Updates on State Bills State Legislative Roundup 2022

Read our State Legislative Roundup 2022. With the California State legislative session at an end, it is now time to review the political victories and defeats, and set our sights on the road ahead. This work could not be done without the help of our members and supporters; when we asked for support to amplify our message to our representatives in Sacramento you answered the call. Thank you.

In general the provisions of these laws go into effect January 1, 2023, unless noted otherwise.

State Legislative Update 2022

The Victories

AB 1909 – Bicycle Omnibus Bill (Friedman)

This bill improves bicycling safety with the following changes to the state vehicle code. 

  1. Statewide repeal of bicycle license laws. Many residents are unaware that some cities (such as Novato) require a bicycle license. Though seldom enforced, it created opportunities for biased policing. 

  2. Bicyclists are now able to advance on the “walk” signal at traffic lights. This helps to improve safety by increasing visibility of bicyclists at intersections where a leading pedestrian interval (LPI) allows the “walk” sign to turn on before the green light. 

  3. In addition to the current law requiring drivers to overtake cyclists with at least 3’ of clearance, drivers are now required to change lanes where feasible when passing a rider. 

  4. Increases e-bike access to trails and pathways, while still allowing for some bans on recreational, hiking, and equestrian trails. 

Status: Passed

AB 2097 – Parking Minimums (Friedman)

This bill repealed the required mandatory car parking for new buildings located near high-capacity transit hubs. Importantly, this is not a ban on parking – rather it allows builders greater flexibility in use of space and makes it possible to design around car-free and car-light families. 

Status: Passed

AB 2147 – Freedom to Walk (Ting)

Decriminalizes jaywalking in instances where it is clearly safe to cross the street outside of a crosswalk. Fines may still be issued in instances where crossing midblock creates a threat of injury or crash.  

Status: Passed

AB 2264 – Pedestrian Headstart (Bloom) 

When installing new traffic lights, this bill requires Caltrans to provide a Leading Pedestrian Interval (LPI), which gives pedestrians a 3-7 second head start before car traffic traveling in the same direction receives a green light. According to NACTO, this can reduce pedestrian/vehicle collisions by up to 60 percent. 

Status: Passed

AB 2863 – Bike Parking & Green Building Standards (Wilson)

The next update of the California Green Building Standards Code will include minimum requirements for secure long- and short-term bicycle storage, not tied to the number of car parking spaces. Having safe and accessible bike storage is particularly helpful in increasing the use of electric bikes in daily transportation.  

Status: Passed

SB 932 – Bikes in General Plans (Portantino)

Safe and accessible walking and bicycling are brought to the heart of local planning with this bill. Previously, bike and pedestrian access were easily put on the backburner of city plans, without deadlines to follow through on infrastructure and safety projects. This bill gives bike and pedestrian plans greater weight, by making them part of the jurisdiction’s general plan, and requiring that implementation begin within two years of its passage and be completed within 25 years. It also requires that cities and counties adopt a “Safe Systems Approach” (also known as Vision Zero). This is a great step in the right direction to make our communities more livable and reduce emissions. 

Status: Passed

The Defeats

AB 1713 – Bicycle Safety Stop (Wiener)

This bill would have allowed bicyclists aged 18 and older to treat stop signs as yields during a six-year pilot program. Last year a similar bill was vetoed by the Governor, and we were deeply disappointed that this bill was withdrawn by its author under threat of another veto. Similar laws in other states have shown marked reductions in bicycle-vehicle collisions and none of the feared increase in danger to pedestrians or cyclists. It is our hope that the Governor will show more support for this bill if it is reintroduced in 2023.

Status: Withdrawn

AB 371 – Killing Bike Share (Jones-Sawyer) 

This was the one bill we opposed, as it will impose previously-unheard-of insurance requirements on scooter-share programs, threatening the existence of a much needed micro-transportation option. Additionally, AB 371 sets a new precedent for similar laws to be applied to bike-share programs in the future. 

Status: Passed

AB 2336 – Speed Cameras (Friedman & Ting) 

This would have enacted a 6-year pilot program in select participating cities, where automated speed cameras would be established in areas with high collision risks and/or high volumes of bicycle and pedestrian traffic. It has proven to be an effective method of improving street safety in other states. The bill was held, possibly due to opposition from law enforcement.

Status: Held in Committee

Thanks for reading our year-end State Legislative Roundup 2022. Let us know if you have any questions. 

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State Legislative Roundup

The California state legislative session has come to a close. Now we get to check the scorecard to see how far our elected leaders were willing to go to improve biking and walking in the state. Read on for a summary of the wins, losses, and what we can look for in the year ahead.