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.
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.
Santa Clara County Parks Park Charter Fund, Measure A endorsement
In January 2016, SVBC endorsed the Santa Clara County Parks Park Charter Fund, Measure A. The Santa Clara County Park Charter Fund has provided sustainable funding for the county’s park system since 1972. This Fund has played an important role in offering biking opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. It is not a new tax, but a renewal, allowing Santa Clara County Parks to operate and maintain parkland throughout the county. This funding will also help the Department lead the Countywide Trail Master Plan, which will help to update a regional trail network. We support the Charter Fund amendments and renewal.
See previously supported regional ballot measures here.
See previously supported state legislation here.
See previously supported federal legislation here. Stay tuned for more information on future legislation.