General advocacy principles

The California Bicycle Coalition’s advocacy and educational campaign and outreach activities are informed by these principles:

People who bicycle make the world a better place. Bicycling creates healthier, safer and more livable communities. We work to increase the number of people who bicycle.

Bicyclists need good roads. Public roads constitute the primary bicycling network. We strive to ensure that all roads are planned, designed, constructed and maintained so that people can safely and efficiently use them for bicycling.

Trails are important – and fun! Trails can add value to communities and increase bicycling opportunities. We support well-designed, off-road multi-use paths for recreation and transportation.

Mountain bicyclists deserve reasonable access. Bicyclists usually can share trails with hikers, equestrians and other users, so we support access to most trails.

Bicyclists need parking facilities. The availability of secure and convenient bike parking at workplaces, schools, stores, transit stations and other destinations is essential.

Bicyclists need multimodal access. Public transit agencies and private transportation companies should provide affordable and convenient space or facilities for carrying bicycles on buses, trains, shuttles, ferries and airplanes.

Bicycling is a skill. Knowing and applying vehicular cycling principles is key to enjoying cycling on public roadways. Public agencies and private organizations should increase the number of Californians who receive vehicular cycling instruction.

The legal system must serve bicyclists. Police officers, judges, juries and attorneys must recognize that people who bicycle are legitimate roadway users deserving of all protections of law afforded to other roadway users. Enforcement of, and penalties for, moving violations should be commensurate with the potential consequences. Public agencies should be held accountable for providing reasonably safe roads and trails for people who bicycle.

Driving is a privilege. Improving the education of motorists regarding cyclists’ right to use public roadways and ridding the streets of unlicensed, unskilled or reckless drivers are two imperatives.

Transportation, planning, traffic calming and land-use reforms can benefit bicyclists. An excess of cars and trucks on our public roadways makes bicycling less comfortable and safe than it should be. We support practical attempts to reduce the speed or number of motor vehicles when those efforts demonstrate a clear benefit to bicyclists. We also support land-use planning that makes bicycling safer and more convenient.