SB-127, or the “Complete Streets” bill, would require Caltrans to include safety improvements for pedestrians and bicyclists when performing road maintenance in specifically-defined areas. The affected areas primarily consist of state-owned highways that fall within cities or other areas designated by the census. These highways amount to about 17 percent of the state’s highway system.
A significant feature of this bill is to create more safe walking and biking infrastructure. Taking this step can reduce injuries to pedestrians and cyclists, the rates of which continue to be disproportionate for older adults, people of color, and people living in low-income communities. Although Caltrans has vowed to triple biking trips and double walking trips by 2020, it cannot do so without improving transportation facilities for people who are not traveling by motor vehicle.
Promoting alternative forms of transportation goes beyond safety, however. Concerns about climate change and air quality demand the prioritization of alternatives to traveling by motor vehicles. Health concerns are also an issue; in lower-income communities with few transportation options and no safe routes for cyclists and pedestrians, rates of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, are markedly higher.
Another portion of this bill seeks to hold Caltrans accountable for including active transportation infrastructure in its asset management plan. This infrastructure includes bike lanes, crosswalks, and pedestrian crossing signals. By adding performance measures concerning accessibility and safety for pedestrians and bicyclists, and requiring community input, Caltrans will increase its transparency in working toward these goals.
SB-127 has extensive support from a variety of organizations, including the California Bicycle Coalition, the American Heart Association, the AARP, the Sierra Club, and the National Resources Defense Council, among others. This diverse group of proponents underscores the multifaceted nature of this bill and the issues that it seeks to address.
Bonnici Law Group has the experience, knowledge, and reputation that you want and need when you are injured in a bike accident. We are here to help you build the most substantial claim possible for compensation and obtain a positive outcome in your case. Do not hesitate to contact Bonnici Law Group at 619-259-5199 or firstname.lastname@example.org.