California Bike Coalition Seeks More Representative Caltrans Standards

A green bike lane on Market Street in San Francisco.

The following is being republished from the monthly newsletter of the California Bicycle Coalition.

When bicycling facilities help people feel safer, more people of all ages and abilities ride bikes. Yet the current statewide design standards keep California cities from building the kind of facilities envisioned by the Urban Bikeways Design Guide released earlier this month by the National Association of City Transportation Officials.

To give cities the tools they need, CBC is sponsoring Assembly Bill 345, authored by Assemblymember Toni Atkins of San Diego, to require Caltrans to consult with all road users when developing statewide design standards. At a State Capitol hearing April 11, the bill will be amended to ensure that this requirement applies to the membership of Caltrans advisory committees that help create those standards, such as the California Traffic Control Devices Committee.

Caltrans is making progress. In 2008 the agency adopted a complete streets policy that calls for accommodating the needs of all road users, not just motorists, in state highway planning, design, construction and maintenance. Yet that progress has not trickled down to the CTCDC, which advises Caltrans on standards for traffic signals, signs and pavement markings such as bike lanes and crosswalks. Motorists are the only roadway users represented: the California State Automobile Association and Automobile Club of Southern California each have a seat on the committee.

“We salute cities like Long Beach and San Francisco that have been willing to design the best possible facilities for bicycling regardless of what’s in the official book, however, most jurisdictions aren’t comfortable being that bold,” said Dave Snyder, CBC’s Relaunch Director/CEO. “Residents of every city deserve to have the best infrastructure, and this bill will make that possible.”

The California Bicycle Coalition is a non-profit education and lobbying organization working to improve bicycling conditions throughout California. CBC’s mission is to create safe, healthy and livable communities in California by promoting bicycling for transportation and recreation. Join the CBC April 16th in Sacramento for a party to raise money for the organization. Download the PDF invitation here.