For Immediate Release: October 12, 2019
SB 127: Gov. Gavin Newsom VETOES “COMPLETE STREETS” BILL
SACRAMENTO, Calif.– Late this evening, Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed the Complete Streets for Active Living Bill (Senate Bill 127) championed by Sen. Scott Wiener.
The bill would have required the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to consider bicycle and pedestrian safety improvements when it repairs or repaves state routes that serve as local streets. This bill aimed to ensure state roads that run through local communities (e.g. 19th Avenue in San Francisco, Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles, San Pablo Avenue in the East Bay, Santa Rosa Street in San Luis Obispo) are safe for people to walk, bike and use wheelchairs along those routes.
The Complete Streets for Active Living Bill had strong and widespread support. A recent poll found that 78% of California voters support a policy requiring safety improvements when improving a road. They want children to be able to safely walk or bike to school. Hundreds of schools exist within a half-mile of a California State Route and these streets remain some of the deadliest in the state.
Linda Khamoushian, Senior Policy Advocate, California Bicycle Coalition,:
“Gov. Newsom’s decision blatantly ignores the immense support for this critical policy change. People risk their lives everyday just to walk or bike along dangerous state-owned streets. Without more aggressive complete streets policies, our transportation system will continue to operate business as usual. SB 127 was a rare opportunity to create livable streets for everyone. This decision was ill-informed by the faulty cost estimates from Caltrans that were proven illogical based on actual practice, and unfortunately will only perpetuate distrust without resolution. Communities demanded better from the Governor, but now are left in the dust.”
Jamie Morgan, Government Relations Regional Lead, American Heart Association:
“Californians want safer, more livable streets that support local businesses and local jobs. They want the ability to walk and bike safely. By vetoing SB 127, Gov. Newsom missed out on the opportunity to create more livable streets for our children, our residents and our communities.”
Tony Dang, Executive Director, California Walks:
“We are appalled by Governor Newsom’s decision to derail SB 127 despite overwhelming support by the public and the Legislature. Families and children deserve to be able to walk, bike, and cross their community’s local and main streets without fear–the veto of SB127 lets Caltrans off the hook and leaves the safety of our vulnerable residents to chance.”
Margo Pedroso, Deputy Director, Safe Routes Partnership:
“The Safe Routes Partnership is so disappointed that Governor Newsom vetoed the Complete Streets for Active Living Bill into law. As SB 127 made its way through the legislative process, it became clear that legislators understood this bill would create safe routes for everyone when Caltrans repaired state highways in populated areas. This legislation was a common-sense and cost-effective way to get more kids and families walking and biking to school safely when those schools are located next to state highways.”
COMPLETE STREETS BACKGROUND
In California from 2007-2013, nearly 1.7 million people were injured in traffic incidents, including 95,758 while walking along or across the street. In those crashes, 22,117 people were killed, with pedestrians accounting for one-fifth of the total persons killed. The problem is often concentrated around Caltrans roads that go through low-income neighborhoods where more people get around via transit, biking and walking.
Caltrans often claims to make streets safer when they repair them. But in practice, they prioritize fast traffic over the communities demanding more livable streets almost every single time. The Complete Streets for Active Living Bill would have brought safety improvements necessary to stop the killing and maiming on state-owned roads.
SB 127 Co-Sponsors:
California Bicycle Coalition, California Walks, American Heart Association, AARP, Safe Routes Partnership
Linda Khamoushian, California Bicycle Coalition, 916-668-9401, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tony Dang, California Walks, 510-464-8052, email@example.com
Jamie Morgan, American Heart Association, 916-431-2359, Jamie.Morgan@heart.org
David Azevedo, AARP, 626-616-9539, firstname.lastname@example.org
Margo Pedroso, Safe Routes Partnership, 301-292-1043, email@example.com
Supporting Organizations: 350 Bay Area Action, 350 Silicon Valley, Active SGV, American Lung Association in California , Alameda County Transportation Commission, Berkeley Climate Hub, Bicycling Monterey, Bike Bakersfield, Bike Concord, Bike East Bay, Bike San Diego, Bike Santa Cruz County, Bike SLO County, BikeVentura, California Alliance for Retired Americans, California City Transportation Initiative/NACTO, California Democratic Party, California Interfaith Power & Light, California Park and Recreation Society, California ReLeaf, CALSTART Inc., CALPIRG, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Stockton, Cedars, Center for Climate Change and Health, Central California Asthma Collaborative, City Heights Community Development Corp., City of Encinitas, City of Half Moon Bay, City of Long Beach, City of Los Angeles, City of Oakland, City of Sacramento, City and County of San Francisco, City of Santa Monica, City of San Luis Obispo, Climate Action Campaign, ClimatePlan, Climate Resolve, Coalition for Clean Air, Coalition for Sustainable Transportation-Santa Barbara, Coalition for Responsible Transportation Priorities, Costa Mesa Alliance for Better Streets, Compton Unified School District, Cultiva La Salud, Davis Bike Club, Day One, East Bay Recreational Park District, Elders Climate Action (NorCal), Environment California, Fossil Free California, Inland Empire Biking Alliance, Investing in Place, Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, La Verne Bicycle Coalition, Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, Local Government Commission, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, Los Angeles Walks, Lyft Inc., Marin County Bicycle Coalition, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, Move LA, Napa County Bicycle Coalition, Natural Resources Defense Council, Office of Mayor London Breed – San Francisco, Orange County Bicycle Coalition, Office of the Mayor, San Francisco, Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition, Planning and Conservation League, PeopleforBikes, PolicyLink, Public Advocates, Redwood Community Action Agency, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Rural Counties Representative of California, Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates, San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, San Francisco Transportation Municipal Agency, San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco Planning Department, SFBA Families for Safe Streets, Santa Monica Spoke, Save The Bay, Seamless Bay Area, Shasta Living Streets, Sierra Club California, Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition, Sunflower Alliance, Transform, Transportation Agency for Monterey County, Trust for Public Land, Vision Zero Network, Walk Bike Berkeley, Walk & Bike Mendocino, Walk Oakland Bike Oakland, Walk Sacramento, Walk San Francisco, and Walk Long Beach.