On September 15th, the Complete Streets for Active Living Bill, also known as SB 127 sponsored by Senator Scott Weiner was passed by all Assembly and Senate committees and is now sitting on the desk of Governor Gavin Newsom waithing on a signature.
As I said in previous updates, the Complete Streets Bill would require CalTrans to consider bicycle and pedestrian safety improvements when it repairds state routes that serve as local streets. It aims to ensure state roads that run through communities, such as Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles.
The bill has strong support. Support includes organizations such as California Bicycle Coalition, LACBC, Los Angeles Walks, Safe Routes Partnership, as well as SAFE. A recent poll done by the California Bicycle Coalition found that 78 percent of California voters support a policy requiring safety improvements when improving an existing road.
In California from 2007-2013, nearly 1.7 million people were injured in traffic collisions, 95,758 of which were pedestrians crossing the street. This bill will take positive steps forward to reduce this numbers and prevent unnecessary injuries and loss.
The problem is often concentrated around Caltrans roads that go through low-income neighborhoods where more people get around via transit, biking, and walking.
Caltrans often claims to make streets safer when they repair them. But in practice, they prioritize fast traffic over the communities demanding more livable streets almost every single time. Caltrans needed stronger direction from the Legislature. The Complete Streets for Active Living Bill will provide that direction, and force the safety improvements necessary to stop the killing and maiming on state-owned roads.
The bill is not strict. Caltrans won’t have to implement safety improvements if they’re not appropriate for some reason—for example, if they’re too expensive. And the law only applies to sections where you’re likely to see people walking and biking, about 17% of the total system. But it will force Caltrans to implement safety improvements when it’s cheapest to do so: when they’re repaving the street anyway.
PLEASE HELP us reach out to Governor Newsom and urge him to sign SB127 into law.
Governor Gavin Newsom
Phone: (916) 445-2841
1303 10th Street, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814