roads in California and Sacramento County

In preparation for some exploration of funding sources for roads, it helps to see what the situation is with the jurisdictions and types of roads, for mileage and VMT.

Jurisdiction means the level of government responsible for the road. This is not always clear from simply looking at a road. If there is a federal or state highway sign, it is pretty clear, but there are roads that are part of the state highway system that are not signed as such.

The types of roads, here, means functional classification, which is a federal designation of Interstate, Principal Arterial – Other Freeways and Expressways, Principal Arterial – Other, Minor Arterial, Major Collector, Minor Collector, and Local. Again, it is not always easy to distinguish classification, but as a generality, freeways fall into the first two, major roads such as Folsom Blvd and Watt Ave fall into the third, busy wide streets are the next three, and residential streets are the last. Another useful classification is that the first six categories are roads, meant to move motor vehicle traffic, and the last is a street, meant to provide access to residences and small businesses. Unfortunately, we build far too many of the road variety and then put business on them so they no longer function well to move cars. See Strong Towns for a more detailed explanation of roads, streets, and stroads.

Continue reading “roads in California and Sacramento County”

deaths per 100K

I just ran across an interesting piece of data that I was not aware of before, in Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths in Metropolitan Areas — United States, 2009. Sacramento area ranks 8.3/100,100 for motor vehicle related crash deaths, but 14.4 for the city, which is in the middle of pack for the US, but worse than most of California. Riverside area is 10.6 and city 11.9, San Diego area 7.8 and city 5.6, San Francisco area 5.6 and SF 4.0 and Oakland 5.0, Los Angeles area 6.6 and Los Angeles city 7.7 and Long Beach 6.1 and Anaheim 7.8. This 2009 data, and I could not find anything from CDC more recent. For contrast, London is 1.6 and New York is 3.2, both considered dangerous places in the mis-informed public mind.
The Keys to Designing Cities With Fewer Traffic Fatalities (CityLab 2015-07-23)

legislation update

There are several bills before the California Legislature that would affect bicycling, walking, and livability. For additional information, see Richard Masoner’s Cyclelicious blog (search for “legislation”) and the California Bicycle Coalition’s 2013 Legislative Agenda page.

AB-184: Statute of limitations: lengthens statue of limitation for hit and run, probably a good bill

AB-206: Vehicles: length limitations: buses: bicycle transportation devices (SacRT): amended to add an onerous process for approval, but probably still a good bill

AB-417: Environmental quality: California Environmental Quality Act: bicycle transportation plan: no changes so far, a good bill

AB-666: Automated traffic enforcement systems: violations: red light cameras, it restarts the program, but with civil rather than criminal penalties, supported by CaliforniaWALKS and California Bicycle Coalition; hearing in Assembly Judiciary 04/23/13

AB-738 Public entity liability: bicycles: no changes so far, still a bad bill; hearing in Assembly Judiciary 04/23/13

AB-840: Vehicles: driver’s licenses: application requirements: stripped of all bicycling knowledge language, now only requires that drivers license applicants acknowledge the dangers of distracted driving

AB-956: Vehicle accidents: fleeing: no changes so far

AB-1002: Vehicles: registration fee: sustainable communities strategies: changed to remove urgency language and detail use for sustainable communities; still a good bill; hearing in Assembly Transportation 04/22/13

AB-1179 Regional transportation plan: sustainable communities strategy: schoolsites: language slightly diluted, still a good bill

AB-1193 Bikeways: allows cities and counties to use industry standards rather than the requiring the use of the Highway Design Manual; language improved, a great bill; hearing in Assembly Local Government 04/24/13

AB-1194: Safe Routes to School Program; maintains SRTS program at state level, added non-infrasture, statewide coordinator, and TARC; better; hearing in Assembly Transportation 04/15/13, 1:30PM

AB-1290: Transportation planning: broadens representation on the California Transportation Commission and requires reports on progress of transportation agencies in reaching sustainable community goals; seems to be a good bill; hearing in Assembly Transportation 04/29/13

AB-1371: Vehicles: bicycles: passing distance: this bill originally had a different purpose, and was revised to be a three foot passing law, it looks to me to be good; hearing in Assembly Transportation 04/22/13

Please let me know if you are aware of any other bills. I’ve signed up for tracking on these particular bills, but may not be keeping up to date.