Protected bike lanes are not included in the California Highway Design Manual, notwithstanding the state's recent endorsement of the NACTO manual. All that's needed to change that is Gov. Jerry Brown's signature.
The bill, AB 1193 by Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-S.F.) and sponsored by the California Bicycle Coalition "would make it easier for California cities to build protected bike lanes," writes Melanie Curry of Streetsblog LA.
We wrote of the bill in February after it cleared the Assembly: "Right now, many cities are not putting in cycle tracks [a.k.a. protected bike lanes] for fear they don't conform to the Caltrans manual,” says Ting, whose bill would legalize and set design standards for cycle tracks."
Curry lists what the bill will do and why it is necessary:
- "First and foremost, it requires Caltrans to establish engineering standards for protected bike lanes or “cycletracks,” a new category of bike lanes for cities to use.
- "it removes a provision in the law that requires that any bike lane built in California adhere to Caltrans specifications, even if it is built on a local street that is not under Caltrans’ jurisdiction.
- "This frees up local jurisdictions to choose other guidelines, such as the National Association of City Transportation Officials’ (NACTO) Urban Bikeway Design Guide, if the Caltrans standards do not adequately address local conditions.
If the bill is signed, Curry suggests that bike planners and advocates memorize the following:
"(T)he new protected bike lanes category would be officially named 'Class IV Bikeways,' adding to Class I Bikeways (bike paths or shared use paths), Class II bikeways (bike lanes), and Class III bikeways (bike routes)."
As Ting stated in his August 28 press release, "Sharing the road is one thing, designing it better is another.”
Gov. Jerry Brown has until Sept. 30 to act on the bill.
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