Sacramento Aug 18 — The California Bicycle Coalition released the following “floor alert” today urging support for AB 1193, the Protected Bikeways Act.
FLOOR ALERT – AB 1193 (Ting) – The Protected Bikeway Act – SUPPORT
Bike lanes marked with a painted white stripe have succeeded in getting more people to bicycle in California. In fact, bicycling has doubled since 2000 in California. But still, only 1.5% of Californians bicycle for everyday trips. Most people are still too afraid to ride a bicycle on streets with car traffic, and studies indicate that 60% of Californians would consider bicycling for transportation if they felt it was safe. This is crucial when 40% of all trips are under two miles – the perfect distance to ride a bicycle.
People know that bicycling makes them healthier and wealthier. Public demand for modern bicycle infrastructure is growing. Local officials are responding by creating more bike lanes and building more bike paths, but state restrictions on bikeway design prohibit the best kinds of bike facilities: protected bikeways. To make matters worse, an unusual state law requires strict conformity to Caltrans bikeway design guidelines even on locally owned streets and roads, effectively prohibiting protected bikeways everywhere. The recent State Smart Transportation Initiative (SSTI) review of Caltrans expressly recommended “legislation to end the archaic practice of imposing state rules on local streets for bicycle facilities” and further urged Caltrans to “adopt modern guidance as laid out in the NACTO Urban Street Design Guide.”
AB 1193 ends the prohibition on protected bikeways by lifting the requirement to adhere to Caltrans’ outdated guidelines, implementing the SSTI recommendation. It will encourage the development of the safest kinds of bikeways that are accommodating for everyone ages 8 to 80, and will lead to millions more bike trips every day and lead to millions more bike trips every day. Specifically, it amends sections 890-891 to do the following:
It gives cities and counties the same freedoms and the same responsibilities for local bikeways that they have for local streets and roads by permitting guidance other than Caltrans’ guidance, provided that guidance adheres to standards “established by a national association of public agency transportation officials.”
It defines protected bikeways in the law by adding a new “class 4” “separated bikeway” to the three existing types: bike paths, bike lanes, and shared bike routes.
It requires Caltrans to develop standards for “class 4” bikeways, but only after consulting with its advisory committee for people with disabilities.
AB 1193 is supported by almost every local bicycle advocacy organization in the state:
Bike East Bay
Bike Walnut Creek
Chico Velo Cycling
Delta Pedalers Bicycle Club
Inland Empire Biking Alliance
Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition
Marin County Bicycle Coalition
Napa County Bicycle Coalition
People Power of Santa Cruz County
Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates
San Diego County Bicycle Coalition
San Francisco Bicycle Coalition
San Luis Obispo County Bicycle Coalition
Shasta Living Streets
Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition
Women on Bikes California
AB 1193 is also supported by the following agencies and organizations:
Cities of Long Beach, Los Angeles, and San Jose;
California Park and Recreation Society;
American Academy of Pediatrics, California District IX