DeSaulnier’s Local Bike Infrastructure Bill Headed to Governor’s Desk

August 22, 2014 0:05 am · 47 comments

A measure by Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) to allow communities to fund local bike paths and trails is headed to Governor Brown. Senate Bill 1183 opens up a stable funding avenue for local communities to choose to invest in their own active transportation projects.

“SB 1183 gives communities opportunities to improve bikeways and trail networks in an effort to alleviate congestion,” Senator DeSaulnier said. “A study of 35 metropolitan areas in the United States found that for every mile of bike lane per square mile in a city, an additional one percent of the commuting workforce traveled by bike. Upgrading bike infrastructure will help public safety, the environment, and the quality of life in cities across California.”

SB 1183 authorizes a city, county or regional park district to ask the voters to approve a motor vehicle registration surcharge of up to five dollars. This surcharge would require 2/3 local voter approval. The bill requires the local agency to use these revenues for improvements to paved and natural surface trails, including existing and new bikeways and trail networks, and for associated maintenance purposes. Administrative costs are capped at 5% of revenues.

SB 1183 gives communities a new choice and mechanism for supporting local bike infrastructure. Investing in bicycle infrastructure and promoting cycling draws new money to local economies by attracting, residents, visitors, and businesses.

The East Bay Regional Park District is the sponsor of SB 1183.

Jimbo August 22, 2014 at 12:12 AM

What about the roads???

@Jimbo August 22, 2014 at 2:11 AM

Do you currently lack roads to drive on?

Dorothy August 22, 2014 at 3:32 AM

How many people live close enough to where they work that taking a bike is viable? And yes, what about roads?

AClaycordian August 22, 2014 at 3:49 AM

Marky, Mark, Mark…

Correlation and causation, you fail to comprehend that they’re different.

“…found that for every mile of bike lane per square mile in a city, an additional one percent of the commuting workforce traveled by bike” is not evidence that adding more bike lanes causes more bikers. Your conclusion is flawed, your proposition is based on a flawed conclusion, and -the golden point- why do we need more excuses for more taxes?

Safety Scond August 22, 2014 at 5:28 AM

Do all my Demcrat friends really embrace career politicians, like DeSaulnier, who blindly produce legiation that is intended to infringe on our liberties and pocketbook? Remember folks, all these bills being passed in Sacramento and DC create additional strain on the middle class while the rich can afford and the poor get subsidized.

Dapavement August 22, 2014 at 5:38 AM

They no longer want us on the roads with the evil big oil burning machines.
If there were a huge mass of people riding bicycles everyday I would be for this to some extent, but not the way they do it. Make the bike riders pay something for this pleasure.
If everyone quit driving cars and got on bikes overnight, they would start charging the bike riders like they do vechicle registration.

Pedalin' Pinhead August 22, 2014 at 6:04 AM

As a bicycle commuter and general cycling enthusiast I should love this, but it leaves me strangely flat. I guess that’s how low trust in government has gotten. Sad. Sad for me I guess.

Teacher Wannabe August 22, 2014 at 6:27 AM

Great idea Senator! Anything to make Concord/CoCo county more bike friendly is good. $5 on top of my regular DMV fees is nothing.

Anon August 22, 2014 at 6:43 AM

So wait, as a driver I get to pay more in taxes so bike riders can have better bike paths? That is BS!

Anon August 22, 2014 at 6:43 AM

This is why this loser should never have replaced Miller!

WC August 22, 2014 at 6:58 AM

They’ll push the FEDs for road money. Get this bike stuff moving. They just opened a new section in Pleasanton and it’s excellent. Connects to a bart station, has traffic light crossings. You can get around without having to deal with all the distracted drivers!

Beacon August 22, 2014 at 7:21 AM

@Jimbo – It doesn’t say they have to fund bike paths, and if they do, the money won’t be pulled from existing transportation funds.

Mark August 22, 2014 at 7:23 AM

Nice. Another potential new tax. I’ll be sure to vote for you Mark.

Just another tax payer August 22, 2014 at 7:47 AM

Come on! Why don’t you tack on the five dollar tax to anyone who buys an adult bike or bike parts. In addition, make bike owners pay a registration tax just like auto owners. As a driver, I pay gas tax and registration, all are suppose to go to fix the roads. Instead the money goes to create bike lanes and improve mass transit. JUST FIX THE ROAD PLEASE. You have the money already from us. Stop diverting it.

Star August 22, 2014 at 7:50 AM

That’s right….haven’t we already given money to keep the roads up….and look how well that’s going. Can I see a balance sheet please.

Doc Brown August 22, 2014 at 8:06 AM

where we’re going, we won’t need roads.

SKS August 22, 2014 at 8:15 AM

Great… another “surcharge” (fee, tax, etc.). Very creative Mark.

Random Task August 22, 2014 at 8:28 AM

oh the roads already have their skimming appropriated ….they are tapping into the biking coffers now …….when will the voters learn that the dems use scare tactics to force taxes and then demand more or else ……..sort of like the mob ……huh who would have thought that California was ripe for the take over ……..

Peoples Republic of CA August 22, 2014 at 8:30 AM

“to allow communities to fund local bike paths and trails” why does any community need the state to allow them build a bike path?

“the United States found that for every mile of bike lane per square mile in a city, an additional one percent of the commuting workforce traveled by bike.” whoop-dee-doo! Much ado about nothing.

Its already later than people think, the slippery slope slide is almost complete. We are essentially a one party state, the state rules and regulates every aspect of life, the majority of people love being held captive by their elected representative that they bow down to as leaders. The people want to be ruled, the migration from freedom to communism is pretty much complete. Hope the people are happy, to late now to change anything.

@ Dorothy (3) August 22, 2014 at 8:50 AM

I ride my bike to BART to get into SF for my job.

A dedicated bike path where I don’t chance getting clipped by a car is a good thing.

KJ August 22, 2014 at 8:53 AM

I saw a video about Minneapolis (of all places!) that has miles of lovely bike paths. It’s ranked one of the top 10 cities for biking in the country. Small businesses worried they would lose business but, instead, have found their business increased because of the bike paths.

Strip malls are designed for cars, and they are eye-sores, especially when they are allowed to run-down (like the one at Bel Air and Treat!). Bike lanes and paths would encourage the kinds of small businesses that make for a nicer, friendlier community, and get us away from those businesses that sell cheap-o crap and fast-food.

We want real work August 22, 2014 at 8:53 AM

Sadly this is what I’ve come to expect from our elected representatives (they are not leaders in any sense of the word and should not be called leaders). I should be hearing about how mark is taking a role in addressing real issues like the budget, increasing water reserves (not sending more water to LA); tax code cleanup; forcing taxpayer funded Cal Sate/Universities to admit resident freshmen at rates greater than 50% of incoming class size; repealing the drivers licenses for illegal/undocumented aliens…… All this fluff makes me weary almost to the point of running for office. Only problem there is I couldn’t deal with the child like behavior and would end up putting most of them over my knee and giving them a good swatting.
A politician is supposed to have people skills and be a skilled negotiator. We have a bunch of JackA(S#Ses that cry and suck their thumbs when they don’t get their way. We don’t have people actually working on solutions.

Michelle August 22, 2014 at 9:07 AM

Excellent initiative. Bike paths make for a healthier community. More people would be encouraged to ride their bikes or even walk more if there were more substantial paths. Bravo on this bill!

Inflated registrations August 22, 2014 at 9:09 AM

It already costs $500 a year to register my pickup truck because of all the surcharges!!!! When does it stop? Can’t wait to retire out of this state.

Anonymous August 22, 2014 at 9:12 AM

More taxes from him. What’s new?

Boneguy1 August 22, 2014 at 9:26 AM

No money for water infrastructure except if pay extra or have to fund bonds but bike lanes hey that’s a priority! – This guy is a socialist pervert fool.

KJ August 22, 2014 at 9:50 AM

@22 — It seems to me that working to create a more liveable community is “real work,” and I applaud efforts to downsize our need to drive everywhere. The suburbanization of America has not been beneficial to either people or the environment: Cementing over valuable agricultural land with miles of parking lots to serve acres of unattractive strip malls is arguably one of the dumbest things people have done to this planet.

Linda Hult August 22, 2014 at 11:05 AM

You people are complaing about paying $5 to keep a person safe and off the road really!!! My dear friend loss her young son on a street without a bike lane and if any of you out there complaing I’m sure you would be outraged that people would not pay $5 bucks to keep your child safe is just wrong. I’m sure if had such a horrible loss you would be so angry at people that are making these stupid comments. Have a heart. I left Ca 14 yrs ago and moved to a town that has bike lanes everywhere and 0 deaths of bikers that have been hit by a car. Do the research before condoning this and you will not believe how many life’s have been loss due to no bake lanes

funny man August 22, 2014 at 11:07 AM

i hope concord applies for this money, its the most bike unfriendly town i’ve ever lived in. i live about a mile from work, gym, grocery store, etc.
if i werent afrraid for my life by texting drivers and had a dedicated bke path
i’d bike every where.

Vandy August 22, 2014 at 11:39 AM

I applaud this effort. Concord is unfriendly to bikes, which are the way of the future for green local transportation. I would ride my bike more often if there were better routes. This is better for the environment, human health, and long term sustainability of transportation. Bravo!

Anon August 22, 2014 at 11:47 AM

Hey Mark, how about some free bikes!

Silva August 22, 2014 at 11:49 AM

This will help substantially to ease traffic gridlock as all available terrain is further “devoloped” to suply the ever increasing demand from our human population who’s breeding is completely out of control and run amok.

Pyrrhus August 22, 2014 at 1:21 PM

Reading comprehension again people. “SB 1183 authorizes a city, county or regional park district to ask the voters to approve a motor vehicle registration surcharge of up to five dollars.” If the voters don’t want it, they vote it down. This isn’t some automatic tax that you have to pay for.

You need to think outside of your little suburb and think of the major metropolitan cities like San Francisco where people rely heavily on public transportation and bikes. With the increased population in San Francisco and buildings with less parking, it becomes paramount that the streets can accommodate more bicyclists as well as create routes that are safe. This goes for pedestrian safety as well in regards to bikes. Look at how unsafe it can be for pedestrians on the wiggle during high commute hour.

..... August 22, 2014 at 3:28 PM

Why not have just the potential users pay for it – rather than everyone?

Shelly August 22, 2014 at 4:51 PM

#34, ‘Cause that’s not how civil society works.

primo August 22, 2014 at 4:58 PM

Hey desaulktiner
The sales tax is still 9%
how come you are not working to reduce/eliminate taxes ???????????????

... August 22, 2014 at 4:59 PM

Is this the mindset you’re looking for to be your next congressman?

CA can’t hold onto factories or living wage jobs, most jobs being created are low end, part time and democrats are worried about their perfect utopian fantasy state.

@Shelly August 22, 2014 at 5:09 PM

Is that why they have toll lanes on freeways in Southern CA ?

Your reward for voting democrat.

...... August 22, 2014 at 7:33 PM


A democrat looking to reduce/eliminate taxes?

WTH are you smoking? Or drinking?

It’s genetically impossible; they just can’t do it.

Anon August 22, 2014 at 9:29 PM

For all of you who say this is a good thing, YOU start paying tolls to use the bike path like those of us who cross the bridges. Well see how long until you change your tune.

Pyrrhus August 22, 2014 at 10:51 PM

@40 I don’t ride a bike but I do use public transportation most days as well as own a car that I use to commute every so often. Even I know that our roads aren’t fully subsidized by cars. Car drivers subsidize roughly 51% of the cost of roads through gas tax and tolls. The rest of the money comes from the general tax fund. Would it be fair for us drivers to fully subsidize the roads? You would be talking about doubling the tax on gas and tolls.

Anon August 23, 2014 at 1:07 AM


That was not my point. It was that all these people how are so willing to have drivers pay for their bike lanes, are they willing to pay for it themselves? Fully pay for it, wasn’t the issue.

SpiritDog August 23, 2014 at 7:55 AM

Bikers on the road meant for cars is not something I care for. Where is the money for this idea coming from? Taxpayers? It seems to me that ANY unnecessary funding should go back to the taxpayers. This piece of fluff legislature is what eats up resources that could go to more important legislature. I feel for the bikers, and I dread the idea of more exhaust fumes (electric cars seem to be making progress), but I think this is dreadful news. It is bad enough with all the crazy drivers on the roads and the motorcycles zooming by at will (there is a law that allows that), and huge trucks that “own” the roads, and drugs and alcohol…so on second thought, it DOES make perfect sense to have a law for bikes. Insanity continues to rule!

RIII August 23, 2014 at 7:09 PM

It seems to always be boiling down to the same old proclamation, “From each according to their means to each according to their needs.” Our local politicians refuse to look at the community from the position of a taxpayer; they look at their base as a “Funding Opportunity!” When have any of our “Local Representatives” ever penned any legislation that might support a community, a business or the property owner? They look at the map and see a “Tax Base!”

claycord-biker August 23, 2014 at 10:51 PM

Wow, got to say it loudly QUIT ADDING NEW TAXES !!! These types of taxes are extremely “regressive”, they impact lower income people the most!

As for the other comments… cyclist are taxpayers too… got to say I don’t know a single adult cyclist who doesn’t own a car, pay insurance, pay taxes, support the local economy, etc.. bikes, parts, supplies are already taxed. Bikes don’t wear/tear the road, but every bike that takes an auto off of the road at least some of the time is probably a good thing, I am sure it is easier to pass a bike on the side than have another auto in front of you.

What can be done to improve bike-lanes could be for the most part be addressed in standard road maintenance; any road that sucks to drive on also sucks to bike on. With some roads you have to have common sense and stay off of, Clayton road as an example, other roads are bike-able and could use improvement in some areas Concord Blvd as an example. When a road gets fixed, evaluate bike lane access and do the necessary improvements in parallel with the road repairs.

As for improving the bike-trails, I personally avoid them if at all possible; the mixture of pedestrians, dog-walkers, skate-boards and new bikers is a bad combination; I don’t see that it is realistic to use the Concord bike-trails as a commuter (besides they screwed up the Treat intersection and made it much more dangerous going up to that light at Navaronne Way).

Bottom line: Just say NO to new taxes! Improve road bike-lane access when general road repairs are performed (and there is plenty of work to be done in Concord, *we* would have no difficulty coming up with a list of the worst).

Wilson August 24, 2014 at 8:24 PM

Concord resident of 8+ years here. I ride every day. It’s great to see the Bike Concord tent at Todos Santos Plaza, offering the community and residents a resource at the Farmers Market in addition to the local bike shops. With the density, the many BART stations from W.C. P.Hill Concord and North Concord, we’re very fortunate with the access of public transit, leaving very little in terms of making excuses of why we must drive motor vehicles around a flat town with conveniences on every street. Come out and have fun, outside is free. But then again, we know there’s more to “free” than meets the eye.

Kenji August 27, 2014 at 2:19 PM

I commute within Concord every day and use a bike as my sole means of local transportation within the county. I’ve been really glad that money is being put into upgrading bike infrastructure – in particular the bridge over Treat Blvd next to PH BART, and the extension fork of the Iron Horse Trail from Monument to Meadow Lane. Those are not just recreational – they make it safer and more practical to get around CCC by bicycle for work and errands.

They also yield a benefit for motorists by taking a car off the road for every person who bikes instead of driving. That means less wear and tear on the roads for those who still drive, and less traffic congestion.

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