California Governor Vetoes Sidewalk Cycling Bill

The law would have allowed people to bike on sidewalks on roadways that lack safe bikeways.

1 minute read

October 15, 2023, 11:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Father and son riding bikes on a sidewalk next to a road withough bike lane on California coast with palm trees in background at golden hour.

Image Source / Adobe Stock

California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill that “would have allowed people to ride bikes on sidewalks adjacent to streets that do not include a Class I, Class II, or Class IV bikeway,” claiming that the bill would “create serious safety issues.” The bill, known as Safe Passage for Bikes or AB 825, was proposed as a way to improve safety for bike riders in places where protected bike lanes or other infrastructure is unavailable. 

In a response statement from Calbike, a bike advocacy organization, policy director Jared Sanchez admits that sidewalk riding isn’t ideal: “In a perfect world, most streets would be Complete Streets, with safe facilities for all modes of transportation. But that’s not the reality today, and it will take years to transform every dangerous roadway in California into a safe route for biking.” For Sanchez, “infrastructure for safe biking remains woefully inadequate.”

The statement adds that “Decriminalizing sidewalk riding would have not only protected bike riders from traffic violence, it would also have reduced harm to vulnerable populations from police encounters that can sometimes be deadly.”

Tuesday, October 10, 2023 in CalBike

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