Earlier this year, state Senator Scott Wiener introduced a new bill that would implement new bicyclist and pedestrian safety standards on the many state highways that run through urban areas, including San Francisco. Many highways in San Francisco double as city streets, except that they are under the management of the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans). As a result, these streets are designed for vehicles, not for pedestrians and cyclists, despite that fact that they run directly through large cities. In some small towns, the only main street is a state highway, which presents the same problem, although on a smaller scale. This situation leads to many fatal and severe accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists each year.
Wiener’s bill would require CalTrans to make safety improvements to the portions of highways that lie in urban areas so that they are safe for motor vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians alike. The bill would shuffle the priorities of CalTrans so that accessibility of complete streets for all users would take precedence over operation, maintenance, and repair of state highways.
CalTrans would also be required to include planning of pedestrian and bicyclist infrastructure to any stretch of state highways on which it is currently working. At present, CalTrans must obtain a special waiver to include this type of infrastructure in its projects. If this bill becomes law, CalTrans will have to obtain a waiver to NOT include infrastructure for pedestrians and bicyclists in its ongoing projects.
While the city of San Francisco has made improvements to some of these state highways that run through its center, the multiple permissions and authorities required to undertake these projects are currently time-consuming and extraordinarily complicated. The hope is that Wiener’s bill will cut through this red tape and promote the creation of safer state highways for everyone involved. If you have suffered injuries while riding a bicycle, you may greatly benefit from calling us today and getting the advice that you need. Bonnici Law Group has the experience and knowledge that is invaluable when making a claim for compensation following a bicycle accident. When you need answers, contact Bonnici Law Group today at 619-259-5199. As we focus our efforts on bike-related personal injury cases, we know how to protect your rights and build a strong claim for compensation in your case.