News from the California Bicycle Coalition
|IN THE STATE CAPITAL
SB 910 veto raises as many questions as it answers
Now that Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed Senate Bill 910, our bill to give bicyclists a 3-foot buffer from passing cars, we're working on figuring out where he actually stands on the issue of bicycling and roadway safety.
In the official message explaining his veto, Brown said that "specifying a buffer of three feet" was a "needed and clear improvement to the law." But he vetoed the bill anyway, citing concerns by Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol that the law would cause of rash of rear-end collisions if drivers had to slow down in order to safely pass a bicycle.
His letter blamed this problem on a provision in the law exempting motorists from the 3-foot requirement at speeds of 15 mph or less, but that provision has absolutely nothing to do with that concern. In fact, we know that the CHP (and AAA, too) actually oppose the requirement itself. They had argued throughout the legislative process for making the 3-foot buffer optional.
So what does Brown want? We have requested a meeting to figure out what he actually meant by his veto message, and we'll decide our next actions once we have more information.
We're stronger as we consider our next steps
The campaign for SB 910 identified thousands of Californians willing to write letters to lawmakers and the Governor on behalf of bicycle safety. Against some powerful opponents (e.g. the CHP, AAA, trucking interests) we made our voices heard and passed the bill with bipartisan support. We have grown our strength as a movement and an organization.
Our next steps on the issue of the 3-foot buffer or other efforts to promote bicycling will be bolder and more ambitious thanks to our greater strength!
Thanks to those local bicycle advocacy organizations and bike clubs that worked so hard to help support SB 910. Special thanks to Dan Empfield at Slowtwitch.com, Lance Armstrong, Dave Alberga at Active Network, Mike Sinyard at Specialized, Dave Pfeiffer at Shimano American, Colin Baden at Oakley, Skip Hess at Electra, Peter Skoda at Haro Bikes, Sheila Moon at Athletic Apparel, Larry Pizzi at Currie Acquisitions, Ken Martin at Mike's Bikes, Muriel Bartol at Swrve, Andrew Ball at Webcor, and Mitch Rofsky at the Better World Club.
Two pro-bicycle bills survive Brown's veto blitz
Gov. Jerry Brown signed two pro-bicycle bills we supported. AB 529 allows cities to make a one-time reduction in speed limits by permitting them to round down from the 85th percentile speed of existing traffic. They had been allowed only to round up, causing forever increasing speed limits.
He also signed AB 147, which allows cities and counties to spend revenues from fees charged for processing subdivision maps and issuing building permits on defraying the cost of pedestrian, bicycle, transit and traffic-calming facilities, among others.
Read more about bike-related legislation.