California's bicycle clubs organized into a state federation in 1972 to protect bicyclists' interests statewide and to encourage, maintain, and improve bicycling conditions.

CABO (the "A" is pronounced long) fosters and promotes a favorable climate for bicycling in California by representing the interests of cyclists before the appropriate governmental bodies to protect their rights and promoting laws, policies, and actions that treat cyclists equitably.

In addition to the usual officers, CABO has Area Directors which mirror the boundaries of the twelve Caltrans districts. All are unpaid volunteers.

CABO opposing helmet requirement

April 7th, 2015 No comments

Senator Carol Liu
c/o Robert Oakes
State Capitol, Room 5097
Sacramento, CA 95814

SUBJECT: Senate Bill 192 unless modified

Dear Senator Liu:

I regret that I must write on behalf of the California Association of Bicycling Organizations ( in opposition to your bill, SB 192, that “Anyone riding without a helmet could be cited for an infraction and fined up to $25, the same as current law for youth cyclists.”

Bicycle helmets certainly may contribute to safety in a crash or fall, but represent only the final area of protection when all other safety measures fail. We refer to the four levels of safety, focusing on the area’s most likely to prevent injury:
a. Prevention through following the rules of the road, as defined in the California Vehicle Code and other safety literature. This establishes predictability of actions by motorists and bicyclists.
b. Deterrence through bicycling best practices for attention, communication, anticipation, road positioning, visibility (e.g., lights and reflectors), and maintenance (primarily effective braking).
c. Escape through development of skills in bicycling defensively – emergency stops, counter-steering (taught in motorcycle training and required for license).
d. Survival – Use of safety equipment such as helmets, gloves, etc.

We do applaud and appreciate your concern and do support effective efforts to reduce bicycling collision injuries and fatalities that also promote Active Transportation – healthier, enjoyable, cleaner, and more sustainable travel choices for Californians.

You, as Chair of the Senate Education Committee, may find some of the ideas below worthy of consideration. We offer our support toward implementing ways that would productively provide for better bicycling and traffic safety in general.

1. Provide Active Transportation instruction and experience curriculum choices – bicycling and walking – as part of K-12 physical education programs.

People bicycling can avoid crashing and collisions with motor vehicles and resulting injuries by learning about and applying appropriate bicycling behaviors. Too many bicycling crashes are the direct result of poor choices by the person bicycling; wrong-way riding against traffic, failure to yield when entering traffic, non-compliance with traffic control signals and signs, etc. A program to provide information about traffic laws and bicycling safe and best practices would be very likely to significantly reduce bicycling collisions, injuries, and fatalities. And, smarter bicycling not only avoids crashes, it provides for personal and community health through reducing trips by motor vehicle.

2. Provide for the development of a California Highway Patrol approved Bicycling Handbook distributed by and through the same outlets as the DMV Driver, Motorcycle, Senior and other DMV handbook traffic guides.

We have assisted the Department of Motor Vehicles to improve and increase the amount of information about bicycling provided in their publications, including their Driver Handbook. We have recommended that the DMV develop and provide a Bicycling Handbook similar in format to the Motorcycle handbook. They have not yet followed through.

3. Remove impediments to bicycling related traffic citation diversion programs.

This would allow for cities and counties to implement bicycle citation diversion programs that emphasize an educational curriculum complementing the goals established in #1, above.

4. Support the California Strategic Highway Safety Plan programs to reduce roadway fatalities; education, enforcement, engineering Complete Streets, emergency response, equity in travel mode choice, and encouraging appropriate behavior in traffic.

Traffic related bicycling collisions involving motor vehicles also result from mistakes and unlawful behavior by motorists. Recently passed legislation encouraging 3’ minimum passing has brought new attention to the responsibilities people have for sharing roadway space. The relatively new roadway markings – Shared Lane Markings, Bikes May Use Full Lane signs, Green-highlighted and “buffered” Bike Lanes; and traffic control devices – bicycle-specific traffic signals, bicycle actuated traffic signals, etc. – are helping us all adapt to the value of increasing the travel mode share for Active Transportation, bicycling and walking.

5. Modify the Calif. Vehicle Code to define and explain the meaning of the new white pavement markings – Shared Lane Markings, commonly called Sharrows, the new white painted buffers spaces next to Bike Lanes, and the bright green paint meant to highlight Bike Lanes, and the intent of the new and approved regulatory signs that show a bike and the words “May Use Full Lane.”

Sharrows mean that that lane is a substandard width lane and cyclists can legally ride anywhere in it.
Buffers are to provide space between motorists and bicyclists, and between bicyclists and parked vehicles. Buffers may (and should) be carefully driven into and cross to turn right, to park, or to enter or leave the roadway or Bike Lane.

Bikes may use full lane signs are to inform motorists that people bicycling may be in the travel lane, and to inform people bicycling that they may ride far enough out into a lane to avoid roadside hazards and discourage close passing by others.

We of the California Association of Bicycling Organizations look forward to hearing about how we might help you to improve safety and ability for everyone. We want everyone to be able to choose to use bicycles for travel and recreation in California.

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Adventure Cycling route success!

February 18th, 2015 Comments off

Apparently I am not doing much of a job getting credit to CABO for our work, but here’s the good news; the letter I sent on behalf of the Calif. Bicycle Advisory Committee requesting a meeting with Caltrans Director and inviting CalBike’s Dave Snyder to attend resulted in our being able to make our case to Caltrans Chief Deputy Director Kome Ajise on Feb. 4th. Adventure Cycling’s Virgina Sullivan participated via telephone. Mr. Ajise agreed to work with Caltrans District staff to find a way to make the bicycling route work. District staff surveyed to route choices with Adventure Cycling Wally Warner and SUCCESS!
It apparently “takes a village” to move Caltrans. Now seems like a good time to re-address other Calif. State Highways that prohibit bicycling but offer poor, none, or marginally available bicycling connectivity.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> forwarded message from Adventure Cycling <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
From all of us at Adventure Cycling, we wanted to share some good news!

After a year of negotiations with Caltrans, we just leaned that the agency is going to open two sections of I-40 between Needles & Barstow that were previously closed to cyclists. In one case, the historic Rte 66 was closed to non-local traffic (washed out bridges, etc) and in the other, the road is in extremely poor condition.
This success was made possible through the help of a number of people but let me begin with the most recent chain of events.
Dave Snyder from the California Bicycle Coalition and Jim Baross of CABA [sic should be CABO] & California Bicycle Advisory Committee met with the Depty Director of Caltrans a couple weeks ago. Because of this meeting, the Caltrans administrator requested the district 8 staff meet with us last week. They (dist 8) agreed to an on-the-ground review of conditions. Wally Werner, our board president was able to join district staff last Friday and drove the entire section on both the historic route and I-40 (144-miles).
Wally reported back as did the district 8 staff and today we heard back from Dist 8 that they are going to open up these two critical sections. It isn’t everything we asked for, but it’s the most important sections that we needed.
This has been a long process and we’ve received a lot of great advice and support. We also must thank additional partners – ACA volunteers/members: Walt Farmer and Brian Sousa; Alan Thompson from Southern CA Assoc of Governments. Mark Friis from Inland Empire Bike Coalition, Eric Bruins from L.A. County Bike Coalition, board of supervisors from Ventura and San Bernardino counties and many, many more!
The maps are still slated to go out the first week of March and we’ll be supplying addenda with the new information. We still figuring out how we will do this.
In addition, Jenn will be posting a blog about this development and we’ll be updating our Call to Action page with a new map showing the route on and off the freeway. I’ll send you all a link once these go live.
Finally – we pledge to work with CBC, CBAC and Caltrans to help develop a long-term solution to the freeway/adjacent route closure issue. Jim, Dave, please keep us in mind as you work on next steps.

Ginny Sullivan
Director of Travel Initiatives
t. 800 755 2453 or 406 532 2769
f. 406 721 8754
150 E Pine St, Missoula, MT 59802
Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring and empowering people to travel by bicycle

Categories: Miscellaneous Tags:

Bad Tickets?

February 11th, 2015 Comments off

How will we fight back against bad traffic tickets for lawful bicycling!?

Please offer some advice; how to best help cyclists contest bad traffic tickets – when a person is inappropriately cited when driving a bicycle as we recommend (Bike League, ABEA, etc.) CABO wants to help fight back. Should we develop a new Legal Defense Fund (LDF) for that purpose? Is there a better way?
Comments may be forwarded to me, CABO President, at

We are considering that monies collected for a LDF will be used toward efforts fighting tickets where cyclists are inappropriately cited. We have already helped other cases, though without incurring costs yet for professional/paid attorney support.

Below is some background and some text we are proposing to help people cited to prepare a defense. [CABO is not intending to provide legal advice or support except through services provided by Calif. Bar approved attorneys.]

At times law enforcement officers (LEO) issue inappropriate tickets or mistakenly harass bicyclists who are riding legally and correctly. When LEOs stop winning cases we expect that they’ll learn not to issue bad tickets. CABO has experience with bad tickets for riding side by side in narrow lanes and bike lanes, for not riding as far to the right as an officer thinks a bicyclist should, for not putting a foot down at a stop sign, and other mistaken reasons. CABO wants to hear about these incidents, help reverse bad tickets and perhaps help law enforcement to do better in the future.

Here are some things we recommend that bicyclists be prepared to do if stopped by a traffic enforcement officer. Again, CABO is not intending to act as or to provide attorney services, but CABO may be able to refer cited bicyclists to attorneys in their area.

Bicycling Ticket Fighting Tips (some elaboration of each follows list):
• First and most important! Follow the Law. Ride correctly as LCIs and CSIs teach.
• When stopped by law enforcement officer (LEO) stay calm and respectful
• Attempting to argue or to correct the LEO is often fruitless. If you try, don’t push it.
• Fully document as much of the exchange and circumstances as you can.
• Although valid ID is necessary, showing your driver license is not required
• Request LEO detail why you were stopped, what she/he saw and exactly where it occurred
• Afterwards document as much of the conversation as you remember
• Carefully photograph the entire situation. Approach, area of alleged violation, conditions and even traffic flow at that time. Perhaps wait to do this until after the officer has left the scene.
• Obtain witness contact information
• If you choose to contest the Ticket, CABO wants to help

First and most important! Follow the Law:
CABO discourages bicyclists from running stop signs, ignoring traffic signals, riding at night without lights and reflectors, wrong-way riding, failing to scan-signal-move safety, etc. Your safety matters and the publics’ perception is very important. Traffic Commissioners and Judges are subject to the same cultural bias as others. They drive on our roads and develop biases from what they see. Going into a trial with a judge having a negative perception of cyclist makes it a steeper fight for all of us. League Cycling Instructors and/or Cycling Savvy Instructors are trained and certified to provide information and training about lawful bicycling and best practices. Your having documentation of completion of bicycling traffic training may help convince a judge that you were intending to be acting lawfully.

Stay calm and respectful:
First, when stopped do not let your emotions get the best of you. There may be an opportunity to just get a warning or even convince the LEO what you were doing was legal, but be very careful – courteous and respectful. Officers deal with whiners and liars daily and most traffic enforcement officers consider their knowledge and opinions unassailable. Arguing is rarely successful.

Valid ID need not be your driver’s license:
You are not required to provide a California Driver License (CDL) for a bicycling ticket but you do need to show valid ID. If you choose to use your driver’s license, politely ask the officer to clearly record that the ticket is for bicycling. If properly entered into the judicial system, the bicycling violation should not assess points against your driving record, which can also affect your auto insurance rates.

Document as much as you can:
If the officer is likely to issue a ticket that you may decide to fight and you want a successful court challenge, use the interaction with the officer to fully document all of the facts that the officer uses to determine the ticket was warranted.

When stopped you may accept the ticket without protest, but politely ask the officer to explain what was observed, why the officer believed there was a violation, and where the officer first observed the violation? If you are with another person, politely ask for the other person to listen but not participate in the conversation. This could provide a witness at a hearing or trial. If the officer refuses, do not argue, but note this for possible use at trial. Immediately after the officer leaves document the entire conversation; use a recording device or paper. Next photograph the scene; include: the road exactly where you were stopped, the road situation exactly where the officer said the violation was observed, the roadway in between, pavement conditions, striping, parked cars, general conditions and even flow of traffic if possible. Get contact info for any witnesses to the situation. These may be good references for the judge. The officer and you may not recall all of the traffic and road conditions many months after the incident.

Use of Documentation:
Gathered information: photos, witnesses, and notes at the time of the ticket is the best evidence. You, or an attorney can use these in your defense.

During trial a great deal of information may be obtained from the officer during cross-examination. Examples are: training deficiency regarding cyclist’s rights of the road, the vagueness of vehicle code, lack of personal bike riding experiences, lack of cycling specific training, etc. The objective being, if found guilty, to get as much evidence favorable to your position into the record if you choose to appeal. Facts not in the trail record cannot be considered during an appeal.

How CABO can help:
Your next step will be deciding whether to pay the fine or challenge the citation. If you wish to proceed, this is where CABO or, more effectively, an attorney may offer to assist appropriate so you may; decide whether to fight, prepare for cross-examination of the officer, ready evidence along with the opinion of experts such as League Cycling Instructors or similar who can substantiate that your riding was lawful.

So, if you want to contest a citation or harassment for actions and/or behaviors we know to be lawful and appropriate, CABO wants to help. Contact CABO President,, through your Area Director, or organization’s representative to CABO.

Please help us. Fight back against bad traffic tickets.
Would you like to help us help others by joining and/or donating to CABO? We are in the process of establishing an easy – Paypal – means to donate specifically to our LDF. In the meantime join and/or donate to CABO at


Categories: Miscellaneous Tags:

Board Mtg. Jan 31st. What are your issues?

January 29th, 2015 Comments off

CABO’s first Board meeting of 2015 will be this Saturday, Jan 31st. This year I am inviting some CABO friends to participate after 8 PM when the Board’s business meeting should have concluded; meet and greet, share issues, concerns, and ideas for forwarding CABO’s interests – promoting and protecting bicycling for bicyclists in California. Forward your ideas and request to me for an invitation to participate. (Sorry I must limit the number on the call – so get your request in early to

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Adventure Cycling route blocked?

January 15th, 2015 Comments off

We want Caltrans to live up to its responsibility and stated goals to provide for bicycling as well as motor vehicle transportation. When a State Highway is to be unavailable for bicycling there should be a usable other route for people to bike through, right? Or that highway should be made accessible for people to use by bicycle. Seems pretty clear to us.
Here’s what I sent to Caltrans.
Director Dougherty:

I am providing this email and will follow up with a letter on behalf of the members of your California Bicycle Advisory Committee (CBAC), and also on behalf of the Calif. Assoc. of Bicycling Organizations ( and the bicycle travelers who depend on the Adventure Cycling Association for maps of appropriate bicycling routes across the USA.

Caltrans District 8 has refused to make certain shoulders of State Highway/freeways available for bicycle travel in spite of their being no available viable alternative route for bicycling. Viable bicycling routes in California are vital, especially for the “Bicycle Route 66″ part of an effort by the Adventure Cycling Assoc. to provide National Trails across the USA.

The present position of District 8 – refusal to allow freeway shoulder use or to provide an alternative route – seems to be contrary to current Caltrans policy for providing for bicycling travel, not just for motor vehicle travel. The refusal also seems to be contrary to State and Highway Code 888, which we understand to place responsibility on Caltrans to provide for bicycle travel either on or adjacent to a State Highway route that is available for motor vehicle travel.

At the December 4, 2014, CBAC members voted to bring to your attention their recommendation that Caltrans/you direct District 8 act to provide for bicycle travel along this route. I do so now.

I will be in Sacramento February 4th and for the next CBAC meeting February 5, 2015. I would like to meet with you about this request. I may be able to also have present a representative from the Adventure Cycling Association who can provide in person more detailed information about this need.

Following is detail is the issue:

There is currently no legal route for cyclists to travel between Ludlow and Barstow California. The I-40 freeway between these two communities is posted “Bicycles Prohibited” and the adjacent legal route, Historic Route 66, also known as the National Trails Highway (NTH) is currently closed to all traffic.
Adventure Cycling’s Bicycle Route 66 maps will go to print in mid-January and will be released to the public in early March.
This route will one day be part of the U.S. Bicycle Route System an AASHTO project that Adventure Cycling supports & provides technical assistance to.
The NTH is currently closed due to flooding. 5 bridges are out and it will take until at least February or March for the bridges to re open. We expect touring cyclists may start as early as March or April.
The NTH road surface is in extremely poor condition and is not safe for cycling
I-40 runs parallel to the NTH and we’ve been informed that the freeway is posted “Bicycle Prohibited” from mile marker 00 to 133
The NTH is closed now and will continue to be closed periodically in the future due to future issues related to storm and flood damage common in the area or construction on the roadway.
Cyclists need a legal and safe way to travel and I-40 is the solution
I-40 has 8 ft shoulders bordered by a rumble strip and the region is very rural with low traffic counts
Bicycle travelers are used to riding periodically on rural freeways

Based upon the fact that Caltrans District 8 has provided no reason for prohibiting bicycles on this section of I-40, the California Bicycle Advisory Council highly recommends Director Dougherty allow bicycle access on I-40 minimally between Exits 2 and 5 around the Marine Base and optimally from Ludlow to Barstow.
The Adventure Cycling Association needs to provide this information on their maps which go to print in January, this is extremely time sensitive.
Please ensure cyclists have a legal route to travel along this 40 mile corridor
Caltrans should consider instituting a future policy that will ensure when a Caltrans manages roadway that is currently posted “Bicycle Prohibited” and the identified adjacent roadway is closed, that there is a procedure to ensure cyclists have a legal and safe way to travel through that corridor.

Thank you.

Jim Baross
​CBAC Co-Chair
President, Calif. Assoc. of Bicycling Organizations​
San Diego, CA

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Will the FHWA improve your bicycling experience?

January 8th, 2015 Comments off

FYI, I sent the following comment to the FHWA Facebook page this morning. I expect that it may be subject to review before it appears.
I took the liberty of also quoting Doug and John.
I have concerns about “New video shows how FHWA makes walking, biking safer” Is the efficiency of travel by bicycle to be jeopardized to maintain or enhance primacy of motor vehicle travel? To what extent will providing facilities (Sidepaths) with some level of comfort and increased safety require people bicycling to only use them?
I, and many people who already find bicycle travel to be a better choice for many trips are worried that people bicycling will be further marginalized if the right and ability to use public roadways is diminished rather than enhanced.
Ask me how to make bicycling a more popular choice for transportation.

Jim Baross Jr
President, California Association of Bicycling Organizations (CABO)

Note the following recent discourse from the public forum of the California Association of Bicycling Organization’s (

From Doug Williams, Jan. 7, 2015 to CABOforum

I had the same notion [previous comments below from J.F.] when I viewed the video. I suppose that the “new design fans” are always going to overplay the safety of their plans and underplay how their designs slow down competent bicyclists who are capable of riding in traffic. If this were not the case, there would be no conflict in the bicycling community. Hey, if you can build a bike path that is safer for me to ride in WITHOUT any loss in my commute speed…please build it and I will ride it. But no…I haven’t seen many of those.

Why do bike path fans feel that is is necessary to criticize vehicular cyclists? Why can’t they support our right to ride on the street at the same time that they advocate bike paths? The answer, of course, is that they feel that competent vehicular cyclists threaten their plans. That doesn’t have to be the case. I’m not against bike paths that don’t slow me down, but I am tired of being told that only 1% of cyclists are capable of safely riding on the street. Anyone can do so with just a minimum of training! I’m tired of being told that riding on the street is a bad thing that only daredevils with no concern for public safety do. Jeez! You would think that people who promote vehicular riding and train people to ride in the street safely are menaces to society!

Why is it so difficult for bike path fans to advocate bike paths AND AT THE SAME TIME support my right to ride in the street? Am I going to get a ticket if I leave their magically protected green bike lane and merge into the (gasp) motor vehicle traffic lane?

Doug Williams

On Wednesday, January 7, 2015 12:19:18 PM UTC-8, John Forester wrote:
The same old propaganda based on foolish superstitions, with only a grain of truth in the presentation. Then there’s the same old propaganda that their designs make cycling safe and useful for cyclists without traffic skills and without compromising safety and usefulness for cyclists with traffic skills. Society should not permit all cyclists to be dumped in the pile of incompetents; those cyclists with traffic competence ought to be allowed to obey the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles.

Jim Baross
​CABO President​
San Diego, CA

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Blatent Appeal for $upport

December 7th, 2014 Comments off

I want you to support CABO with some of your dollars.

Yes, it’s nearing the end of 2014, a good time for making tax deductible contributions to non-profit organizations. CABO, the Calif. Assoc. of Bicycling Organizations, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization to which donations are considered tax deductible.

You may know that CABO is a volunteer organization relying on the extensive knowledge and experience of our Board members and Area Representatives.

I can state that all of CABO funds are spent in direct support of California bicycling and bicyclists. CABO has low overhead – no administrative costs – no paid staff – no office – no phones – one PO Box – one Sacramento-based professional legislative consultant/lobbyist – some bank fees – some board member insurance. CABO spending is primarily for monitoring and effecting California and Federal legislation with assistance of professional lobbyist; supporting Board member attendance at important forums and meetings; development, purchase and distribution of bicycling educational materials and courses (to CHP staff too!); social media; and costs for legal defense of bicycling issues.

Membership numbers matter both to lend credibility to our efforts but to show our volunteers that you care enough to join.
CABO membership is laughably cheap to encourage participation. All donations in addition to memberships are appreciated and are tax deductible.

If you have enjoyed CABOforum, web site, or our Facebook page posts, if you appreciate the mission and policies of CABO – to protect and promote bicycling in California – become a CABO member and make an annual donation.

Another way to support our work is to have your club or organization join and support CABO. Recommend this to your group.

Send checks directly to –
Alan Forkosh, CABO Treasurer
33 Moss Av, Apt 204
Oakland, CA 94610.

Or use the PayPal Donate button on our web site, under “Membership/Donate.”

Thank you and Happy Holidaze!
Jim Baross, CABO President

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National Trails Highway/Route 66 blocked in Calif?

November 21st, 2014 Comments off

Our friends, Adventure Cycling, are developing a National Trails Highway substantially along old Route 66, great!. But, they are encountering a problem in California where the route is deteriorated significantly with no real plans or funding to fix it. The adjacent freeway prohibits bicycling but seems to be just fine for our use – wide shoulder, etc., but the local Caltrans District 8 has so far said they would keep bikes off the freeway, offering an unreasonably out of the way alternative.

We have provided examples of Calf. freeways that allow bicycling access on their shoulders. We will be bringing the issue to Caltrans Bicycle Advisory Committee on Dec. 4th in Sacramento. Your speaking up to Caltrans and/or elected officials who might care may be useful. [Bike tourism means business.] More info has been posted on the Google Group CABOforum.

The following is from Ginny Sullivan, Director of Travel Initiatives for Adventure Cycling.

I may have mentioned some time ago that we are trying to gain legal access for cyclists to be on I-40 between Ludlow and Barstow in San Bernardino County. The District 8 staff have not been open to providing access despite the fact that the parallel roadway, the National Trails Highway/Old Rte 66 is in horrible condition, the surface pocked with holes, crevasse and a much deteriorated surface. It also flooded recently and is currently closed, when reopened the bridges will have only a 3 ton capacity. We fear future closure and then perhaps construction which will again, close the roadway.

Long story short, we will be asking for the 3rd time for Caltrans D08 to take the necessary steps to open the freeway up to cyclists. We will cite legal code and so on but they are claiming fear of liability. One way to try and overcome that is to show other places in California where cyclists are legally allowed on freeways.

We know that sections of I-5 in SB County are open to cyclists, can you name any from the district you worked in? Or other districts? I think having a few examples could really help our cause. Feel free to ask your present or past colleagues or connect me to them.

Thank you in advance.
Ginny Sullivan
Director of Travel Initiatives
t. 800 755 2453 or 406 532 2769
f. 406 721 8754
150 E Pine St, Missoula, MT 59802

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring and empowering people to travel by bicycle
Get the latest information on the U.S. Bicycle Route System

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Ride to the right ticket appealed

November 21st, 2014 Comments off

Appeal won! A small but significant step toward re-training Sheriff and traffic enforcement personnel in general where and when bicycling may legally occur – “in the way” when warranted. We should provide a loud Thank you to Ron Lacy for making the significant effort to bring this about.

Now it’s important for us to help anyone bicycling to Ride Right; but not too far to the right. And if cited while doing it right, to consult with SDCBC locally or CABO Statewide, to determine when to fight back. Please spread this information to your club, friends, family, etc.

Here’s what just occurred.

This morning, July 18th, I sat through several traffic court appeal hearings at SD Superior Court under Superior Court Judge Kelly Williams. I was there to observe and provide moral support to Ron Lacy for his appeal of a CVC 21202 citation he had been given by SD Sheriff Officer Garcia. Ron had been cited on southbound Pacific Coast Highway south of Swamis for not riding as far to the right per CVC 21202. Officer Garcia claimed that Ron riding slightly to the right of the center of the number 2 (outside) lane was illegally positioned and that this was further established as illegal since another bicyclist road next to and by Ron on his right – that bicyclist thereby being as far right as required. At that trial expert (LCI trained) witness testimony was provided by SDCBC’s Board member Serge Issakov – Serge is also active as an Area Director for CABO. Trial Commissioner/Pro Temp Judge Codaz found Ron guilty. Ron paid his fine and decided to appeal that court’s decision – he didn’t think that he’d been treated fairly, that there was evidently bias against him as a bicyclist, and that the commissioner and Sheriff were not applying the law accurately.

Today Superior Court Judge Wells decided in favor of Ron’s appeal, reversing the decision of the Commissioner. The judge stated that the testimony of Ron and the expert witness about the exceptions to the “… ride as far to the right as practicable” law, CVC 21202 (copied in full below) were not rebutted at the original trail, that riding “in the door zone” can be considered a potential hazard that it is appropriate to avoid by riding further out into a lane. Ron and you won another step toward proving our roadway use rights!

It may be that Judge Wells was more likely to be amenable to considering Ron’s lane positioning as reasonable since, as she stated, she and her husband ride bicycles (“my husband is an avid bicyclist”) and are aware of the lane positioning issues. We’d do well to encourage more traffic enforcement personnel to become bicyclists, familiar with traffic laws and best practices; cops, sheriffs, commissioners, judges, attorneys.

Some notes of the appeal hearing:
1. There was no evidence presented at the original trial that the exceptions in 21202 did not apply; there was no rebuttal to Ron and the expert witnesses assertion that the exceptions were applicable.
2. The opposing attorney tried to bring up that Ron was not riding single-file when the other bicyclist was next to him; the judge state that there is no CVC against two-abreast riding… that single-file riding is not required.
3. The opposing attorney mentioned that Ron was impeding other traffic – a fact disputed by Ron’s testimony (and Ron was not cited for CVC 22400)
4. The opposing attorney was asked by Judge Wells if she was a bike rider; the attorney said she rode a bike but not much in traffic.
5. The judge would not accept that there was any evidence at the original trail establishing that there was bias shown by the Commissioner or the Sheriff Officer (maybe the reversal of the verdict will send a message to Garcia and Codaz).
5. Judge Wells suggested that bicycling advocates might pursue legislative changes and more Bike Lanes to help make roadway positioning rules more clear.

I recommend that we all make all our bicycling associates to ride lawfully but is cited inappropriately, to contact SDCBC or CABO to discuss options; fighting bad tickets is one way to turn around the bias against our roadway rights.

CVC 21202. (a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations:
(1) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.

(2) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.

(3) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge, subject to the provisions of Section 21656. For purposes of this section, a “substandard width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

(4) When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.

(b) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway of a highway, which highway carries traffic in one direction only and has two or more marked traffic lanes, may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of that roadway as practicable.

Amended Sec. 4, Ch. 674, Stats. 1996. Effective January 1, 1997.

Jim Baross
​CABO President
SDCBC Spokesperson
LCI #185​
San Diego, CA

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An attempt to clarify CABO opposing AB 1193

August 29th, 2014 Comments off

Some people have said they’re confused by our opposition. Maybe this will help?

The California Association of Bicycling Organizations opposes AB 1193 (Ting) as passed by the Legislature for the following reasons.
· We are frustrated with the lack of movement by Caltrans to better provide safety for bicycling. (The number of annual roadway fatalities of bicyclists has been rising while the total number of all roadway fatalities has fallen!) This frustration fostered the California Bicycle Coalition to promote the bill against our advice.

· Much of the frustration comes from Caltrans’ failure to appropriately follow the Legislatures intent for AB 819 (Wiekowski, 2012) for starting a process for permitting local governments design exceptions for experimenting with new ideas for better Bikeways. The intent of AB 819 is to to allow for creative and innovative design improvements, to collect valuable data for evaluating them and eventually incorporating them into standards, and to relieve local agencies of the threat of liability for their experimentation. This process needs to be strengthened, not abandoned, so that agencies can be encouraged to help Caltrans update bikeway standards by evidence-based review.

· AB 1193 does conflicting things;

1) it requires Caltrans to establish Class IV, Cycletracks standards – a good thing – but at the same time it would allow local governments to ignore State standards.

2) it allows Caltrans to side-step its mandated oversight role for Bikeway standards

3) it allows Caltrans to ignore AB 819 leaving local governments no process or encouragement of experimenting with Highway Design Manual Bikeway designs. We want better designs, but not unsafe ones and not with each city doing their own thing – inconsistency leads to confusion – confusion contributes to collisions and deaths.

· A hidden intent of the bill’s proponents is for wholesale adoption/use of an upstart coalition, referred to as NACTO, to provide acceptable bikeway safety design guidance. NACTO, the brand new National Assoc. of City Transportation Officials is a popular movement of new-urbanism. Their evolving guide, an “Urban Bikeway Design Guide”, provides exciting cutting edge encouragement but little guidance for safety standards, and some designs encourage traffic movements that are illegal per our California Vehicle Code. Although their Guide is endorsed by many groups – including Caltrans – it is endorsed ONLY for its innovative ideas, not as providing necessary and reliable safety design standards!

We support encouraging the use in California of appropriate new bikeway ideas, we assert that bikeway minimum safety design guidance should apply equally statewide – there should not be potentially confusing differences in bikeway types between cities or counties. We also are fearful that agencies would, on their own, mistakenly construct incompletely thought-out facilities that could create hazards for people bicycling and other road users.
Although the name of the newly defined type of facility has been changed from “protected bike lane” to “cycle track,” the misleading term “protected bikeway” remains at 3:8, 3:11, 3:21, 4:24, and 5:8.

CABO would support an effort to implement AB 1193′s original purpose, defining cycle tracks and requiring Caltrans to establish standards for them. Otherwise, we urge you to oppose it.

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