Breaking News: “Safe Streets” Bill Stalled, “Cash Out Parking” Moves Forward

I’ll have a full story tomorrow morning, I have to run to Pasadena to introduce "Contested Streets" as part of Bike Week Pasadena, but I wanted to pass on the news that the Assembly Transportation Committee failed to even vote on A.B. 766, Paul Krekorian’s Safe Streets Bill and moved Bob Blumenfield’s bill that would reveal the cost of "free" employee parking.

There’s plenty of credit to go around for the stalling of A.B. 766.  For example, Committee Chair Mike Eng and Assistant Chair Kevin Jeffries made clear their bias in favor of the status quo.  After treating the California Highway Patrol as an "expert witness" despite their clear opposition to the legislation, Eng joined with the Auto Club of Southern California, Teamsters and AAA of Northern California to claim the "science" of the legislation was flawed.  Somehow, setting a speed limit based mostly on the desired speed of the most dangerous users of the road is more scientific.

To his credit, Eng vowed to keep this issue in the forefront of the committee’s conciousness and will hold future hearings bringing in more "experts" to help craft legislation to fix the problem of speeders setting the speed limits.

I’ll also briefly note that while Stephen and Enci Box, on behalf of the Bike Writer’s Collective and the Woodland Hills-Warner Center Neighborhood Council, were joined by the City of Oakland and Lieutenant Carl Povilaitis of the Glendale P.D.; neither Wendy Greuel nor Richard Alarcon nor any representative of City of Los Angeles were present to speak on behalf of the City of Los Angeles.  Both L.A. City Council Members were present at last week’s press conference, and Greuel’s presence was expected today.

To give you an idea of how far we really have to go to bring about the transportation reform we need to see, Asm. Blumenfield’s legislation that would require building owners to spell out the cost of parking when a cash-out program could apply drew heavy fire before passing 9-4.


How Mike Eng and the Auto Lobby Stalled on Safe Streets

So what happened? Despite the support of just about everyone in Los Angeles, A.B. 766 didn't muster the support to even come to a vote at the Assembly Transportation Committee Hearing yesterday. How could such a slam dunk piece of legislation, a bill that would protect cyclists and pedestrians from the increased speeding of drivers, be such a non-starter with the State Legislature?

Through the Cracks: Governor Signs Speed Limits Bill A.B. 529

Last Friday, Governor Jerry Brown signed A.B. 529, legislation authored by San Fernando Valley Assemblyman Mike Gatto that gives local government some discretion in setting speed limits on local roads. “I promised residents that I would do something about those who speed through our neighborhoods,” says Gatto, “I am proud to have delivered that promise today, […]