Governor Jerry Brown will soon get the opportunity to sign into law Senate Bill (SB) 1464 – CA’s safe passing distance law. Yesterday, the bill passed the CA State Assembly by a 50-16 margin, setting the stage for California to join 21 other states and the District of Columbia in having a defined safe passing distance law. The bill calls for drivers to give bicyclists a minimum 3-foot safe passing distance, increasing safety for all roadway users.
On another exciting front, Assembly Bill (AB) 2245, California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) exemption for bike lane projects, also passed the Assembly. This bill would allow local jurisdictions to avoid going through the often lengthy CEQA process for bicycle lane projects. While many bikeway projects are currently categorically exempt, local jurisdictions still have to assess whether traffic will be impacted when roadway re-configurations are required (as is often the case with bike lanes). This law, targeting bike lane projects only, would enable municipalities to replace the lengthy EIR process in such instances with a public hearing and an assessment of traffic and safety impacts. For a more thorough overview of the bill, view the legislative digest here. Be sure to contact Gov. Brown to express your support for both bills.