Assembly Passes Bill to Increase Safe Routes for Urban Bicyclists

For immediate release:

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – The California State Assembly passed legislation authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Chair of the Assembly Democratic Caucus, to ease the construction of protected bikeways, or cycletracks, that designate a portion of road for bike travel and separate it with grade separations, posts or other physical barriers.

AB 1193 passed with a 55-14 vote and moves to the State Senate for further review.

“We must make our cities more livable,” said Ting. “More people are biking in San Francisco because of our efforts to make it safer, and it’s time to do more. No one should risk their safety when getting on a bike, especially when there are proven solutions available to us. Sharing the road is one thing, designing it better is another.”

Cities across California have recently installed cycletracks - including San Francisco, Long Beach, and Los Angeles – in an experimental process. This has required a costly and time-consuming practice of first obtaining an exemption from Caltrans, which oversees safety design and signage criteria for the planning and construction of all bike lanes on public streets. The exemption is needed because there are no state design standards for cycletracks.

Ting’s bill requires Caltrans to put a design standard in place. By reducing construction costs and delays, it is expected to lead to more cycletracks being built across California.

“This bill to encourage protected bikeways is not about serving existing bicyclists, but about serving people who want to ride but don't feel safe,” said Dave Snyder, Executive Director of the California Bicycle Coalition. “The future of California is brighter when we build streets that everyone will feel comfortable riding on.”

“This bill is a smart move for California and for San Francisco,” said Kit Hodge, Deputy Director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. “It will allow all local communities to build the kinds of streets that everyone wants -- more orderly, less chaos, and less stress for everyone. This is a common sense update to our state's arcane laws that reflects modern realities.”

A new report, Protected Bike Lanes Mean Business, found that protected bike lanes promote economic growth by fueling redevelopment to boost real estate values, helping companies retain talented employees, making workers healthier and more productive, and increasing retail visibility and sales volume.

Further information about AB 1193 is available online at www.leginfo.ca.gov.

Contacts: Anthony Matthews (Ting), tel. (916) 319-2019, anthony.matthews@asm.ca.gov
Dave Snyder (CA Bike Coalition), tel. (916) 251-9433, dave@calbike.com
Kristen Smith (SF Bike Coalition), tel. (415) 431-BIKEx308, Kristen@sfbike.org