State Legislative Update : Lots of Bills on Transportation, Law Enforcement, Planning and More Are Still Moving

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This story first appeared at Streetsblog California.

It’s time for a quick update on bills that are still alive in the legislature. All bills moving forward must have passed to the floor of the second house already, and the Senate and Assembly must pass all bills by September 14. The governor has until October 14 to sign or veto those that pass. Because this is the first of a two-year session, some bills could be held or revived next year.

A lot of the bills Streetsblog has been tracking are moving ahead. Unless otherwise stated, all of the bills listed below have passed all their committees in the second house and are awaiting a full floor vote.

Traffic Safety
Speed cameras: Assemblymember Laura Friedman’s bill to create a “speed safety system pilot program,” A.B. 645 passed its committees and is on the Senate floor. See details of what’s in the bill here.

DaylightingA.B. 413 from Assemblymember Alex Lee, to keep sightlines at intersections clear and unblocked by parked vehicles, is on the Senate floor.

Autonomous trucks: Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry’s bill, A.B. 316, prohibits testing of heavy autonomous vehicles on public roads without a driver present, and would require the DMV to report on their safety after five years of testing.

Vehicle weight and safetyA.B. 251, from Assemblymember Chris Ward, would require the California Transportation Commission “to convene a task force to study the relationship between vehicle weight and injuries to vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists, and degradation to roads” as well as to study whether heavier vehicles should pay higher fees.

Enforcement

Reduce police stops for minor infractions: Senator Steven Bradford’s bill, S.B. 50, is aimed at preventing police from using minor, non-safety-related traffic infractions to conduct what are often racially biased pretextual stops. It would also give jurisdictions flexibility to explore non-law-enforcement approaches to traffic safety.

A bill that sought to eliminate bench warrants and high court fees for minor infractions, A.B. 1266 from Assemblymember Ash Kalra, seems to have gotten stuck in the “suspense file” of its last committee.

Bikes allowed on sidewalksA.B. 825 is a bill from Assemblymember Isaac Bryan that would require cities to allow people to ride bikes on sidewalks where there is no bike lane.

Parking in bike lanes: Assemblymember Ward’s bill, A.B 361, seeks to make it very easy to enforce parking restrictions in bike lanes by allowing cameras mounted on city-owned vehicles to take pictures of and issue citations to cars violating them – the way buses are currently allowed to enforce bus-only lanes and parking at bus stops.

Planning
Climate in transportation investments: Assemblymember Friedman’s A.B. 7 would require those who make funding decisions about transportation in California – Caltrans, the California Transportation Commission, and the California State Transportation Agency – to incorporate climate principles and goals into their decisions.

Parking requirements: Two bills this session seek to change rules that require too much parking. A.B. 894, from Assemblymember Friedman, seeks to allow entities with too much parking to find ways to share that parking with nearby uses that might need it, thus reducing the need for giant parking lots for every building. A.B. 1317, from Assemblymember Wendy Carillo, would require property owners to “unbundle” parking rents from residential unit rents, thus allowing people without cars to pay less rent, and revealing the actual cost of parking instead of hiding it within a bundled rent.

Climate:
Report climate-related financial risks: Senators Henry Stern, Josh Becker, Lena Gonzalez and Scott Wiener, along with a substantial list of other colleagues, are co-authors of S.B. 261, which would simply require companies already subject to the state’s cap-and-trade program to produce a public report on their climate-related financial risk.

Track emissions: Senator Wiener’s hard-fought bill to get corporations to measure and report on their own greenhouse gas emissions, S.B. 253, the Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act, has had all kinds of arguments about why it is impossible and unreasonable thrown its way, but it’s still alive and moving forward.

Local air pollution monitoring: Another bill that has had a lot of industry pushback is S.B. 674 from Senator Gonzalez. That bill also simply seeks good data; it would strengthen and expand air pollution monitoring from refineries near where people live.

Bicycles

E-bike safety: Senator Dave Min’s bill, S.B. 381, calls for a comprehensive study of e-bike safety, including injury data and best practices to inform their safe use.

Active Transportation Czar: Senator Anthony Portantino’s bill, S.B. 538, would create a State Chief Advisor on Bicycling and Active Transportation whose primary goal “shall be to lower bicycle and pedestrian deaths and to increase public access through proper infrastructure development, better allocation of resources, and promotion of active transportation.”

Public Transportation

Assemblymember Chris Holden’s umpteenth attempt to create a statewide youth transit pass (pilot) program, A.B. 610, is still alive. And Assemblymember Bryan’s A.B. 819, to decriminalize fare evasion on transit, is still moving forward despite opposition from some transit agencies and police.

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