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.

Calif. Legislation incremental success, SB 672

September 2nd, 2017 Comments off

Senate Bill 672 (Fuller) is our effort to remove the S​unset from the ​existing/prior​ legislative requirement that new or upgraded on-demand/traffic actuated signals ​are to ​be able to detect bicycles and motorcycles. When our origin bill to require sensitive signals was passed there was an expiration date included – a ​Sunset. That ​Sunset is to trigger – end the requirement – at the end of this year​/2017​ if our SB 672 does not get passed and signed!

Success so far… Assembly Committee passed the bill w/o amending. Now it goes to full Assembly with a good likelihood of passage… and signature from Governor.
A communication – call, email, visit – with your own Assemblymember could be useful.
Later we’ll ask for an encouragement to be sent to the Governor to sign it into law.

​More info.​
It seems pretty clear to me and everyone I talk to that traffic signals should be able to ​detect and ​work for people bicycling and motorcycling as well as for people using ​motor vehicles/​cars.​ It had been surprising to many people there had been no requirement or specifications in California for traffic signals to detect us – we had been invisible! Our previous efforts to get the initial legislation passed and to help Caltrans (thanks to prodigious efforts from CABO’s Bob Shanteau and Alan Wachtel​!) establish guidance criteria for detection were successful though we had to accept the Sunset provision to get it passed originally.

​The Assembly Appropriations Committee Chair Loretta Gonzales Fletcher​ ​and Assemblymember Todd Gloria have helped us get it passed through that committee … ​may​by your Assemblymember did too? ​Our Lobbyist, James Lombardo, provided some interesting insights about the legislative/political issues that almost held up our bill. It seems that even relatively minor bills can get caught up being partisan issues. “Sad.”

​​We heard that ​​someone at ​Caltrans ​apparently originally gave info that the bill implementation would cost $400K​, making passing it a tougher sell. We lobbied for more accurate cost estimates and got ‘em! ​See attached decision, “FISCAL SUMMARY​ – Removing the sunset of the traffic-actuated signal provisions has no fiscal impact because it simply allows​ current practice to continue.​”​

Here’s the bill​ -​

SECTION 1. Section 21450.5 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:
21450.5. (a) A traffic-actuated signal is an official traffic control signal, as specified in Section 445, that displays one or more of its indications in response to the presence of traffic detected by mechanical, visual, electrical, or other means.
(b) Upon the first placement of a traffic-actuated signal or replacement of the loop detector of a traffic-actuated signal, the traffic-actuated signal shall, to the extent feasible and in conformance with professional traffic engineering practice, be installed and maintained so as to detect a lawful bicycle or motorcycle on the roadway.
(c) Cities, counties, and cities and counties shall not be required to comply with the provisions contained in subdivision (b) until the Department of Transportation, in consultation with these entities, has established uniform standards, specifications, and guidelines for the detection of bicycles and motorcycles by traffic-actuated signals and related signal timing.
(d) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2018, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2018, deletes or extends that date.

Jim Baross​
Bikes Right; and Left & Center
Bicycling Instructor/Advocate
CABO President
CBAC Vice-Chair
SHSP Bicycling Co-Chair
SDCBC Board Member
Grandfather, Husband, Father, Brother

Categories: Miscellaneous Tags:

FHWA MUTCD allows bicycle left turn prohibition?

July 11th, 2017 Comments off

Yes, perhaps this would never? or rarely occur, but it shouldn’t be allowed at all.

CABO will recommend that the new FHWA interim approval regarding two-stage bicycle turn boxes when applied in Calif. not allow implementation of a mandatory prohibition for bicyclists to perform standard vehicular-style left turns if motorists are not similarly prohibited. I hope that you would support CABO in this effort.

Prohibiting people bicycling from performing a normal vehicular left turn where vehicle operators are not prohibited from making a left turn is an unacceptable diminution of bicyclists ability to travel effectively. I am not opposing the interim approval for use of bicycle turn boxes, only the provision allowing prohibition of bicycle movements. It seems fairly obvious that it benefits people bicycling better to leave the option as it is, for the person bicycling to choose which method of turning left serves them best at any one time and location.

None of the following provisions of the FHWA MUTCD would be necessary when bicyclists intending to turn left have the option/choice/right to use the bicycle turn boxes or to perform a vehicular-style left turn.

The use of regulatory signing for two-stage bicycle turn boxes is required where use of the boxes by turning bicycles is mandatory. The signs used shall be the Two-Stage Bicycle Turn Box Advance (R9-23) regulatory sign and the TwoStage Bicycle Turn Box (R9-23a, R9-23b) regulatory sign as shown in Attachment IA-20-2. The following design and installation conditions apply to the use of regulatory signing for two-stage bicycle turn boxes.
i. Mandatory use of a two-stage bicycle turn box by turning bicycles should be limited to those locations where physical or operational conditions make it impracticable or unsafe for a bicyclist to merge and make the appropriate turn as would any other vehicle.
ii. Where use of a two-stage bicycle turn box by turning bicycles is mandatory, the Two-Stage Bicycle Turn Box Advance (R9-23) regulatory sign shall be mounted in advance of an intersection. The sign should be placed at an adequate distance in advance of the intersection to discourage bicycle traffic from unnecessarily moving out of the bike lane in preparation for a turning movement.
iii. Where use of a two-stage bicycle turn box by turning bicycles is mandatory, at least one Two-Stage Bicycle Turn Box (R9-23a or R923b) regulatory sign shall be mounted at the intersection.
1. When the R9-23a sign is used, it shall be mounted on the near side of an intersection.
2. When the R9-23b sign is used, it shall be mounted on the far side of an intersection iv. The minimum size of the Two-Stage Bicycle Turn Box regulatory and Advance regulatory signs shall be 12 inches in width by 18 inches in height.

Categories: Miscellaneous Tags:

for a paradigm shift, read The Tragedy of the Commons of the Urban Arterial.

June 6th, 2017 Comments off

I recommend reading this paper co-authored by Michelle DeRobertis, a former CBAC participant among other activities. It is published in the June 2017 issue of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Journal.

Abstract – “The convergence of many issues makes it timely to reassess the role of the urban arterial: environmental concerns, climate change, complete streets, sustainability, urban livability indices, and indeed less per capita driving. While some might say technology will save us, this paper purports that something more fundamental needs to change.”

The authors’ recommendation seems to be for appropriate control of access/use to the public roadway/”Commons” to reduce motor vehicle use(abuse?) and provide better choices … some via coercive processes – charge for parking, etc..

The Tragedy of the Commons of the Urban Arterial.
You can click on the title of the article within this link: or perhaps

Categories: Miscellaneous Tags:

CABO annual General Membership and Board Meeting, May 27th

May 22nd, 2017 Comments off

The annual meeting for general updates, the election of officers, appointment of Area Representatives, etc. is May 27th.
Is your membership current? It’s not too late to renew, signup, etc. Click above under membership or use

We will meet in person at the VIP Board Room for the Paso Robles Fair Grounds, upstairs in the Frontier Town area of the grounds; to the right of the main entrance. Participation by teleconferencing will be available for members beginning at 1 PM – for those members who will not be attending in person. Members may contact me directly for teleconferencing information. The official meeting will begin at 2 PM.

Renew and or add CABO memberships via or directly via

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Help support SB 672, traffic signals that “see” you

March 31st, 2017 Comments off

Here’s what we are pedaling to Calif. State Legislators. Copy and send to your State Senator if you agree.
Support for SB 672
Dear Chairman Beall,
On behalf of the California Association of Bicycling Organizations (CABO), I respectfully request a Yes Vote on SB 672. This Legislation if passed into law would remove the Sunset on then Assemblymember Fuller’s bill (AB 1581 2007-2008 Session) that required cities, counties, and Caltrans to provide traffic signals that detect bicycles and motorcycles when new or modified installation were made of on-demand/traffic-actuated traffic signals. The evolution toward light weight bikes and parts to increase riding efficiency and fuel economy makes this requirement even more important for safety in the future. The original bill, AB 1581, passed unanimously in both Houses, with no No Votes but currently Sunsets on January 1st, 2018.

Traffic actuated signals were not originally designed with bicycles and motorcycles in mind. Many traffic actuated signals are activated by detecting magnetic mass, which bicycles and motorcycles have much less of than automobiles. When an on-demand/traffic-actuated traffic signal does not detect and change for someone, they are at best unreasonably delayed or at worst they must enter the intersection against a red light- a dangerous situation for anyone. Over the last 10 years the use of traffic-actuated signals that detect bicycles and motorcycles has been successful at reducing these dangerous occurrences. Removing the Sunset will continue progress toward making travel safer for everyone in California!

Please Vote Yes on SB 672 and urge the other members of the Transportation and Housing Committee to also vote Yes on SB 672. Let’s all continue to improve traffic safety in California.
Thank you.

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Facebook donation matching opportunity

November 29th, 2016 Comments off

I have taken the opportunity to participate in the Facebook Donate Tuesday opportunity; donations are to be matched through this process. Try it out at

And/or renew your membership or donate directly via this web site under “membership” and thanks.

Ride on.
Jim Baross, CABO President

Categories: Miscellaneous Tags:

Potential for erosion of road use ability!

November 1st, 2016 Comments off

I have been given OK to distribute the draft December agenda for the Calif. Traffic Control Devices Committee (CTCDC). The draft December agenda has some proposals to affect bicycling that you may find controversial and needing modification… or you may like them as is. See the attached agenda for yourself; search bicycle to find the issues within the large and long agenda.

Here is a link to their December draft agenda,!AnjdU7YRzTcf6FRqV2jFRWholT7N or!AnjdU7YRzTcf6FR0EuK9MMYayxUM . Or ask me to send you the file.
Sept meeting notes –

Of first concern to me is the apparent conflating the new Separated Bikeways, Class IV with Bike Lanes, Class II. The Calif. Association of Bicycling Organizations (CABO) worked hard to make it clear that Class IVs are not subject to the CVC 21208 requirements that are applicable to Bike Lanes. It is unfortunate and apparently contributing to Caltrans confusion that many people, including some bicycling advocates, mistakenly call Class IV bikeways “Protected Bike Lanes”! PLEASE STOP IT! People bicycling are required per CVC 21208 to bike within a Bike Lane except under limited circumstances. Class IV Separated Bikeways offer some improvements but people bicycling should NOT be REQUIRED to use them either by law or by misunderstandings due to their being titled or signed as Bike Lanes!

I will be collecting comments to compile and submit on behalf of the Calif. Bicycle Advisory Committee (CBAC) to Caltrans for potential inclusion with the final CTCDC agenda. Though the CBAC members and the CTCDC staff will decide what gets included, I encourage you to offer your comments, ideas, etc. for potential inclusion with the CBAC submittal. Send to

Categories: Miscellaneous Tags:

Why and how bicyclists are subject to traffic rules in California

October 13th, 2016 Comments off

Have you ever wondered why bicyclists are subject to following traffic laws in California? Many people think bicycles are legally vehicles, and that’s why, but that’s actually not the case. This is one of those complicated legalistic issues that all bicyclists in CA should know. So let’s explore the vehicle code to find out more.

Section 231 of the California Vehicle Code explicitly defines bicycles to be devices, not vehicles:

DIVISION 1. WORDS AND PHRASES DEFINED [100 - 681] ( Division 1 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )
231. A bicycle is a device upon which any person may ride, propelled exclusively by human power through a belt, chain, or gears, and having one or more wheels. Persons riding bicycles are subject to the provisions of this code specified in Sections 21200 and 21200.5.

Further, bicycles are explicitly excluded from the definition of a vehicle in Section 670:

DIVISION 1. WORDS AND PHRASES DEFINED [100 - 681] ( Division 1 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )
670. A “vehicle” is a device by which any person or property may be propelled, moved, or drawn upon a highway, excepting a device moved exclusively by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.

So bicycles are not vehicles, but bicyclists are subject to certain provision of the vehicle code, and we should find out more in Sections 21200 and 21200.5:

Section 21200.5 just addresses bicycling under the influence (prohibited), but CVC 21200 is much more interesting as it is quite explicit about bicyclist rights and responsibilities:

21200. (a) A person riding a bicycle or operating a pedicab upon a highway has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this division, including, but not limited to, provisions concerning driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages or drugs, and by Division 10 (commencing with Section 20000), Section 27400, Division 16.7 (commencing with Section 39000), Division 17 (commencing with Section 40000.1), and Division 18 (commencing with Section 42000), except those provisions which by their very nature can have no application.

Those bolded words, especially “by this division”, are key.

But before we discuss the bolded portions, we must recognize that a bicyclist is subject to the same provisions as is “the driver of a vehicle”, not “the driver of a motor vehicle”. The distinction may seem trivial but it’s quite significant in considering the applicability of sections like Section 23109 which prohibits people from participating in “a motor vehicle speed contest on a highway”. Now, is a bicycle race a “motor vehicle speed contest”? Of course not. Since no motors are involved, Section 23109 cannot apply to bicyclists.

To fully understand Section 21200 we have to know that that vehicle code is divided into named and numbered ”divisions”. Section 21200 is in Division 11 of the vehicle code, so “by this division” refers to “Division 11 of the vehicle code”. The title of Division 11 is “Rules of the Road”, so it makes sense that those sections should apply to bicyclists, and it covers CVC 21000 through 23336. But this also means that provisions outside of Division 11 – sections which are not part of the “Rules of the Road”, not within the range 21000-23336, do not apply to bicyclists (except for a few relatively insignificant sections outside of Division 11 we will discuss below).

In other words, sections dealing with vehicle equipment, like CVC 25250 (“Flashing lights are prohibited on vehicles “) do not apply to bicyclists, because they are in Division 12 (titled “Equipment of Vehicles”), not in Division 11.

Now, regarding that longer clause in Section 21200, “… and by Division 10 (commencing with Section 20000), Section 27400, Division 16.7 (commencing with Section 39000), Division 17 (commencing with Section 40000.1), and Division 18 (commencing with Section 42000),”:

  1. Division 10 is very short and deals with accidents and requirements for filing accident reports.
  2. Section 27400 (the only section in Division 12 which applies to bicyclists) addresses headsets and earplugs.
  3. Division 16.7 is about bicycle registration and licensing. Mostly arcane and inapplicable in most local jurisdictions.
  4. Divisions 17 and 18 define general vehicle code legal process (“Offenses and Prosecution” and “Penalties and Disposition of Fees, …”)

Finally, let’s look at that final clause in Section 21200: “except those provisions which by their very nature can have no application”. This clause limits the bolded portions even further in terms of how they apply to bicyclists. It cannot expand the scope of what vehicle code sections apply to bicyclists, but it does reduce the scope. For example, consider Section 22400 which is in Division 11:

22400. (a) No person shall drive upon a highway at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic unless the reduced speed is necessary for safe operation, because of a grade, or in compliance with law.
No person shall bring a vehicle to a complete stop upon a highway so as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic unless the stop is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.

This law clearly prohibits driving too slowly (“No person shall drive … at such a slow speed as to impede…”), but can anyone be found in violation for operating too slowly when he or she is operating about as fast as physically possible? How can one be required to comply with a law when it’s impossible to do so? The law cannot require one to travel at a faster speed than is feasibly possible; therefore, Section 22400 can have no application to bicyclists by its “very nature”.

In summary, in California, bicycles are devices, not vehicles, but bicyclists have the same rights as drivers of vehicles and must obey basically the same Rules of the Road (Division 11) as drivers of vehicles. In future articles we will look further into these “Rules of the Road” in Division 11, and closely examine those sections that are specific to bicyclists.

Categories: Legal/Legislative, Safety/Education Tags:

Report Motorist Harassment and Bad Behavior!

May 26th, 2016 Comments off

Safety tip of the week – REPORT aggressive motorists!
REPORT aggressive motorists! If a motorist threatens you with their deadly weapon – their vehicle – get their plate and go to the appropriate police or sheriff department and INSIST that a report is FILED. Attorney Seth Davidson explains why this is so crucial in his piece, Don’t take it lying down:

And a follow-up piece, The people police:

One report alone probably won’t accomplish much. Tragically, police really have to be pushed to pursue these cases. But once they have more than one report on the same driver, and aggressive drivers are likely to be repeat offenders, that’s a pattern, and even reluctant police may be spurred into action. So don’t take it lying down, get that report filed!

Feel free to copy/paste/edit and use this information any way you wish with your clubs.
You can write your own report and insist they file it. The key is to have this report pop up when somebody else files a report on the same license or car description, or the police look it up because of an actual crash. Without that history on file it’s likely to just look like a one-time incident or “accident”. We have to build up records on these sociopaths!

Categories: Miscellaneous Tags:

CABO General Membership Meeting

May 23rd, 2016 Comments off

CABO’s annual General Membership and Board meeting is held every year on Saturday in Paso Robles, CA during the Great Western Bicycle Rally beginning at 1 PM. All CABO members and member organization representatives are invited to attend in person or to participate via teleconference.
For more information or to request teleconference access, contact me, CABO President Jim Baross, via Facebook PM, or via email to

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