SVBC supports cities within San Mateo County and Santa Clara County, as well as the counties themselves to cover unincorporated areas, to pass anti-harassment ordinances in order to create more awareness and change behavior to ensure increased safety for people who bike. Local examples can be found in the City of Sunnyvale, Berkeley and Sebastopol. The anti-harassment ordinance, most often adopted by cities, is focused on intentional threats, assaults or other behavior that endangers cyclists. Normally, an anti-harassment ordinance will make the harassment and assault of a person who bikes a civil offense, in addition to a criminal offense. The burden of proof is lower for civil cases thus making it easier for people who bike to be properly compensated. Typically, this allows an injured or harassed bicyclist to seek treble damages (triple the amount of actual damages) and attorney’s fees in civil court.
Complete streets policy:
SVBC supports Complete Streets policies, which aim to provide safe mobility for all road users: pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit users of all ages and abilities. The State of California passed the California Complete Streets Act in 2011 to require cities and counties that were revising the circulation element of their general plan to include complete streets considerations. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission also requires all cities in the Bay Area, including those in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, to adopt Complete Streets resolutions in order to qualify for certain types of funding.
Street space allocation policy:
SVBC supports the passage of street space allocation policies, as exemplified by the City of Sunnyvale, in the many jurisdictions through Silicon Valley. In many cities, there may be adequate street space to improve bicycle facilities, but that space is currently being reserved for parked cars. In some cases, the parking is used but in many other cases, the on-street parking is underutilized. Sunnyvale has passed a policy to address this, the Street Space Allocation Policy, which states that city streets should be prioritized for the movement of all vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians and that parking is not a transport use, but the storage of transport vehicles. Therefore, providing street space for parking is less important than providing it for all transport uses. To support this, a city can conduct parking analyses that show actual parking usage on different streets. This policy is a tool for cities to implement their Complete Streets policy.
Open Space Authority of Santa Clara Valley Measure Q endorsement
SVBC has endorsed the local ballot measure for open space preservation, Measure Q, put forth by the Open Space Authority of Santa Clara Valley. This measure will be on the November 4, 2014 ballot. The proposed funding measure would fund 26 proposed projects in urban areas and within the Conservation Focus Areas, including trail connections such as completion of the San Francisco Bay Trail, Penitencia Creek Trail, Coyote Creek Trail, Guadalupe River Trail, and a new San Tomas Aquino/Saratoga Creek Trail through Campbell and Santa Clara. This helps SVBC further our goal to fill gaps in existing bike networks, which will encourage more people to choose bikes for transportation and recreation.
Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District ballot measure endorsement
Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition endorsed the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District ballot measure, that was passed in June 2014, for the following reasons:
- We support linking open-spaces, parks and communities through bicycle connections
- The endorsement will strengthen our relationship with the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District to continue their engagement in more urban settings and providing bicycle links to preserves.
- The measure establishes an independent oversight committee, which will oversee expenditure of the funds.