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Legislative Update: Traffic Safety and Public Transit Bills

3:11 PM PST on March 3, 2023

Bikes parked in front of the California State Capitol building in Sacramento
Note: GJEL Accident Attorneys regularly sponsors coverage on Streetsblog San Francisco and Streetsblog California. Unless noted in the story, GJEL Accident Attorneys is not consulted for the content or editorial direction of the sponsored content.

It's time to take a look at the bills the California state legislators have introduced this year. But the California Bicycle Coalition has already done a thorough job on this, so this post is basically just a recommendation to head over to their site for details.

There is a lot happening. CalBike is focusing on its Invest/Divest campaign, which, as the name implies, is a push to get California to move investments away from freeways and road building, which undermine state goals, and into safer, healthier, more climate- and environment-friendly ways of moving around.

There are a lot of pieces to the campaign, as laid out by CalBike Policy Director Jared Sanchez in a discussion of the organization's goals. These include investing in complete streets and networks, and decriminalizing biking and walking behaviors, especially ones that are reactions to unsafe conditions.

To reach these goals, it will take legislation, policy, and budget commitments. To that end CalBike has also asked the legislature to reject Governor Newsom's proposed cuts to the Active Transportation Program and transit.

In addition to the above-stated areas of focus, there are a number of bills specifically focused on active transportation safety, as outlined by CalBike. One of these is another go from Tasha Boerner Horvath on a bill to officially allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yield signs. A.B. 73 is a third attempt, after the author pulled it last year when Governor Newsom made it clear he was going to veto it. This go-round will limit the notion to a pilot program, although the safety benefits from this change have been proven already in other states that have adopted it.

Another is A.B. 413, From Alex Lee (D-San Jose) which would require cities to "daylight" intersections by prohibiting parking near the corners so that people walking and biking - and driving - can see hazards.

There is much more; it's a full docket. Rest assured that Streetsblog will be tracking all the bills on CalBike's agenda, as well as a few more, and reporting on discussions about them as the session progresses.

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