BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 345
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          Date of Hearing:   April 11, 2011

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION
                               Bonnie Lowenthal, Chair
                     AB 345 (Atkins) - As Amended:  April 4, 2011
           
          SUBJECT  : Vehicles: traffic control devices; consultation

           SUMMARY  :  Requires the California Department of Transportation 
          (Caltrans) to add representatives from non-motorized interest 
          groups to the California Traffic Control Devices Committee 
          (CTCDC). Specifically,  this bill  :  

          1)Adds groups representing users of streets, roads, and highways 
            to the list of entities that Caltrans must consult with before 
            adopting rules and regulations prescribing uniform standards 
            and specifications for official traffic control devices, as 
            specified.  

          2)Specifies that Caltrans shall ensure that the CTCDC includes 
            representatives of non-motorized user groups.  

          3)Defines, for the purposes of this section, "users of streets, 
            roads, and highways" to mean bicyclists, children, persons 
            with disabilities, motorists, movers of commercial goods, 
            pedestrians, users of public transportation, and seniors.  

          4)Makes related, clarifying amendments.  

           EXISTING LAW  :  

          1)Requires the Office of Planning and Research to amend its 
            general plan guidelines to specify how local officials can 
            accommodate safe and convenient travel that meets the needs of 
            all users.  

          2)Requires that Caltrans, after consultation with local 
            authorities, adopt uniform standards for all traffic control 
            devices to be used on California streets and highways.  

          3)Provides that only those official traffic control devices 
            conforming to the standards promulgated by Caltrans shall be 
            placed on a highway.  

          4)Requires the Office of Planning and Research to address the 








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            local planning process to better accommodate the safe and 
            convenient travel for all users of streets, roads, and 
            highways.  

           FISCAL EFFECT :  Unknown.

           COMMENTS  :  According to the author, the intent of this bill is 
          to ensure that the membership of CTCDC is representative of all 
          road users.  To accomplish this, this bill directs Caltrans to 
          ensure that the CTCDC includes representative of groups such as 
          bicyclists, children, persons with disabilities, motorists, 
          movers of commercial goods, pedestrians, users of public 
          transportation, and seniors.  

          CTCDC is the officially recognized advisory body to the Caltrans 
          Director in the area of traffic control.  The advisory committee 
          (committee) was started in 1933 following an agreement between 
          the State and the two automobile clubs.  Membership in the 
          committee first consisted of the State Maintenance Engineer, 
          Chief Engineer for the California State Automobile Association, 
          and the Field Engineer for the Automobile Club of Southern 
          California - the automobile clubs performed all signing 
          functions on State Highways at that time.  

          After 1948, committee membership was expanded to include 
          representation from the California Highway Patrol (CHP), the 
          Institute of Traffic and Transportation Engineering of the 
          University of California, the League of California Cities, and 
          the County Supervisors Association of California.  

          In 1968, the committee was reorganized again to include members 
          of the Institute of Transportation Studies and the regional 
          office of the Federal Highway Administration as technical 
          advisors to the Committee.  At this time, the committee's scope 
          was broadened to include review and approval of all traffic 
          control devices -hence the name change to CTCDC. 

          In 1969, the California Legislature deleted provisions from the 
          Vehicle Code specifying standards for traffic control devices 
          and instead charged Caltrans, after consultation with local 
          authorities, to adopt uniform standards for all traffic control 
          devices to be used on California streets and highways.  The 
          CTCDC completes the required consultation prior to advising 
          Caltrans Director on the adoption of rules and regulations in 
          prescribing uniform standards.  








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          Caltrans describes the current role of CTCDC to include:  

             a)   Promoting the uniform and functional design and 
               application of traffic control devices; 

             b)   Gathering, disseminating, and exchanging information 
               among State, national and local agencies; 

             c)   Serving as a forum to review and evaluate traffic 
               control device proposals; 

             d)   Obtaining and reporting to the parent organizations on 
               legislation; 

             e)   Conducting and reviewing research and development and 
               practices regarding traffic control devices;

             f)   Advise the Caltrans on standards and policy for traffic 
               control devices in California; 

             g)   Reviewing the California Manual on Uniform Traffic 
               Devices (CMUTCD) pertaining to traffic control devices; 
               and,

             h)   Advise the California Caltrans in the revisions of the 
               CMUTCD.  

          In response to concerns that the planning process did not 
          address all roadway users, the Complete Streets Act of 2008 
          (Act) (AB 1358 (Leno) Chapter 657, Statutes of 2008) was enacted 
          to ensure better accommodation for all users of streets, roads, 
          and highways.  Specifically, the Act required the Office of 
          Planning and Research to amend its "General Plan Guidelines" for 
          the circulation element to specify how local officials can 
          accommodate safe and convenient travel for all roadway users.  
          This Act also required cities and counties, upon any substantive 
          revision, to modify their circulation elements to plan to 
          achieve a balanced multi-modal transportation network that meets 
          the needs of all users of streets, roads, and highways.  

          In response, Caltrans issued a policy directive (Deputy 
          Directive 64-R1) in the fall of 2008, directing internal 
          programs to include bicycle, pedestrian and transit modes in 
          statewide strategies for safety and mobility and to ensure that 








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          Caltrans manuals, guidance, standards, and procedures reflect 
          the objectives of the Act.  

          Proponents of this bill contend that adding representation of 
          non-motorized user groups to the CTCDC will help to broaden the 
          committee's perspective and increase sensitivity to 
          non-motorized user interests.   

           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :   

           Support 
           
          California Bicycle Coalition (Sponsor)
          Bike Bakersfield
          Local Government Commission
          Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition
          Rails to Trails Conservancy
          San Diego County Bicycle Coalition
          Transform
          Walk San Francisco

           Opposition 
           
          None on file
           

          Analysis Prepared by  :   Victoria Alvarez / TRANS. / (916) 319- 
          2093