Reforming the CTCDC

UPDATE: February 2012. The California Traffic Control Devices Committee votes to amend its bylaws and welcomes its two new members, John Ciccarelli and Bryan Jones, as representatives of the nonmotorized road users!  

Our goal: Expand the membership of the California Traffic Control Devices Committee, which advises Caltrans on standards for traffic signs, signals and pavement markings, to represent all roadway users.

The problem

All over California, our progress toward creating safer streets is being blocked because Caltrans limits the use of innovative safety treatments like green bike lanes and “share the road” markings. Why? One reason is because the California Traffic Control Devices Committee, which advises Caltrans on standards for traffic signs, signals and pavement markings such as bike lanes and crosswalks, has nobody on it representing bicyclists, pedestrians or transit users. Yet the state’s automobile associations have two representatives on the committee!

Hearing only the perspective of motorists, the committee has resisted requests by local agencies to experiment with innovative bicycle facilities, and occasionally has been misinformed about basic state law governing bicycling, how bicyclists operate on the road, and innovations in bicycle facility design. Relying on the committee’s inadequate guidance, Caltrans has failed to represent the needs of those Californians who use bicycles for transportation.

The solution

The California Bicycle Coalition is sponsoring a bill to fix that. Assembly Bill 345, authored by San Diego Assemblymember Toni Atkins, will make important changes to the way Caltrans develops guidance for cities to follow when designing and installing bicycle facilities.

UPDATES

9/8/11: VICTORY! The Assembly has placed AB 345 on the inactive file in response to a decision by Caltrans to expand the CTCDC membership administratively. Caltrans plans to add two members and two alternates representing nonmotorized road users, which includes bicyclists and pedestrians. Caltrans’ decision represents a major victory on behalf of broader representation on the California Traffic Control Devices Committee and Caltrans deserves much credit for initiating this process. Unless Caltrans fails to carry out its plan, AB 345 will remain inactive.

9/19/11: We wrote this letter to Caltrans congratulating the agency on its action and emphasizing some points to consider as they improve the membership on the CTCDC.