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What’s next after AB 550’s disappointing end

 In Uncategorized

Last week, I learned the incredibly disappointing news from Assemblymember David Chiu that AB 550 did not make it out of the Appropriations Committee. This means the Speed Safety System Pilot Program won’t move forward this legislative session.

Given the lives at stake, this is heartbreaking. Speed safety systems are powerful and needed. And now we must wait even longer to realize this proven solution to slow our streets.

I’ve shared Walk San Francisco’s disappointment with Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez, chair of the Appropriations Committee and Anthony Rendon, speaker of the Assembly. My hope is that the next time a similar bill goes before them, both will see the want and need for this tool in our cities and enthusiastically support it. Take a minute to send an email to them.

But speed safety systems are one of many solutions to slow our streets. This means with you at our side, we will continue to push harder than ever for the other life-saving solutions – especially those that can happen quickly.

At the state level, Walk SF will focus in the upcoming weeks on another bill that’s critically important: AB 43. There are many streets here in San Francisco that should have lower speed limits but the City is unable to change them. Passing AB 43 would give California cities greater freedom to set speed limits based on safety.

In San Francisco, a key upcoming opportunity is when the City releases its draft Vision Zero Action Strategy on June 15. We’re working with the 30+ groups in the Vision Zero Coalition to be sure this strategy includes a comprehensive speed management plan, dramatically expands left turn calming, and dramatically increases the number of ‘Quick Build’ safety projects happening. The public can attend the City’s Vision Zero Task Force Meeting on Tuesday, June 15 from 10 to 11:30am (online) when the Action Strategy will be released. You can join the virtual meeting via Microsoft Teams or by dialing in at (415) 915- 0757 (passcode 30143863#).

I want to thank you. I have felt so much support from all of you – as donors, members, and activists – as Walk SF took the step of sponsoring state legislation for the first time in our 23-year history. I also want to thank those of you who have been injured or lost loved ones in crashes who shared your stories as part of the AB 550 campaign. This took a lot of courage and strength, and I’m so sorry things didn’t go our way.

Finally, I encourage you to thank Assemblymember David Chiu. He was able to find common ground with groups that had opposed AB 550, and crafted such a thoughtful bill.