor recognizes the value of this measure for combating climate change and creating livable communities. Sign our petition to support AB 1147.
Allow lower speed limits (AB 43, Friedman)
The 85th percentile rule forces communities to let people who drive too fast set speed limits on most California streets. While it doesn’t eliminate the 85th percentile rule, AB 43 gives communities more flexibility to lower speed limits in high-injury corridors. Add your name to show your support for this bill.
More Slow Streets (AB 773, Nazarian)
AB 773 will make it easier to continue the Slow Streets we enjoyed during the pandemic and open up safe neighborhood spaces for walking and biking.
The Great Redwood Trail (SB 69, McGuire)
SB 69 is a step towards building a bike path along the mostly unused right of way of the old North Coast Railway, from Sonoma County to Humboldt County.
Bill CalBike opposed that didn’t move forward: Shared Micromobility Insurance
Shared micromobility insurance (AB 371, Jones-Sawyer) would have imposed such steep and unprecedented insurance requirements on bike share and scooter share providers that those services would likely disappear from California. That would be a significant setback in CalBike’s work toward equitable transit systems that provide low-cost, low-impact transportation.
The author held this bill back in the Senate after hearing the concerns from CalBike and our allies. We will continue to work with him to develop a solution that will allow bike sharing systems to thrive. That solution will also need to address the issue of liability, and insurance coverage for people injured by, for example, tripping on scooters left carelessly on the sidewalk,
The bills we wish had made it
Fleet electrification (AB 1110, Rivas). This bill would have made it easier for public agencies to convert their fleets to electric vehicles, including electric bicycles, by enabling statewide contracts to reduce local agencies’ costs.
Housing for people, not cars (AB 1401, Friedman). This bill would have reduced parking mandates in new construction near transit, making more room for homes. Unfortunately, it died in the suspense file in the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Speed Safety Systems (AB 550, Chiu). This measure would have allowed communities to use automated speed enforcement. That would remove police from speed enforcement, which is often the beginning of dangerous police encounters for people of color. Speed cameras, on the job 24/7, reduce injuries and crashes wherever communities install them. Despite collaboration with diverse stakeholders to ensure equity and privacy in the implementation of camera enforcement, this critical measure died an early death in the Assembly. We hope to see more automated speed enforcement proposals in the future.
Several other bills that CalBike supports became two-year bills. Check our Legislative Watch page for all the details.