On Friday, September 16th, Assembly Bill 1909 by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Burbank) was signed by Governor Gavin Newsom. AB 1909 addresses a number of California bicycle laws to improve safety and save lives. The bill is part of the state’s climate package to help secure California’s world-class leadership on climate action.
“Our transportation landscape has been changing, and that’s clear when you look at the sales of e-bikes outpacing electric cars in 2021. Emissions from the transportation sector account for approximately 50% of greenhouse gas emissions in California, and adoption of zero-emission vehicles alone will not be enough to meet the state’s climate goals,” said Assemblymember Laura Friedman, Chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee. “We are fortunate to have a champion in Governor Newsom to make these big ideas a reality and for California to lead the way.”
AB 1909 requires cars to change lanes when possible to pass cyclists, permits cyclists to go when a walk sign is on at intersections, and prohibits local municipalities from requiring bike registration. It also permits e-bike riders to use city bike paths, except in state parks which will be subject to the discretion of the Department of Parks and Recreation.
“AB 1909 further enshrines in the California Vehicle Code the fact that bikes deserve space and belong on California streets,” said Senior Policy Advocate Jared Sanchez of California Bicycle Coalition. “We applaud Governor Newsom for signing a bill that will make biking safer and more accessible and help Californians protect the climate by replacing car trips with active transportation.”
According to the California Air Resources Board, a 14.3% reduction in vehicle miles traveled is necessary for the state to meet its 2050 climate goals, and promoting cycling will help reduce our dependency on automobiles.
“It’s important that our city and state officials take every action possible to protect and encourage cycling, not just because it’s right but because it’s important to protect the lives of the people who live in this great state of California,” said Executive Director Damian Kevitt of Streets Are For Everyone. “AB 1909 will help to save lives. I am truly grateful to Assemblymember Friedman and her team for putting in the hard work to get AB 1909 through the legislature and am thankful to the Governor of California for signing it into law.”