Legislation & Policies

LOCAL

Anti-harassment Ordinance:
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.

Electric bicycles:
Pedal-assist e-bikes allow for a broader range of people to choose bikes, thus contributing to our goal to have 10% trips by bike by 2025. They help people who need an extra boost on a bike, whether it is to go farther, carry a heavy load, tackle steep hills, bike with kids, or make it possible to use a bike with a disability.


REGIONAL

See previously supported regional ballot measures here. Stay tuned for more information on future measures.


STATE LEGISLATION

See previously supported state legislation here.

Bill Number
Bill Name
Traffic violations: diversion programs
Description
This bill will enable bicyclists ticketed for moving violations to participate in free bicycle education classes and have their fines reduced. This is also a priority of the Roadway Safety Solutions Team. We believe ticketed bicyclists should be allowed to attend diversion programs, or “bicycle traffic school” classes to encourage safe behavior and improve road safety.
SVBC Support Info
Toll bridges: pedestrians and bicycles
This bill prohibits tolls for walking and bicycling on state-owned bridges, including the Golden Gate Bridge, in order to not deter people from taking trips by bike or foot.
Vehicles: electric bicycles
This bill would clarify the definition of electric bicycles (e-bikes) and make bicycling accessible to more people. Electric assistance bikes enable people to ride who otherwise couldn’t or wouldn’t: senior citizens, parents with young children, and those who ride up steep hills or across long distances. This bill would identify three specific classes of e-bike based on top speed.

FEDERAL LEGISLATION

See previously supported federal legislation here. Stay tuned for more information on future legislation.