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APRIL 2011 


CBC calls for fair give-back of federal funds


As Caltrans prepares to give back $2.5 billion in unspent federal transportation funds -- an annual process known as the "rescission" -- the

Baldwin complete streets

Photo by Dan Burden

California Bicycle Coalition is working to make sure the money doesn't come exclusively out the accounts that fund local bike lanes, trails and education programs. Caltrans has to give back the funds but can decide which funds to return.

The CBC is leading a campaign to urge Gov. Brown to make sure the give-back is proportionate across all Caltrans programs. Learn more about the rescissions and send Gov. Brown a message today.

Safe passing bill gets Senate hearing

A proposed law to specify 3 feet as the minimum passing distance for motorists passing bicyclists from behind gets its first policy hearing at the State Capitol next week.

Senate Bill 910, authored by Long Beach Senator Alan Lowenthal and co-sponsored by the CBC and the City of Los Angeles, will be heard by the LA bicyclingSenate Transportation & Housing Committee on Tuesday, May 3. The bill is modeled on laws in 16 other states that specify a minimum passing distance for motorists passing bicyclists.


The CBC's call for letters of support from organizations and individuals around the state has produced dozens of letters sent to CBC and committee chair Mark DeSaulnier. Special thanks to Bill Burton and the Arcata Bike Library for their leadership and support in this effort. 


If your state senator serves on the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee, urge him or her to support SB 910. Copy the sample letter below into a Word document, customize it using the senator's name and contact information and your own name and contact information, and fax or email it to his or her State Capitol office by 5 PM on Monday, May 2.



Hon. [your senator's first and last name]

State Capitol, Room [your senator's room number]

Sacramento, CA 95814

Fax: [your senator's fax number]


Re: SB 910 (Lowenthal) - SUPPORT


Dear Senator [your senator's last name],


I'm writing to urge you to pass Senate Bill 910.  


Cyclists too often face dangerous conditions on California's streets due to motorists passing too closely. When this happens, the slightest error by the motorist or the most minor shift by the bicyclist to avoid trash, broken glass or rough pavement can lead to a collision. This type of collision is the leading cause of adult bicyclist fatalities in California and the U.S.


By requiring motorists to give bicyclists more space when passing, we can minimize a leading cause of deadly collisions and help more people feel comfortable about choosing to ride their bikes.


SB 910 will require motorists to give bicyclists at least 3 feet of space when passing from behind. The bill modifies existing state law that requires a motorist to maintain an unspecified "safe" distance when passing another motorist or a bicyclist.


Sixteen other states have already enacted a specified minimum passing distance for motorists. Oklahoma is currently debating stiffer penalties for the 3-foot passing law it enacted in 2006.


A specified passing distance provides a more objective and easily understood measure of what constitutes "safe" and gives law enforcement and the courts a more objective basis for enforcing California's safe passing requirement. Most importantly, it helps emphasize a motorist's special responsibility to safeguard more vulnerable road users like bicyclists.




[Your signature]

[Your full name]

[Your address, city and zip code]


National Bike Month logoBike commute month  'Tis the season for mileage logs, team challenges and energizer stations. Communities throughout California are gearing up to promote bike commuting during May, designated as National Bike Month by the League of American Bicyclists. Among the many activities are the Revive Your Bike event in Fresno, a bike swap meet in Arcata, bike commuter convoys in San Francisco, the annual Bike Week Celebration in Santa Barbara, the Capitol Bike Fest in Sacramento and the blessing of the bicycles at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles.  


california bike commuteLearn more about statewide activities at the California Bicycle Coalition's California Bike Commute website. Contact the CBC to list bike-to-work events on the site and about using the site to log mileage at no cost. 


North State ciclovia  Redding's first ciclovia, called Shasta Living Streets, attracted some 600 people to two miles of open streets in conjunction with the city's annual Whole Earth & Watershed Festival.  

shasta living streets"The amount of excitement and support we received is amazing," said Anne Wallach Thomas, lead coordinator with Shasta Living Streets. "This program clearly supports the values and interests of our community. People are inspired and the energy is still building - we are still getting encouragement, requests and ideas coming from many people." The California Bicycle Coalition serves as fiscal sponsor of Shasta Living Streets.


Early on the morning of the event, organizers received a congratulatory email message from renowned open streets advocate Gil Peņalosa, who championed car-free Sundays as former parks commissioner in Bogota, Colombia, where the ciclovia movement began in the 1970s.


San Rafael complete streets   San Rafael's city council this month approved a complete streets policy along with an updated bicycle and pedestrian master San Rafael bikeplan for the city. Adoption of the complete streets policy gives the city access to funding through Measure B, a county ballot measure approved last November to fund traffic management projects. The city also approved a master plan for bicycling and pedestrian facilities that was three years in the making.


The California Bicycle Coalition led efforts to enact statewide complete streets legislation in 2008 and also encouraged Caltrans' adoption of a department-wide complete streets policy that year.  


Long Beach cycle-tracks   Late this month Long Beach opened more than two miles of separated bikeways, also known as cycle-tracks. A first in Southern California, these Dutch-style bike lanes are physically separated from other traffic by curbs and medians along most of the route. Special bike signals will help bicyclists and motorists negotiate key intersections.

Long Beach cycle track

Photo by Joe Linton

The CBC wants to enable more communities to install innovative bike facilities like the cycle-tracks and other facilities in Long Beach. As a first step, the CBC is sponsoring Assembly Bill 345 to expand the membership of the California Traffic Control Devices Committee, which advises Caltrans on statewide standards for bike lanes, cross walks, traffic signs and signals. The state's two main auto clubs have seats on the committee, but bicyclists, pedestrians and transit users are not represented.

Gerald Desmond Bridge   The $1 billion project to replace the aging Gerald Desmond Bridge over the entrance to the Port of Long Beach will provide access to bicyclists and pedestrians, the port concluded last month. The decision caps a year-long effort to ensure bike and pedestrian access on the new bridge, which will continue to carry the Pacific Coast Highway through the port, as well as local and commuter traffic to and from the port.

Gerald Desmond Bridge 2


Late this month the Long Beach city council voted to recommend naming the bike-ped path after local bike advocate Mark Bixby, who died in a plane crash two days after the port approved the project. Bixby led the campaign for bike-ped facilities on the bridge.


Thank you!  Many thanks to volunteer Rusty Wright for compiling and mapping data about bicycle clubs and other bicycling organizations around California. Many thanks, too, to volunteer Barry Fass-Holmes for updating our records about local bicycle coalitions.





May 1: 30th Annual Chico Wildflower Century 

Sponsored by Chico Velo Cycling Club



May 1: Grizzly Peak Century  

Sponsored by Grizzly Peak Cyclists


San Francisco

May 8: Sunday Streets  


Long Beach

May 12: Benefit party for the California Bicycle Coalition 

May 13-14: Long Beach Bike Festival and Tour of Long Beach 


Sacramento Valley

May 12-15: NorCal AIDS Cycle 



May 12-14: Bicycle Film Festival 



May 15-22: Amgen Tour of California  



May 21: Fresno Classic Century  


San Diego

May 21: San Diego Century  

A benefit for the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition  





June 4: Auburn Century 


Los Angeles

June 5: Los Angeles River Ride 

A benefit for the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition

June 5: The Seersucker Ride


June 11: Canyon Classic Century