In all my spare time, which means while commuting to work on my bike, I think about state legislation I’d like to see. Here is my list of the moment. Feel free to add suggestions. Bicycling Remove far-to-the-right bike lane provisions, CVC 21202 Flip parking in bike lanes from permissible unless posted to prohibited unless […]

State Senator Scott Wiener has introduced SCA 6, a constitutional amendment that would change the threshold for transportation measures from 2/3 (67%) to 55%. While I understand the desire to make funding of transportation easier, I am also scared by possible outcomes. The Sacramento County Measure B would have passed under this new threshold, but it failed with 65% when 67% was required. Measure B was chock full of bad projects, including Capital Southeast Connector (a new freeway), widening of Capital City Freeway, new interchanges throughout the county (mostly to serve new and planned greenfield developments), and additional road widening and extension. It also had some good things, such as fix-it-first and light rail car replacement with low-floor/level boarding cars.

I am concerned that if this amendment were adopted, there would just be more and more investment in the same old infrastructure solutions that got us into this mess in the first place, and still less dedicated to what we really need for the time being, which is maintenance.

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An article in the Sacramento Bee today by Tony Bizjak (Back-Seat Driver), Lawmaker challenges California’s $500 fine for right-turn violations, talks about the infraction of not stopping on red before turning right, and whether the fine is appropriate. The article invited people to comment. I’ve written several times about what I think about stop signs, so what I’m writing here is just about traffic signals.

My first reaction is that the people favoring lower fines, or no fines at all, for this infraction are the many of the same people who go ballistic when a bicyclist rolls through a stop sign. This is part of a typical attitude that the things I do on the road are OK, but what other people do endangers me and the social order, and they should be treated harshly. This attitude does not recognize that laws are (theoretically) in place to reduce wrong behavior and not solely for the purpose of punishment.

California Vehicle Code (CVC) 21453 says:

(a) A driver facing a steady circular red signal alone shall stop at a marked limit line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection, and shall remain stopped until an indication to proceed is shown, except as provided in subdivision (b).
(b) Except when a sign is in place prohibiting a turn, a driver, after stopping as required by subdivision (a), facing a steady circular red signal, may turn right, or turn left from a one-way street onto a one-way street. A driver making that turn shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to any vehicle that has approached or is approaching so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard to the driver, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to that vehicle until the driver can proceed with reasonable safety.

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As the “deadline” approaches for passage of a transportation bill, and the balance in the highway trust fund is in free fall, everyone seems to be falling in line behind the idea that we must pass a bill. I disagree. The federal transportation funding system strongly favors motor vehicles, with a small amount set aside […]

The new legislative session has started, and I will again be tracking bills related to transportation and livability, on the Legislation page. AB-1179 and AB-1193 have been amended to cover related but not identical objectives, and are again moving forward.

Governor Brown signed AB-184: Statute of limitations (Gatto), which extends the statue of limitations for hit-and-run to make it similar to other crimes. With this signing, all the bills that I was tracking have been resolved: signed, vetoed, or deferred. Tracked bills which passed were: AB-184, AB-206, AB-417, AB-1371, and SB-99. SB-99, a budget bill which […]