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California

Gov. Jerry Brown approves bills to expand bike trails

Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday signed two measures aimed at helping cities and counties expand and improve bike paths and trails, including one allowing local ballot measures to pay for the work.

One bill allows local agencies including cities and park districts to ask voters to approve, with a two-thirds vote, a motor vehicle registration surcharge of up to $5, with the money going to developing bikeway networks and maintenance.

“The governor signed SB 1183 to give local communities another way to provide safe, interconnected trail infrastructure for cyclists,” said Jim Evans, a spokesman for Brown.

Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) said his bill would allow communities to provide a transportation alternative to driving automobiles on congested streets. He cited a study that found that for every mile of bike lane per square mile in a city, an additional 1% of the commuting workforce used bicycles.

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“Upgrading bike infrastructure will help public safety, the environment and the quality of life in cities across California,” DeSaulnier said in support of SB 1183.

Brown also signed a bill that will allow local governments more flexibility in designing bikeways. Bike lanes under current law must fit precise standards set by the state’s transportation department. 

AB 1193 by Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) allows cities to plan bike lanes that may not meet the state’s standards, so long as the design meets the guidelines set by a national association of transportation public officials.

It also allows local governments to build protected bike lanes, also known as cycletracks.

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The bike measures were among 29 bills signed by the governor Saturday, including a measure requiring oil refineries to report annually on shutdowns and major maintenance.

@mcgreevy99

@melmason


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