BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                AB 1193
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        CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS
        AB 1193 (Ting)
        As Amended  August 21, 2014
        Majority vote
         
         
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        |ASSEMBLY:  |58-16|(January 29,    |SENATE: |29-5 |(August 25,    |
        |           |     |2014)           |        |     |2014)          |
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        |COMMITTEE VOTE:  |11-5 |(August 27, 2014)   |RECOMMENDATION: |concur    |
        |(Trans.)         |     |                    |                |          |
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        Original Committee Reference:    L. GOV  .

         SUMMARY  :  Requires the Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to  
        develop minimum safety design criteria for cycle tracks and  
        authorizes local governments to deviate from Caltrans' design  
        criteria for bikeways under specified conditions.  Specifically,  
         this bill  :  

        1)Creates a new class of bikeways, called cycle tracks or separated  
          bikeways, and defines them as bikeways that provide a  
          right-of-way designated exclusively for bicycle travel adjacent  
          to a roadway and that are protected from vehicular traffic.  

        2)Requires Caltrans to establish minimum safety design criteria for  
          cycle tracks.  

        3)Makes changes to the process Caltrans must follow in establishing  
          bikeway design criteria.  

        4)Authorizes local agencies to utilize minimum safety design  
          criteria other than those established by Caltrans under specified  
          conditions.  

        The Senate amendments  :

        1)Authorize local agencies to utilize minimum safety design  
          criteria other than those established by Caltrans if all the  
          following conditions are met:








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           a)   The alternative criteria have been reviewed and approved by  
             a qualified engineer with consideration for the unique  
             characteristics and features of the proposed bikeway;

           b)   The alternative criteria, or the description of the project  
             with reference to the alternative criteria, are adopted by  
             resolution at a public meeting; and,

           c)   The alternative criteria adhere to guidelines established  
             by a national association of public agency transportation  
             officials.  

        2)Require Caltrans to establish design criteria for cycle tracks by  
          January 1, 2016.  

        3)Require Caltrans, in establishing minimum safety design criteria  
          for bikeways, to consider the safety of vulnerable populations,  
          such as children, seniors, persons with impaired vision, and  
          persons with limited mobility and to consult with its existing  
          advisory committee dedicated to improving access for persons with  
          disabilities in establishing design criteria for bikeways.  

        4)Delete existing law requiring Caltrans to establish procedures  
          for local agencies to get an exception from utilizing Caltrans'  
          design criteria for bikeways for purposes of research,  
          experimentation, testing, evaluation, or verification.
          
         FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Senate Appropriations Committee,  
        pursuant to Senate Rule 28.8, negligible state costs.  

         COMMENTS  :  Under existing law, Caltrans is responsible for  
        establishing minimum safety design criteria for the planning and  
        construction of bikeways and roadways where bicycle travel is  
        permitted.  These criteria are contained within the California  
        Highway Design Manual (HDM).  Caltrans additionally establishes  
        uniform specifications and symbols for signs, markers, and traffic  
        control devices to designate bikeways, regulate traffic, improve  
        safety and convenience for bicyclists, and alert pedestrians and  
        motorists of the presence of bicyclists where bicycle travel is  
        permitted.  Caltrans adopts these specifications, along with  
        standards for all traffic control devices, in the California Manual  
        on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).  

        All local agencies responsible for the development or operation of  








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        bikeways or roadways where bicycle travel is permitted must utilize  
        Caltrans adopted design criteria and specifications as contained in  
        the HDM and MUTCD.  Cities and counties can apply for a design  
        exception from Caltrans to install bikeways that do not meet  
        Caltrans' standards, but local governments complain that the process  
        is cumbersome and time-consuming.  In contrast, cities and counties  
        may, but are not required to, utilize the HDM when designing local  
        streets and roads.  

        In January 2014, the Smart State Transportation Initiative, an  
        independent organization composed of transportation experts, former  
        state transportation chief executives, and academic researchers,  
        released a review of Caltrans management, operations, and  
        organizational culture.  The study was commissioned by the  
        Business, Transportation and Housing Agency (the predecessor of the  
        State Transportation Agency).  A key recommendation of the report  
        was that the "department should support, or propose if no bill is  
        forthcoming, legislation to end the archaic practice of imposing  
        state rules on local streets for bicycle facilities."  

        Cycle tracks, also referred to as protected bike lanes, are a type  
        of bike lane that is part of the road but physically separated from  
        vehicle traffic in some way.  Common in some parts of Europe, the  
        construction of cycle tracks is on the rise in the United States  
        (U.S.).  In 2011, there were an estimated 62 cycle tracks across the  
        country.  That number has now risen to at least 102 in 32 U.S.  
        cities, with over 100 more planned in 2013.  Several California  
        cities have installed cycle tracks, including Long Beach, Los  
        Angeles, and San Francisco.  

        This bill allows local governments to deviate from state criteria  
        when designing bikeways, but does not give them complete control.   
        Cities and counties that elect to use design criteria not contained  
        within the HDM would have to ensure that the alternative criteria  
        have been reviewed and approved by a qualified engineer, are adopted  
        by resolution at a public meeting, and adhere to guidelines  
        established by a national association of public agency  
        transportation officials, such as the National Association of City  
        Transportation Officials.  

        This bill also adds cycle tracks as a fourth class of bikeways and  
        requires Caltrans to establish minimum safety design criteria for  
        them by 2016.  Finally, this bill requires Caltrans to consider the  
        safety of children, seniors and other vulnerable populations in  
        establishing bikeway design criteria and consult with its advisory  








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        committee on improving access for persons with disabilities.

        This bill was substantially amended in the Senate.  Several  
        provisions of this bill have not been heard in an Assembly policy  
        committee.  


         Analysis Prepared by  :   Anya Lawler / TRANS. / (916) 319-2093 


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