OaklandTransportation & Infrastructure

Flat Tire: 'California Roll' Bill Stalls In Assembly Committee Until 2018

Flat Tire: 'California Roll' Bill Stalls In Assembly Committee Until 2018Photo: pacres/Flickr
Shane Downing
Published on May 10, 2017

As we reported yesterday, state legislators planned to discuss a bill that would permit cyclists at stop signs to yield, instead of stopping, if it was safe to do so. Although AB 1103 wasn’t up for a vote, it was met with mixed reviews from members of the Assembly Transportation Committee and the general public.

As a result, Assemblymember Jay Obernolte, one of the bill's authors, decided to delay a vote until 2018. In his opening remarks to the committee chair, Obernolte noted that it would take a Herculean effort to get the bill passed, given widespread opposition.

Under the proposed legislation, cyclists would be authorized to “[approach] a stop sign, after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way, to cautiously make a turn or proceed through the intersection without stopping, unless safety considerations require otherwise.”

Opposition has come from motorists, police and individuals with disabilities, including the California Police Chiefs Association, American Automobile Association and the California Highway Patrol. The Transportation Committee will revisit the matter in early 2018, much to the dismay of biking advocates at the California Bicycle Coalition.

“We were disappointed that a vote on AB 1103 was deferred to next year,” wrote Jeanie Ward-Waller, the coalition’s policy director, in an email.

“Though our top priority is for California to keep building better bike infrastructure, in the meantime we need every easy, low-cost policy solution in place to make bicycling more convenient and encourage more people to ride—legalizing a safe yield at stop signs is one of those things.”

Last month, AB 342, better known as The Safe Streets Act of 2017, also failed to make it out of the Assembly Transportation Committee. Like AB 1103, it’ll also wait until next year to see if it can move forward in the legislative process or if it will be snuffed out at the committee level.

OaklandTransportation & Infrastructure