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Complete Streets Bill Hearing Next Week

CalBike urges you to weigh in with the Assembly Transportation Committee on the Complete Streets Bill, which would require Caltrans to ensure safety for people biking, walking, and taking transit.

Graphic by CalBike

On July 1, the Assembly Transportation Committee will discuss and vote on the Complete Streets Bill, S.B. 960. The bill from Senator Scott Wiene, co-sponsored by CalBike, would require Caltrans to consider biking and walking safety when it repairs or repaves state routes. We want the committee to strengthen the provisions in the bill and pass it.

Complete Streets are streets that are safe and comfortable for people biking, walking, and taking transit, as well as driving motor vehicles. Protected bikeways, a key element of many Complete Streets, have been shown to reduce fatalities and injuries for road users in all modes of transportation.

Many Caltrans-controlled roadways are critical thoroughfares that cut through the hearts of California communities. A strong showing on this first test of the Complete Streets Bill in the Assembly - it has already passed the Senate - will help it pass the legislature. CalBike has an action tool that allows you to email all fifteen members of this crucial committee with one click.

Even better: CalBike invites advocates to show up in person and speak in favor of the bill. The Assembly Transportation Committee hearing will take place on Monday, July 1, at 2 p.m. in Room 1100 at 1021 O Street in Sacramento. Meet up with CalBike advocates at the stairs just past security.

While Caltrans has made incremental progress in adding more bike- and pedestrian-friendly features to its repaving projects, the 2023 firing of one of the agency’s strongest voices for active transportation shows the need for greater oversight and accountability, and that the slow pace of change needs to be speeded up.

The agency’s current system uses a checklist to record where it is building Complete Streets, but the checklists treat any element that makes biking or walking even marginally safer as a “Complete Streets feature." That means that merely adding a single crosswalk or a “Share the Road” sign could be counted as a Complete Street, even though these do very little to improve overall safety.

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 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 S.B. 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.

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

S.B. 960 needs support to pass the Assembly Transportation Committee, to pass an Assembly floor vote, and to be signed by Governor Newsom.

Note: This post was originally published by the California Bicycle Coalition.

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