Marin County Bike Coalition Wants Your Help

Lower speed limits, Idaho stop, jaywalking reform--help push the Gov to sign these bills into law

Bike to Work Day 2019. Photo: MCBC
Bike to Work Day 2019. Photo: MCBC

With the recall behind him, Bay Area advocates are hoping Governor Gavin Newsom will spend his new-found political capital by signing legislation near and dear to them (which it seems he’s already started to do). The Marin County Bicycle Coalition has put together a list of the impressive bills on Newsom’s desk. And they want your help getting him to make these long-sought-after reforms.

From the MCBC’s statement:

We’re asking for one final push to help get them across the line, and urge the governor to sign them into law.

To write in support of these bills, navigate to this page, enter your information and the bill number, and select “pro.” You can add your own comment or copy the ones below (unfortunately you have to do it one at at a time).

  • More local control for setting speed limits (AB 43)
    The current method of setting speed limits in California, in which the limit is set by the speed traveled by the fastest drivers, is nonsensical and leads to speed limits that are too fast for the road. A key part of improving road safety is lowering automobile speeds. This bill would give cities more flexibility to set the speed limits they know are safe.
  • Bikes treat stop signs as a yield (AB 122)
    Everyone knows that few bike riders come to a complete and total stop at every stop sign. Most slow down to a reasonable speed, yielding to pedestrians or vehicles in the intersection, before continuing through. A number of states have already legalized this behavior, requiring that bikers yield but not necessarily come to a complete stop. California should do the same by passing this bill, which will increase convenience for riders, and decrease unnecessary ticketing of riders without negatively affecting safety.
  • Permitting more “Slow Streets” (AB 773)
    During the Covid-19 pandemic, many cities across the state developed emergency programs to close streets to through-traffic and permit outdoor recreation. These newly-calmed streets have been wildly popular and should remain going forward. This bill would let cities and towns adopt Slow Streets ordinances to designate certain neighborhood streets for local traffic only.
  • Jaywalking reform (AB 1238)
    Under existing law, people cited for “crossing the road outside of a designated crosswalk” face fines as high as $250, no matter how safe it may be to cross at that time. These laws are enforced selectively, and are frequently used as a pretext to stop people of color so that they may be searched. In San Diego, Black residents are 4.3 times more likely to be stopped for jaywalking than their White neighbors. Pedestrians will still have to act with due care to avoid hazardous situations. This bill merely legalizes what people across the state do every day – cross the street where and when it feels appropriate using their best judgment.

Here, again, is the form to contact the Governor and urge him to sign these bills.

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