Contra Costa Air Quality

2018 is here, and with it some new laws for transit and vanpool commuter benefits, walking and driving. Pre-Tax Commuter Benefit: If your employer offers a program where you can pay for transit or vanpool commuting expenses with pre-tax dollars, the monthly cap for that benefit has risen to $260 for 2018. The pre-tax cap for biking expenses remains at $20. Pedestrian Crossing Signals (AB 390): For crosswalk signals which include a countdown timer, it is now legal for a pedestrian to enter the crosswalk after the countdown has started, as long as they can make it across by the time the counter reaches zero.... Read the rest
As part of a Federal spending-and-tax bill which was passed in December, this year commuters will be able to set aside up to $255 per month in pre-tax dollars to pay for public transportation. Not only is this a substantial increase over last year’s pre-tax transit benefit ($130), but now the benefit to transit commuters is equal to the parking benefit offered to commuters who drive. The new law also guarantees that the two benefits will remain equal in the future.... Read the rest
In October, Governor Brown signed legislation into law which clarifies how electric bicycles (e-bikes) should be operated in the state of California. The law, which takes effect January 1, creates three classes of e-bikes. Class 1 consists of pedal-assist e-bikes while Class 2 consists of e-bikes with throttles. Both classes are limited to motor-assisted speeds of 20 miles per hour and will be allowed to use the same lanes, paths & roadways as traditional (non-electric) bicycles.... Read the rest
Right Turns and Bike Lanes With California’s Three Feet for Safety law now in effect, we thought we’d present an overview of California laws designed to help drivers and cyclists share the road safely Motorists & Cyclists Rights and Responsibilities: Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists. Both have the right to use the roadway; both are responsible for signaling turns and stops, as well as stopping at all red lights and stop signs.... Read the rest
Last week, the California legislature passed a bill that may make you think twice before whipping out your phone. If signed into law, the fine for driving and texting/talking without a hands free device will jump to $309 (up from $189). Violate the law a second time, and get a point on your driving record. The Senate Bill 28 also bans handheld phone while riding a bicycle. Currently, no low forbids biking on a cellphone, but it certainly looks dangerous.... Read the rest