Organization seeks more non-motorist advocates on Caltrans committee

The California Bicycle Coalition is urging folks who have an interest in cycling, public transit and pedestrian issues to write a letter to their state representatives in favor of adding cycling advocates to a Caltrans advisory committee. "The California Traffic Control Devices Committee, which advises Caltrans on standards for traffic signs, signals and pavement markings, such as bike lanes and crosswalks, has no members representing bicyclists, pedestrians or transit users," wrote Dave Snyder, the cycling group's executive director, in a letter to coalition supporters. "Yet the state's two automobile associations have permanent seats -- motorists are the only road users represented on a committee whose guidance affects all road users. This makes no sense." To change that, the coalition is sponsoring Assembly Bill 345 by San Diego Assemblymember Toni Atkins that would require the committee's membership include nominees by the Active Transportation Livable Communities Group, which advises Caltrans on issues related to accommodating everyone on the road. "AB 345 faces its final vote in the full Senate in the next two weeks, Snyder said, noting that messages to lawmakers in favor of this bill be sent no later than the end of the business day today, Aug. 18. Below is a sample letter provided by Snyder that can be modified and printed onto letterhead or copied into an email message. Snyder also encouraged supporters to fax or email a copy of their letter to Assemblymember Atkins at Assemblymember.Atkins@assembly.ca.gov or (916) 319-2176. Question can be addressed by Jim Brown, the coalition's communications director, at (916) 446-7558 or jimbrown@calbike.org. California Bike Coalition AB 345 sample letter State Capitol, Room ___________ Sacramento, CA 95814 Fax: (916) _____________ Re: AB 345 - SUPPORT Dear Sen. ______________: I'm a constituent from __________  and I'm writing to urge you to approve Assembly Bill 345 (Atkins) when the Senate hears the bill later this month. AB 345 helps California communities make their streets safe and convenient for everyone, including motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, people with disabilities, seniors and users of public transportation. AB 345 accomplishes this by ensuring that Caltrans hears the perspective of all road users when establishing guidance for traffic signals and signs and pavement markings such as bike lanes. Caltrans is advised by the California Traffic Control Devices Committee, whose members include both state automobile associations but no representatives of bicyclists, pedestrians or transit users -- even though people walking and bicycling account for more than 20% of all roadway fatalities in California. Expanding the committee's membership will help save lives and help ensure that roads are built right the first time, avoiding costly retrofits. I care very much about the safety of everyone who uses our roads, including bicyclists. I strongly urge you to support this bill. Sincerely, ________________ CC: Assemblymember Toni Atkins  
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