CA Senate Committee to Consider Protected Bike Lanes Bill Tomorrow

sfstreetsblog – excerpt

A key hearing will be held in Sacramento tomorrow on legislation that would pave the way for more California cities to build protected bike lanes, also known as “cycle tracks.”

Legislation by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-SF) aims to make protected bike lanes, such as this one in Long Beach, more common throughout California. Photo: Gary Kavanagh

Currently the California Highway Design Manual does not allow protected bike lanes, and state law requires local jurisdictions to follow Caltrans specifications for bicycle facilities on all roads, not just state-controlled highways. No such requirement exists for any other type of street infrastructure — just bicycle facilities.

A.B. 1193, the “Safe Routes for Urban Cyclists,” from Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), would require Caltrans to develop standards for bike lanes that are physically separated from motor traffic. At the same time, the bill would permit cities to opt out of using Caltrans specifications for bike facilities on local streets and roads… (more)

Let Ting and the other state reps know how you feel. Sample letter and contact info:

http://discoveryink.wordpress.com/letters-and-comments/state-legislators/

 

 

San Francisco and its cycletracks lead the way toward safer biking statewide

Ting is working on the issue with the California Bicycle Coalition, whose executive director Dave Snyder is a longtime San Francisco bike activist. Snyder says Caltrans doesn’t allow bike lanes that include physical barriers against traffic, even though they are widely used in other countries and states and considered to be safest design for cyclists.

San Francisco has been blazing the trail toward safer cycling with innovative designs such as cycletracks, or bike lanes that are physically separated from cars, which have been installed on Market Street and JFK Drive. But cycletracks aren’t legal under state law, something that a San Francisco lawmaker and activist are trying to solve so that other California cities can more easily build them.

“Right now, many cities are not putting in cycletracks for fear they don’t conform to the Caltrans manual,” says Assemblymember Phil Ting, whose Assembly Bill 1193 — which would legalize and set design standards for cycletracks — cleared the Assembly yesterday [Wed/29] and is now awaiting action by the Senate.

Ting is working on the issue with the California Bicycle Coalition, whose executive director Dave Snyder is a longtime San Francisco bike activist. Snyder says Caltrans doesn’t allow bike lanes that include physical barriers against traffic, even though they are widely used in other countries and states and considered to be safest design for cyclists.

San Francisco is technically breaking the law because they have the best traffic engineers in the state and a good City Attorney’s Office and they know they can defend it in court if they have to,” Snyder said. “Most places in the state won’t do that.”… (more)

So now we know. They admit some of the bike lanes are illegal. If you object to this law (Assembly Bill 1193) to legalize the illegal bike lanes in San Francisco, let Phil Ting and the state representatives know about it now: Contacts here. And let your city officials know: Contacts here

Sign petitions, write letters. This is an election year. DO YOU WANT TO GIVE MORE MONEY TO THE FOLKS WHO ARE BREAKING THE LAW NOW? Do they represent your interests?

RELATED:
Gov’s Report to Caltrans: Get Out of the Way of Protected Bike Lanes
Caltrans needs to stop focusing so much on moving cars and let cities build safer street designs with protected bike lanes, says a new report commissioned by Governor Jerry Brown and CA Transportation Secretary Brian Kelly…
they must take a legal risk since Caltrans hasn’t approved such designs, and design exceptions require “a painful and time-consuming process,” says the report, produced by the State Smart Transportation Initiative…

They Don’t Want an App for That

resetsanfrancisco.org – excerpt

The venerable San Francisco Civil Grand Jury is out today with their report detailing possible solutions to the San Francisco Municipal Railway’sswitchback” problems.
“Switchback” is what Muni calls it when they stop a streetcar or bus before the end of the run, kick out the passengers to wait for the next vehicle, and then head back in the opposite direction…

You can read the Grand Jury’s report and recommendations here. You can also read the Muni’s rapid response below.
But what is worth a detailed read is the report’s finding that the Muni turned down a free iPad app using GPS to help track vehicles and avoid switchbacks. The Muni said it didn’t have the budget for the iPads needed to make the app work…

(more)

Who does Muni work for? They can’t afford a few iPads to help their customers, but they can afford a few billion dollars worth of public debt to put in the Central Subway for the wealthy landowners and bankers who will profit most handsomely from the up-zone of the transit corridor about the subway.

Thanks to Phil Ting’s resetsanfrancsico for this story that the media seems to have missed.