Asm. Tasha Boerner Horvath’s Bill (AB 1017) Signed into Law to Improve Safety Standards for At-Grade Pedestrian Railroad Crossings

Thursday, September 5, 2019

SACRAMENTO, CA - Assembly Bill 1017 (AB 1017), authored by Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath, was signed into law today by Governor Gavin Newsom. AB 1017 provides cities and counties with a safety assessment of planned at-grade railroad crossing projects before they submit applications to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for approval. This is Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath’s first bill to be signed into law.

“Adding and restoring connectivity in our rail corridor is a top priority for our district and our state. Making it easier for people to walk, bike, push strollers, or use wheelchairs to go to back and forth between our beaches, businesses, and residences means decreased greenhouse gas emissions and increased safety for residents and visitors alike,” said Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath. “AB 1017 is a big step forward for our ability to plan and prioritize these types of crossings, and by providing technical information earlier in the planning process, we are saving taxpayer dollars.”

This bill makes engineers’ recommendations available to cities and counties during the planning process to reduce the number of changes, project extensions, and costs to cities for revisions once a plan has been filed with the CPUC. Incorporating a safety assessment in the midst of the planning process can reduce the danger at railroad crossings for pedestrians, as well as prevent costly project delays.

“The City of Encinitas is bifurcated by a railway, separating much of the City’s residences from the many businesses on Highway 101 and from the beach, which is a significant source of recreation for the community, as well as a popular destination for tourists,” said Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear. “Safe locations to cross railways are critical for reducing transportation by motor vehicles and to increase pedestrian safety.”

“As someone who started down the path of public service as a mom trying to get a stop sign in her neighborhood, I think it is only appropriate that my first bill signed into law will help make our communities safer,” said Assemblymember Boerner Horvath “Commonsense solutions that make our lives better is why I came to Sacramento and I am thankful for Governor Newsom’s support of this measure and very proud to see this bill become law.”

AB 1017 will take effect on January 1, 2020.

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