Updates on State Bills Mid-Year Legislative Roundup

We’re halfway through another legislative session, and there are a bunch of exciting bills working their way through the halls of the Capitol. Read our mid-year legislative roundup to see what we expect out of Sacramento, and to learn how to urge your legislators to support them! 

Mid-year Legislative Roudup


AB 1713 Safety Stop (Boerner Horvath)

Similar to a bill passed by the legislature last year but vetoed by Governor Newsom, AB 1713 would permit bicyclists to proceed through a stop sign without coming to a complete and total stop as long as no one else was in the intersection. Riders would need to yield to any pedestrians or other vehicles already in the intersection. Similar laws have already passed in eight states. According to this fact sheet from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “these laws showed added safety benefits for bicyclists in States where they were evaluated, and may positively affect the environment, traffic, and transportation.”

Status: Passed by the Assembly, sitting in the Senate Transportation Committee

AB 1909 Bicycle Omnibus Bill (Friedman)

This bill combines the following separate policy changes to make bicycling safer and easier:

1- Current law requires drivers to overtake bicyclists with at least 3’ of clearance. This would add the additional requirement that on multi-lane roads, drivers must move to an adjacent lane when passing a person on a bike.

2 -Some cities (many in Marin, in fact!) technically require a license to ride a bicycle. This policy is seldom enforced, but when it is, it is often used in a discriminatory fashion. The bill would repeal bicycle license laws statewide.

3 -An increasing number of traffic lights are using what are called “leading pedestrian intervals,” i.e. pedestrians get a “Walk” signal before cars traveling in the same direction get a green signal. This increases visibility of pedestrians and improves safety. This bill would allow for bicyclists to advance on the “Walk” signal instead of having to wait for the green light.

4- Class 3 e-bikes (Those able to travel up to 28 mph) are currently prohibited on shared use paths, such as the Mill Valley-Sausalito Path (though this is seldom enforced). This would repeal that ban, unless the path were primarily for recreational or equestrian use.

Status: Passed by the Assembly, sitting in Senate Appropriations Committee

AB 2863 Bike Parking & Green Building Standards (Wilson)

This bill would require the next update of the California Green Building Standards to include guidelines for short-term and long-term secure bicycle parking for multifamily residential and non-residential buildings. These bicycle parking requirements must not be tied to the number of car parking spots (many zoning codes currently require one bicycle rack for every 20 car parking spots). This would be an important step as lack of secure bicycle parking is a large barrier to e-bike adoption. 

Status: Passed by the Assembly, sitting in Senate Appropriations Committee

AB 2147 Freedom to Walk (Ting)

Traffic stops for jaywalking are a widely practiced police tactic that have more to do with providing pretext for searches than increasing pedestrian safety. In fact, the “crime” of jaywalking was invented by the early automotive lobby to clear streets of pedestrians in favor of free car travel. 

This bill would prohibit police from ticketing pedestrians when the street is clear, but still maintain that crossing was illegal when it creates a threat of a crash. The bill was passed by the legislature last year, but vetoed by the Governor.

Status: Passed by Assembly, sitting in Senate Committee on Public Safety

AB 2097 Parking Minimums (Friedman)

Current local law dictates that off-street car parking must be provided at nearly all new buildings. While the amount varies depending on the city, there is widespread consensus that off-street parking requirements add more cars to the road and drive up the cost of housing. This bill would repeal those car parking minimums around high capacity transit hubs. This would not be a ban on parking, but instead would allow builders to decide if they wanted to cater to car-less or car-light families by building fewer parking spots than the current local zoning code requires.   

Status: Passed by Assembly, sitting in Senate Appropriations Committee

SB 932 Bikes in General Plans (Portantino)

While cities regularly write Bicycle Master Plans, those plans are often toothless and are developed without any schedule or timeline for implementation, much less any consequences for the city if implementation does not take place. This bill would require that cities include bicycle planning in the circulation element of their general plan (i.e. the city’s constitution) and begin implementing it within two years. The plan would have to be completed within 25 years.

Status: Passed by the Senate, sitting in the Assembly Transportation Committee

Bills we oppose

AB 371 Killing Bike Share (Jones-Sawyer)

This is the one bill that we are recommending legislators oppose. It would impose costly insurance requirements on the operators of bikeshare, likely making all such systems (like the one planned in Marin and Sonoma) financially infeasible. 

Status: Sitting in Assembly Appropriations Committee

Bills THat Have Already Been Killed

AB 2336 Speed Cameras (Friedman & Ting) 

Once again, a bill that would have created a very limited pilot program of automated speed enforcement cameras (fewer than 200 sites across five cities) was killed in committee without a vote. In a year when traffic deaths reached a 16-year high, a solution that is used with great effect in much of Europe and New York City is again ignored by the Legislature.

How You Can Help

You can contact your legislator and ask them to support these bills! See below for email templates to email Marin’s representatives in Sacramento:

Email Sen. Mike McGuire

Email Asm. Marc Levine

This is only a sample of the current bills affecting transportation. For a more complete list, check out CalBike’s post here (which also contains links to email your legislators if you live outside of Marin).

Thanks for reading our mid-year legislative roundup. Let us know if you have any questions. 

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