We co-sponsored SB 760 under author Senator Wiener, which would have required the State Highway Operations and Protection Program (SHOPP) implement Complete Streets near critical locations. As we reported in January, it was scaled back due to concerns over the effort to repeal last year’s increase in the Gas Tax. While we plan to reintroduce a bill with similar objectives next session, Sen. Wiener has amended the bill to clarify when a local authority has design control on local roads that fall into the Department of Transportation’s (Caltrans’) right-of-way. This change in the law, while minor at first glance, would in fact enable local jurisdictions to make critical safety improvements on local roads much more quickly, and with significantly fewer administrative hurdles. We are pleased to remain cosponsors of SB 760.
On a more disappointing note, we were sorry to see AB-2363 (Friedman), which would have begun reforms in how California communities set their speed limits, instead be reduced to creating a Vision Zero task force that would, among other things, report on the current process of setting speeds using the 85th Percentile. We don’t need yet another study to tells us what so much research has already confirmed: speed is deadly, and speed limits must be set to protect the lives of the most vulnerable road users, not to prioritize the throughput of cars at any particular prevailing speed.
The Vulnerable Communities Act, AB 2447 (Reyes) was amended in the Assembly in late May and will be read in early July. Sponsored by many equity and environmental justice groups, AB 2447 would ensure that residents of disadvantaged communities can provide input on land use changes that could significantly impact neighborhood health. For example, this bill could ensure that families of students who live and walk to schools could provide feedback on the health impacts and concerns of warehouses being developed around the neighborhood. We will continue to monitor how this bill develops and look for ways to support our allies working on this bill.