California Bicycle Coalition

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California Bicycle Coalition
California Bicycle Coalition Logo Vertical Color.jpg
TypeNon-profit organization
PurposeBicycling advocacy
HeadquartersSacramento, California
Region served
California, United States
Executive Director
Dave Snyder

The California Bicycle Coalition (CalBike) is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization based in Sacramento and Oakland that advocates for more bicycling in California. The California Bicycle Coalition Education Fund is a related 501(c)(3) organization that conducts solely charitable functions, mostly by supporting CalBike. Founded in 1994, the California Bicycle Coalition's mission is to "enable more people to bicycle for the health, safety, and prosperity of all Californians." The California Bicycle Coalition has adopted an official goal to double the amount of bicycling in California by 2017 and triple it by 2020.


[1] The California Bicycle Coalition envisions millions of people riding bikes every day in California. Networks of safe streets and paths conveniently connect every destination. People of all ages and abilities enjoy the health and happiness that comes from bicycling. California's local communities are stronger economically thanks to less automobile dependence. Traffic-related injuries are less common and less severe, and fatalities are rare. California is a national model for sustainable transportation.


[2] A detailed copy of the California Bicycle Coalition's strategy can be found through this link.

1. Create robust bicycle networks and related infrastructure in communities throughout California.

Facilitate the planning and construction of networks of streets and paths that are safe and attractive for all kinds of bicycling, from the speedy cycling of highly skilled riders to the inexperienced pedaling of children and the most cautious excursions of seniors. Ensure sufficient transit access, parking, and other facilities as necessary to meet a growing need.

a. Increase state funding for bicycle infrastructure by July 2015.

  • Influence how the new Active Transportation Account disburses money to local agencies and programs its state-controlled funds to increase funding and give priority to complete networks.
  • Win increased funding from existing and new federal and state funding sources, including but not limited to other MAP-21 categories and prospective cap-and-trade revenues.

b. Emphasize the development of high-quality complete bicycle networks.

  • Eliminate outdated restrictions on bikeway design so that by January 2014 most city officials are able to use designs included in the National Association of City Transportation Officials Urban Bikeway Design Guide among others.
  • Promote experimentation in bikeway design.
  • Overhaul bike plan requirements to incent the design and construction of complete bicycle networks by January 2015.
  • Develop quality standards for bicycle networks and get Caltrans to adopt them in a new bikeway design manual by December 2017.

c. Provide sufficient intermodal connections and ancillary facilities.

  • Require enough secure bike parking at transit stations to meet the growing demand.
  • Ensure access to transit vehicles to increase transit ridership.
  • Promote model bicycle parking ordinances for residences and businesses so that 20 of the 30 most populous cities have adopted such policies by 2017.

d. Make the design and construction of bicycle infrastructure more efficient.

  • Change environmental review requirements to reduce planning costs of bicycle infrastructure by 2014.
  • Promote model complete streets policies throughout California so that jurisdictions covering a majority of Californian have good policies in place by 2017.

2. Mainstream bicycling in California.

Use the talent and power of their partner organizations to help all Californians embrace bicycling as part of California culture. Create widespread recognition that bicycling is good for us as individuals and for families and communities for reasons of health, economy, convenience and happiness.

a. Learn about the best ways to talk about bicycling and help implement those best practices at CalBike and at local coalitions.

  • Update CalBike’s brand, style guide, and communications practices and apply these to all campaign marketing by January 2014.
  • Conduct market research and share results and other insights with CalBike's local partners so that all their affiliates are aware of best communications practices by July 2014.

b. Reach as many Californians as possible.

  • Be inclusive with culturally appropriate outreach and programs so that their outreach is conducted in as many languages and media as necessary.
  • Expand Bike to Work Day to increase each year the number of Californians reached by their message.
  • Help allies and businesses communicate positive messages about bicycling.

c. Promote open streets events throughout California.

  • Have an “open streets” event in 20 of the 30 most populous counties.

d. Promote bike-sharing throughout California.

  • Have a fleet of 20,000 bike-share bikes in place throughout California by 2017.

3. Protect people who ride by improving the respect they receive from motorists and the legal system

Ensure that Californians respect the rights to the road of people on bicycles and that the laws, regulations, and legal system promote bicycling and protect those who choose to ride.

a. Promote safe passing.

  • Change the language in the drivers’ manual about safe sharing of the roadway and double the attention given to the issue in the manual and driving test by December 2016.

b. Amend laws and regulations as necessary to improve the legal environment for bicycling.

  • Conduct research and outreach in 2013 to determine the most effective actions in 2014 and beyond, including but not limited to the following:
    • Require 3-feet when passing.
    • Make it easier to reduce the speed limit on “bicycle boulevards.”
    • Require police reports to include interviews with both parties in a traffic crash in order to be valid.
    • Pass a vulnerable road users bill.
    • Mandatory license suspensions for drivers who kill somebody while driving and/or are found at fault for a hit and run.
    • Allowing motorists to cross the double-yellow line to pass.

4. Grow the bicycle advocacy movement throughout California.

Strengthen the organizations and support the individuals who advocate for more bicycling. Increase membership and financial resources of organizations, create new ones where they’re needed, and help individuals be knowledgeable and supported by their peers and experts in the movement.

a. Support Local Advocacy so that aggregate membership in local advocacy organizations grows by 10% each year.

  • Create and support the Policy Advisory Council, holding effective meetings with at least two-thirds attendance most months of the year.
  • Continue and improve CalBike communications, providing high-quality clip-and-paste material for dissemination on a monthly basis.
  • Strengthen the relationship between CalBike and our local partners by implementing the affiliation agreement and expanding its scope and reach to triple the number of organizations formally affiliated by December 2014.
  • Fiscally sponsor new groups when necessary.
  • Link local organizations with national organizations, providing a conduit for resources and a clear channel of communication.

b. Hold the CalBike Summit in 2013, 2015, and 2017 for advocates and media.

  • Bring together the leaders of bicycle advocacy and allies and the media, growing the event by 25% each time over the 2011 Summit of about 140 attendees.

c. Conduct best practices in online outreach.

  • Emphasize local membership, including a feature on that directs visitors to their own local coalition based on their location.
  • Use social media effectively to increase outreach and connect Californians to their local advocacy organization.

d. Foster and support other pro-bicycling caucuses

  • Promote, provide technical and administrative assistance, and convene get-togethers of like-minded bicycling advocates, including but not limited to the following:
    • mayors and local legislators
    • women on bikes
    • recreational bike riders
    • bike retailers
    • low-income advocates
    • cycling groups that focus on communities of color

e. Support lobbying and electioneering.

  • Promote the Legislative Bike Caucus with events, at least one per year, in Sacramento.
  • Develop a bike vote scorecard every even-numbered year.
  • Develop a sample questionnaire for Assembly and Senate candidates every even-numbered year.
  • Create state-of-the-art online lobbying tool matching cycling advocates with their legislators by July 2014.



1994 The California Bicycle Coalition is established as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation with a $10,000 grant from the Bicycle Federation of America.

1997 The California Bicycle Coalition writes and sponsors Assembly Bill 1020, which more than triples the funding allocated to the Bicycle Lane Account, the only California Department of Transportation account dedicated solely to bicycle projects.

1999 The California Bicycle Coalition co-sponsors Assembly Bill 1475, which invests $115,000,000 over five years in bicyclist and pedestrian safety projects near California schools, creating the nation’s first statewide Safe Routes to School program.

The California Bicycle Coalition rewrites the bicycling section of the California Driver’s Manual to better educate motorists about the presence of bicyclists on roads. The California Bicycle Coalition gets the DMV to include a question about bicyclists’ right to “take the lane” in the mix of those questions used on the exam.

2002 The California Bicycle Coalition sponsors the successful California Assembly Concurrent Resolution 211, which directs cities and counties to accommodate bicyclists in all transportation projects by implementing Caltrans Deputy Directive 64 and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s design guidance document on integrating bicycling and walking when making road improvements.

2003 The California Bicycle Coalition fights for bike racks on buses by successfully amending the vehicle code, through Assembly Bill 1409, to allow buses in excess of 45′ in length to operate on California’s highways. The California Bicycle Coalition also works on the “Bicycle Blueprint,” California’s master plan for bicycling. The California Bicycle Coalition hosts the first biennial Walk Bike California Conference (which later became the California by Bike Summit) in Oakland.

2005 The California Bicycle Coalition hosts the second Walk Bike California Conference in Ventura.

2007 The California Bicycle Coalition introduces Assembly Bill 1358, The Complete Streets Act, to ensure that the transportation plans of California communities meet the needs of all users of the roadway including pedestrians, bicyclists, users of public transit, motorists, children, the elderly, and the disabled. AARP California joins the California Bicycle Coalition as the bill’s co-sponsor. The California Bicycle Coalition supports Assembly Bill 57, which indefinitely extends California’s Safe Routes to School program created in 1999. The California Bicycle Coalition hosts the third Walk Bike California Conference in Davis.

2008 Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signs AB 1358 into law and California becomes the largest state to embrace Complete Streets. Meanwhile, The California Bicycle Coalition continues to work closely with Caltrans as the agency revises Deputy Directive 64 (DD-64) to state clearly Caltrans’ intention to adhere to Complete Streets principles as a matter of policy.

2009 The California Bicycle Coalition successfully sponsors Assembly Bill 1464, which establishes within Caltrans a process for designating bicycle routes of regional, statewide and national significance.

2011 View the 2011 Legislative History

  • Sponsored AB 345 requiring Caltrans to include non motorized representatives on its important Traffic Control Devices Committee. Caltrans implemented the legislation in January 2012.
  • The California Bicycle Coalition establishes the Sacramento Legislative Bike Caucus, with co-chairs Senator Michael Rubio (Bakersfield) and Wes Chesbro (Arcata).
  • Reformed the California Traffic Control Devices Committee to include two nonmotorized transportation experts in its ranks. As of February 2012, longtime bicycle advocates John Ciccarelli and Bryan Jones hold seats on the CTCDC.
  • Single-handedly improved the transportation bill in the U.S. Senate thanks to a timely press action two days after Senator Boxer released the draft bill in November 2011.

Generated 1,500 support letters to the Governor for SB 910, the 3-foot passing bill, and developed a base of support of recreational bicyclists.

  • Educated thousands of cyclists through the California Department of Public Health-funded Bike Safe California website, lunchtime seminars, safe cycling instructor trainings, and city planner workshops.
  • Helped more than 100 city planners and engineers learn how to accommodate active transportation in their community plans through six workshops held throughout the state.
  • Convened the California Bike Summit, bringing together more than 100 leaders of bicycling advocacy organizations from around the state to figure out how best to take the next, bigger steps toward a more bicycle-friendly California.

2012 View the 2012 Legislative History

  • Successfully sponsored AB 819 authorizing Caltrans to establish an experimental process for allowing cities and counties to install and evaluate protected bike facilities like those described in the Urban Bikeway Design Guide from the National Association of City Transportation Officials.
  • Successfully sponsored SB 1339 authorizing a 4-year pilot program in the San Francisco Bay Area to adopt a commute benefit requirement.
  • Successfully supported AB 2245 to exempt Class II bikeways (i.e., bike lanes built in the roadway) from environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act.

2013 View the 2013 Legislative History

  • The California Bicycle Coalition won the “Three Feet for Safety Act” when the governor finally signed the bill specifying three feet as the safe amount of clearance motorists should provide when passing a bicycle.
  • With a coordinated effort with their allies in active transportation, they celebrate a 35% increase in bike/ped funding.
  • The California Bicycle Coalition eliminated an archaic regulation that made it hard to remove a traffic lane and replace it with a bike lane.
  • Convened the [1], which received considerable media attention, brought together advocates from all over the state, and helped propel the bicycling movement forward


  3. Merced Sun-Star

External links[edit]