Air Quality & Emissions, Bicycles, California, Pedestrian Experience, Streetscape

SB 375 and AB 1358: Victory for Livability Legislation

September 30 at midnight is the deadline for the Governor to sign bills into law, and in light of the record-late budget, legislation has been stacking up. Amidst all the signed and vetoed bills, I am happy to report that SB 375 and AB 1358, two important pieces of “livability legislation” that we have been following, have both been signed into law. SB 375, the landmark bill that unites transportation, housing, and land use planning with CEQA reform, is an important step towards incentivizing the growth of transit-oriented neighborhoods as part of a multi-pronged effort to achieve AB 32’s greenhouse gas emission mandates. The other bill is AB 1358, the Complete Streets Act, which will require local governments to account for all users of the street (including pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders, and the disabled) when updating the circulation elements of their General Plans. When governments then turn to execute the updated directives in their General Plans, we can hope to see calmer, more walkable streets emerge all over the state of California. The combination of both bills point toward a brighter future — turning our back on the unchecked proliferation of residential subdivisions and strip malls, while embracing the growth of dense, compact, walkable neighborhoods. Now, if only we could manage to stop raiding the public transit fund every year.

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