For Immediate Release: June 29, 2022
LOS ANGELES -- Today, Council adopted two resolutions introduced by Councilmember Nithya Raman in support of State bills for safer, more equitable streets – Assembly Bill 2147 and Assembly Bill 1909. AB2147 seeks to decriminalize jaywalking when it is safe to cross the roadway, while AB1909 intends to comprehensively change the rules and restrictions on bicycle operations in California, improving safety conditions for cyclists across the state.
“Many of the laws that govern our streets were designed to prioritize vehicles over pedestrians or cyclists. As we work to move away from a car-first approach to our streets, we need to update our rules and regulations to serve everyone, not just drivers,” said Councilmember Raman. “The changes put forth by AB2147 and AB1909 will make our streets more equitable for all, creating safer options for pedestrians crossing the road and significantly reducing injuries for people biking.”
AB2147, or “The Freedom to Walk Act,” introduced by Assemblymembers Phil Ting and Laura Friedman, promotes the fair and equitable use of streets by legalizing crossings outside of a crosswalk or against a traffic light when it is safe to do so. This legislation will protect vulnerable people walking against arbitrary, racially-biased, pre-textual policing, as well as burdensome fees and fines, and unnecessary interactions with law enforcement.
AB1909, also introduced by Assemblymember Friedman, is a bicycle omnibus bill that seeks to address a number of different issues related to California bicycle laws, including eliminating the authority of local jurisdictions to restrict or ban electric bicycles on bicycle paths and only allow the prohibition of electric bicycles on equestrian trails, hiking, and recreational trails. The legislation would also allow people biking to follow leading pedestrian intervals at such signalized intersections, which yielded a 26% decrease in injuries of people biking when enacted as a pilot program in New York City.
Councilmember Raman’s resolutions ask the City of Los Angeles to include in its 2021-2022 State Legislative Program support for AB 2147 and AB1909.