CalBike and Senator Scott Wiener Introduce â€˜Complete Streetsâ€™ Legislation Ensuring State-Owned Roads Prioritize Safety of People Walking and Biking
Each year, thousands of Californians needlessly suffer injury and death on our streets.
Why? Because our streets are designed for cars to move fast, instead of for people to move safely.
Thatâ€™s why our statewide advocacy organization -the California Bicycle Coalition is joining Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), and coalition partners California Walks, Safe Routes to School National Partnership, and the American Heart Association in introducing Senate Bill 127, â€œComplete Streets for Active Living,â€ to make state-owned roads safe for everyone.
State-owned streets are often major surface streets that run through our communities. Unfortunately, Caltrans designers too often treat them like busy highways instead of the main streets they areâ€”places to work, play, shop, and learn. They design them for fast car traffic, not for safety, because they are only required to consider safety improvements when they repair such streets. The Complete Streets for Active Living bill requires them to implement safety improvements. It elevates safety to the top of the priority list when Caltrans is repaving or rehabilitating a street. The difference is that now theyâ€™re required to consider safety improvements by internal policy, which means they can and usually consider and reject them. This bill will require them to implement safety improvements unless they have good reason not to.
CalBikeâ€™s Senior Policy Advocate Linda Khamoushian said it clearly at the press conference announcing the billâ€™s introduction: â€œEvery day, poor street design causes hundreds of avoidable injuries and deaths on our roads. Because of this, the lives of our loved ones are altered by injury or cut short by speed. Because of this, we continue to divide communities and ignore our residents who need to or have the ability to walk and bike for their everyday needs. Because of this, we have systematically created barriers to healthy movement and affordable transportation for all Californians.â€
Senator Scott Wiener added, â€œFor too long, Caltrans has talked about complete streets as a policy, but hasnâ€™t actually delivered these improvements in its projects. SB 127 ensures that as we rehabilitate state highways that run through the centers of our towns and cities, we prioritize active transportation uses like walking, bicycling, and riding public transportation. Streets designed for all residents create safer, healthier, and more inclusive communities. Ensuring everyone has access to safe streets also encourages alternate modes of transportation, which can help reduce vehicle miles traveled, and help us fight climate change.â€
You can help by sharing about the campaign with your community, and if you or anyone you know is interested in highlighting how SB 127 will help conditions in your community, please contact CalBike’s Policy or Communications teams.
Stay up-to-date with this Complete Streets campaign and more at Santa Monica Spoke and at calbike.org — join the conversation on social media @CalBike.