California bill AB 117 to incentivize ebikes

Cool!

(1) Maximize replacement of motor vehicle trips with electric bicycle trips.
(2) Prioritize funding for individuals from low-income households.
(3) Restrict eligibility for the program to individuals and households with incomes below the maximum limits established in the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project.
(4) Support for related programs and benefits, such as safety education, with up to 10 percent of the total funding for pilot project.
(5) Provide support for a variety of electric bicycles, including, but not limited to, bicycles to help people with disabilities; utility bicycles for carrying equipment or passengers, including children; and folding bicycles.
(6) Support local small businesses and organizations that provide services to people who use electric bicycles, such as retail bicycle shops and nonprofit organizations, such as community bicycle shops.
(7)
Collaborate with other state departments and agencies to enforce safeguards against fraudulent activity by sellers and purchasers of electric bicycles in accordance with law.
 
The $10 million got approved, way to go California!

 
This is fantastic!

I hope it reduces traffic congestion at least in some parts of the city.
 
Ravi, just a little background on congestion. With latent demand, there is always a sizeable workforce waiting to take the place of any replaced trips. So if x people decides to use bikes (ie maybe 2% of all trips) instead of their car, there will always by x+1 willing to take the place of those replaced trips. So if that x figure is largely travelling between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. (the cyclists would likely be the most local commuters), those who are leaving at 7 a.m., even 6 or 5 a.m., might now leave later and fill those spaces. If we focus on congestion reduction, we'll always be disappointed. So urbanists argue that the goal should not be to reduce congestion, but give people the most options and to make transportation more equitable; with many options, if you decide to drive, then you should pay the full cost of that decision.

If anything, urbanists argue that traffic congestion is a sign of a healthy economy. One major change California is undertaking is moving away from LOS (level of service) which measures how long it takes someone to go from points A to B, and instead use other measurable indicators, like quality of life that a change in transportation can bring. LOS has been disastrous for bicycles/active transportation because they don't measure the impact adding a lane to a road has on active transportation.

One example of induced demand was the adding a lane to the I-405 through Los Angeles. They predicted it would shave about 10 minutes off a commute. By the time it was built, more housing was added along the 405 by developers looking to sell it as an easier commute and more people were willing to take jobs farther away (based on the promise of an easier drive). The day the lane officially opened, the trip was 1 minute longer. People argued "imagine what would have happened had they not built it" but that argument is weak. Highway lanes can only carry ~2,000 cars/hour. But a heavy rail line can carry upwards of 100,000 people/hour. So the answer is always, if there is congestion, to build rail and better active transportation options, not widen roads.

Most trips in the US are less than 3 miles. If we wanted more drastic change, we need to add congestion pricing and even Vehicle Miles Traveled pricing. We take the excess funding and improve active transportation. That will immediately force people to reconsider whether driving that half mile to run an errand is worth it (or at least bundle trips for more efficiency). This would also entice delivery people to use ebikes instead of trucks, and it would also balance the argument that people choose to buy big heavy vehicles because they will have to pay more of the damage associated with their "market choices" (since most road maintenance is taken from general fund, the market mechanisms are not really "choices" in the market sense).
 
$10 million? Its California. The lunch tab is more than that at the Capitol cafeteria on a weekday. Talk about a symbolic gesture...
 
Ravi, just a little background on congestion. With latent demand, there is always a sizeable workforce waiting to take the place of any replaced trips. So if x people decides to use bikes (ie maybe 2% of all trips) instead of their car, there will always by x+1 willing to take the place of those replaced trips. So if that x figure is largely travelling between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. (the cyclists would likely be the most local commuters), those who are leaving at 7 a.m., even 6 or 5 a.m., might now leave later and fill those spaces. If we focus on congestion reduction, we'll always be disappointed. So urbanists argue that the goal should not be to reduce congestion, but give people the most options and to make transportation more equitable; with many options, if you decide to drive, then you should pay the full cost of that decision.

If anything, urbanists argue that traffic congestion is a sign of a healthy economy. One major change California is undertaking is moving away from LOS (level of service) which measures how long it takes someone to go from points A to B, and instead use other measurable indicators, like quality of life that a change in transportation can bring. LOS has been disastrous for bicycles/active transportation because they don't measure the impact adding a lane to a road has on active transportation.

One example of induced demand was the adding a lane to the I-405 through Los Angeles. They predicted it would shave about 10 minutes off a commute. By the time it was built, more housing was added along the 405 by developers looking to sell it as an easier commute and more people were willing to take jobs farther away (based on the promise of an easier drive). The day the lane officially opened, the trip was 1 minute longer. People argued "imagine what would have happened had they not built it" but that argument is weak. Highway lanes can only carry ~2,000 cars/hour. But a heavy rail line can carry upwards of 100,000 people/hour. So the answer is always, if there is congestion, to build rail and better active transportation options, not widen roads.

Most trips in the US are less than 3 miles. If we wanted more drastic change, we need to add congestion pricing and even Vehicle Miles Traveled pricing. We take the excess funding and improve active transportation. That will immediately force people to reconsider whether driving that half mile to run an errand is worth it (or at least bundle trips for more efficiency). This would also entice delivery people to use ebikes instead of trucks, and it would also balance the argument that people choose to buy big heavy vehicles because they will have to pay more of the damage associated with their "market choices" (since most road maintenance is taken from general fund, the market mechanisms are not really "choices" in the market sense).
Great point about congestion reductions immediately disappearing from latent demand becoming active.

While congestion pricing is very trendy, I think it's highly underappreciated how reducing parking supply can achieve the same thing without spending lots of money on tolling infrastructure, and even worse, tying the fate of local government to desire to drive (ie the city makes more money when more people want to drive). Reducing parking supply can mean reducing parking requirements in new/old buildings, letting parking owners rent to non tenants, parking taxes, easier permitting to make building on parking lots easier, et Al.

Its sort of like wanting to end smoking while making your parks budget run off tobacco taxes. Either your parks get underfunded or you become ambivalent about smoking despite your original goal.
 
The only way to reduce parking supply short of banning parking businesses is to remove street parking. I don't see people agreeing to let that happen.
 
The only way to reduce parking supply short of banning parking businesses is to remove street parking. I don't see people agreeing to let that happen.
That is false.

1. Removing street parking is already happening via parklets for restaurants providing tables, in many cities. Montreal allows people to grow plants in street parking spaces.

2. Depending on the area, there can be plenty of parking lots, which can house temporary uses (trailers, food trucks, etc) or new buildings sans parking.
 
I'm thinking of congested areas like downtown LA. There's not a lot of public parking options that aren't already owned by businesses. There's some street parking but that's it.
 
I'm thinking of congested areas like downtown LA. There's not a lot of public parking options that aren't already owned by businesses. There's some street parking but that's it.
DTLA is full of surface parking lots. They're owned by landlords waiting for the property to go up in value, usually they're waiting for building permits that multiply the property's value.
 
Thanks @Ravi Kempaiah. I am in that Bay Area of the other CA and will spread the word here. I imagine that lot of college kids will be getting their parents cars when their parents trade in the kids' older cars to take advantage of this program. I am still doing my Thoreau to see if I can use electric bikes instead of even owning a car. I sold my car in January of 2018. The weather here is good enough that I can ride daily. It is working so far.
Check out this build. It is all through frame. You can see the display on the HB. Mid-drive.
 

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First chop off the ugly connectors and wires at the HB, then reduce the weight by 50% and then these superior bikes will fly past over-priced factory eBikes and out last those slugggey porkers for the distance.
 
Thanks @Ravi Kempaiah. I am in that Bay Area of the other CA and will spread the word here. I imagine that lot of college kids will be getting their parents cars when their parents trade in the kids' older cars to take advantage of this program. I am still doing my Thoreau to see if I can use electric bikes instead of even owning a car. I sold my car in January of 2018. The weather here is good enough that I can ride daily. It is working so far.
Check out this build. It is all through frame. You can see the display on the HB. Mid-drive.

Great work!
We are assembling a team of scientists, engineers, and E-bike evangelists to build awesome electric bikes for the next 5-10 years and serve the market.
You should come and join our team in Canada. I am being serious :)
I am happy to discuss it offline.
 
I adore Canada. I love Quebec, not your province. I have only been to the North East once. Man, I hope you are eating the little Macintosh now. They are the best this time of year in your province, so packed with flavor. And the sea food! I am reading a post pandemic Canadian mystery book right now.
Here is an arthritis shift extender. It does not exist, anywhere, I made it. Let's talk. CA to CA.
 

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Thought I’d post an update since I didn’t see any updates on the bill in this thread.
Since the legislative season is over, and I didn’t see or hear about anything like this, I looked up the bill. As of 8/26, it’s been held in committee. For those of you who are not familiar with the political mumbo jumbo, this is basically a way for politicians to kill a bill without saying they’re killing the bill. They always say some “blah blah” about “taking the matter up at a future date” but that rarely happens. I think it’s safe to say that this bill is effectively dead.
Here is a link to the bill history: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billHistoryClient.xhtml?bill_id=202120220AB117
 
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