BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND HOUSING
                              Senator Jim Beall, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:          AB 2491           Hearing Date:    6/21/2016
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Author:   |Nazarian                                              |
          |----------+------------------------------------------------------|
          |Version:  |6/13/2016                                             |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Urgency:  |No                     |Fiscal:      |No              |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Consultant|Sarah Carvill                                         |
          |:         |                                                      |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          

          SUBJECT:  Vehicles:  stopping, standing, and parking


            DIGEST:  This bill authorizes local governments to pass  
          ordinances that prohibit stopping, parking, or leaving a vehicle  
          standing within 15 feet of driveways of certain emergency  
          facilities that are regularly accessed by emergency vehicles.

          ANALYSIS:
          
          Existing law:
          
          1)Prohibits stopping, parking, or leaving a vehicle, attended or  
            unattended, in certain places, including but not limited to  
            intersections, crosswalks, sidewalks, tunnels, bridges, in  
            front of driveways, and within 15 feet of the driveway of a  
            fire station.

          2)Provides a blanket exemption in cases when doing so "is  
            necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic" or when  
            directed to do so by a peace officer.

          This bill:

          1)Allows local governments to adopt ordinances that prohibit  
            stopping, parking, or leaving a vehicle standing, attended or  
            unattended, within 15 feet of a driveway used by emergency  
            vehicles to enter a fire department, police department,  
            ambulance service provider, or general acute-care hospital.   
            These prohibitions would be subject to the same exceptions  







          AB 2491 (Nazarian)                                 Page 2 of ?
          
          
            related to avoiding conflict with other traffic and obeying  
            peace officers as the general prohibitions related to parking  
            in existing law.

          2)Exempts from these prohibitions vehicles owned by fire or  
            police departments, ambulance companies, or general acute-care  
            hospitals that are clearly marked as such.

          3)Requires a local authority that enacts such an ordinance to  
            provide curb markings, street markings, and signs to delineate  
            the areas in which parking, stopping, and standing are  
            prohibited.

          COMMENTS:

          1)Purpose.  According to the author, while existing law  
            prohibits parking, stopping, or leaving a vehicle standing  
            within 15 feet of the driveway of a fire station, there is no  
            equivalent, explicit prohibition for the driveways of other  
            emergency facilities, such as police stations, hospitals, and  
            ambulance companies.  The author cites statistics from the  
            California Ambulance Association indicating that California's  
            365 ground ambulance companies operate some 4,500 ambulances  
            and transport over 2.9 million Californians each year.  The  
            author points out that in urban areas, these vehicles  
            generally must be on the scene of an emergency within eight  
            minutes, and that rapid response is essential to achieving  
            good outcomes and saving lives.  The author notes that when  
            emergency vehicles cannot enter or exit their facilities,  
            critical response time is lost and important services are  
            delayed.  The purpose of this bill, according to the author,  
            is to give local authorities the ability to effectively  
            address the issue of keeping emergency response unit driveways  
            clear.

          2)Beyond parking.  This bill is intended to facilitate the  
            adoption of ordinances that preclude stopping of any kind  
            within 15 feet of driveways routinely used by emergency  
            vehicles.  This includes stopping in lanes designated for  
            regular vehicle travel, such as occurs when cars back up  
            behind a red light.  The bill was amended by the author to  
            make it clear that local governments that establish such "keep  
            clear zones" must provide pavement markings in the affected  
            lanes. 









          AB 2491 (Nazarian)                                 Page 3 of ?
          
          
          3)Which driveways, which vehicles?  This bill authorizes local  
            governments to adopt ordinances that restrict stopping near  
            the driveways of certain emergency response-related  
            facilities. The bill does not concern all driveways at these  
            facilities, however.  Driveways that are not used by emergency  
            vehicles, such as those providing access to patient and staff  
            parking areas, are not affected.  Additionally, the parking  
            prohibitions authorized by this bill do not apply to emergency  
            vehicles themselves.  Vehicles that are owned by fire  
            departments, police departments, ambulance service providers,  
            or general acute-care hospitals and clearly labeled as such  
            are exempt.

          4)Is there a problem?  It is not clear how often emergency  
            response is hampered by blocked driveways at hospitals,  
            ambulance companies, and police and fire stations, as this  
            data is not tracked by all local governments or aggregated at  
            the state level.  However, at least one jurisdiction reports  
            reoccurring problems of this nature.  Writing in support of  
            this bill, the North Hollywood Community Police Station (a  
            subdivision of the Los Angeles Police Department) states,  
            "There have been frequent occasions when vehicular traffic has  
            blocked the driveway [of] the police station, causing delays  
            and blocking the ingress and egress route for police and other  
            emergency vehicles.  This is a situation that is not unique to  
            the [station]."

          5)By ordinance instead of by statute.  Existing law bans  
            parking, standing, or stopping within 15 feet of the driveway  
            of a fire station anywhere in California.  An earlier version  
            of this bill simply expanded that blanket prohibition to  
            include the driveways of other types of facilities.  In  
            contrast, the current version authorizes local governments to  
            adopt their own prohibitions with respect to other facilities,  
            giving them the tools to maintain access for emergency  
            vehicles as well as the discretion to pursue parking,  
            standing, and stopping limits in accordance with their own  
            needs.  The author also amended the bill to require local  
            governments that pass such ordinances to erect signage and  
            apply curb markings so that members of the public know where  
            parking, standing, and stopping are forbidden.

          FISCAL EFFECT:  Appropriation:  No    Fiscal Com.:  No    Local:  
           No









          AB 2491 (Nazarian)                                 Page 4 of ?
          
          

          Assembly Votes:

               Floor:    76-0
               Trans:         15-0
            
          POSITIONS:  (Communicated to the committee before noon on  
          Wednesday,
                          June 8, 2016.)
          
            SUPPORT:  

          California Ambulance Association
          California Association of Highway Patrolmen
          California Police Chiefs Association
          California State Sheriffs' Association
          Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles
          North Hollywood Community Police Station, Los Angeles Police  
          Department
          Peace Officers Research Association of California

          OPPOSITION:

          None received


                                      -- END --