Amended  IN  Assembly  April 03, 2023
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 09, 2023

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2023–2024 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1212


Introduced by Assembly Member Hart

February 16, 2023


An act to add Chapter 14 (commencing with Section 5875) to Division 5 of the Public Resources Code, relating to bikeways.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1212, as amended, Hart. Scenic bikeways. bikeways and trails.
Existing law gives control of the state park system to the Department of Parks and Recreation, and requires the Director of Parks and Recreation to promote and regulate the use of the state park system in a manner that conserves the scenery, natural and historic resources, and wildlife in the individual units of the system for the enjoyment of future generations.
This bill would enact the California Scenic Bikeways and Trails Act, which would require the department to establish a scenic bikeway network. The bill would require the department to consider specified criteria in selecting and designing scenic bikeway routes. To the extent practical, the bill would require the scenic bikeway network to include unique gravel and mountain bicycle routes. The bill would make the implementation of these provisions contingent upon an appropriation by the Legislature for these purposes.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares the following:
(a) In 2008, the State of Oregon established the nation’s first Scenic Bikeways Program to uniquely depict the state’s diversity of landscapes and to promote economic stimulus in parts of the state through targeted bicycle tourism.
(b) Cycling tourism is a growing industry and California’s mild weather and diversity of topography and landscape, including the wine country, the coast, the inland valleys, and the Sierra Nevada mountains, provide California with unique attributes that can attract a large share of this tourism industry.
(c) California and the nation experienced an explosion in the popularity of cycling during the COVID-19 pandemic, as evidenced by bicycle sales that surged 65 percent within a 12-month period spanning from July 2020 to July 2021.
(d) Moreover, given the relative ease of use, e-bicycle sales are the fastest growing segment of sales and are opening the outdoors and California’s scenic byways to more people.
(e) Cycling not only results in economic benefits to the state, but also health benefits to cyclists, providing California residents with a low-impact alternative to other fitness and recreational pursuits.
(f) Cycling can play an important part in helping California meet its carbon reduction goals.

(g)To reverse recent trends associated with bicycle-related fatalities and injuries, vehicle operators need greater awareness of the roads and streets frequented by bicyclists.

(g) Greater awareness by vehicle operators of roads and streets frequented by bicyclists is necessary to reverse recent trends associated with bicycle-related fatalities and injuries.
(h) Cycling provides a unique opportunity to experience scenic and rural California through roadway loops, including, but not limited to, Gibraltar Road Loop in the County of Santa Barbara, Old Caz Loop in the County of Sonoma, Mount Tam Loop in the County of Marin, the Malibu Canyon Loop in the County of Los Angeles, and the Lake Tahoe and Yankee Jim’s Loops in the County of Placer.
(i) California should adopt embrace policies and practices that encourage the promotion and advancement of nonmotorized road, trail, and gravel cycling activity and connectivity for all Californians and visitors.

SEC. 2.

 Chapter 14 (commencing with Section 5875) is added to Division 5 of the Public Resources Code, to read:
CHAPTER  14. California Scenic Bikeways and Trails Act

5875.
 This chapter shall be known, and may be cited, as the California Scenic Bikeways and Trails Act.

5876.
 (a) The department shall establish a scenic bikeways network, consisting of scenic bikeway routes.
(b) In selecting and designing scenic bikeway routes, the department shall consider the following:
(1) Historic routes.
(2) Routes connecting or highlighting communities of interest.
(3) Routes of unique scenic significance.
(4) Routes with diverse topographies.
(5) Routes with diverse bicycling challenges.
(c) The department is encouraged to form an advisory committee to assist the department in implementing this chapter.
(d) The department is encouraged to establish a regional process for nominating a route for inclusion in the scenic bikeway network, with nominations coming from any interested organization, including, but not limited to, local bicycle and trail organizations, private entities, and local or state governmental entities.
(e) The department, in consultation with the Department of Transportation, shall develop criteria for the design, placement, and installation of signs relative to scenic bikeway routes.
(f) To the extent practical, the scenic bikeway network shall include unique gravel and mountain bicycle routes.
(g) The implementation of this chapter shall be contingent upon an appropriation by the Legislature for this purpose in the annual Budget Act or another statute.