Carter Zinn was Instrumental in Drafting A.B. 1193 Which Created Class IV Cycle Tracks in California

In fact, due to their unique understanding of the laws as they apply to bicycle riding, Carter Zinn was invited to participate in the drafting of Assembly Bill 1193 sponsored by Assemblyman Phil Ting.

AB 1193 made some profound changes in California laws regarding bicycle facilities. Primarily, it amended Streets and Highways Code section 890.4 which had established the three types of bike facilities permissible in California:

  • Class I “multiuse paths”, or “bike paths”, which are physically separate from roadways and upon which motor vehicles are not allowed;
  • Class II “Bike Lanes” which are pained bike lanes on existing roadways; and
  • Class III “Bike Routes” which are indicated by signs and painted stencils on the roadway and designated as preferred routes for bicyclist to use given such factors as width of lane, speed of traffic, lines of site, and

AB 1193 created a fourth type of bicycle facility in section 890.4(d), called “Cycle Tracks.” Class IV Cycle Tracks are lanes designed for bicycle use only that are located on roadways used by cars, but are physically separated from auto traffic by grade separation, flexible posts, inflexible physical barriers, or on-street parking. A perfect example of a modern Class IV cycle track that was able to be constructed due to the passage of AB 1193 is the stretch of Telegraph Avenue in Oakland.

Class IV Cycle Tracks have been built and designed in Europe for years, and were starting to be utilized in the United States. However, many cities and counties in California did not feel comfortable designing and building these bikeways until the Streets and Highways Code reflected that they were an acceptable alternative bikeway design. The enactment of AB 1193 that brought Streets and Highways Code section 890.4 into existence was critical to this effort because now cities and counties feel that they will not expose themselves to liability by designing and building cycle tracks in their localities.

AB 1193 also enabled California cities and counties to start funding and building physically separate Class IV bikeways across the state because it amended Streets and Highways Code Section 891 to expressly permit public agencies to consider following the design guidance for Cycle Tracks provided by a national association of public agency transportation officials. This was an important step given that the California Department of Transportation Highway Design Manual does not include any design guidance for Class IV Cycle Tracks. However, the design manuals published by organizations like National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), both widely respected traffic engineering organizations, did contain such guidelines, which AB 1193 expressly permitted California agencies to follow when designing and building their own Cycle Tracks.

In fact, due to his intimate familiarity with the laws that govern bicycles and cars on the roadways, since 2013, attorney Carter Zinn is lucky to serve as Chairman of the Mill Valley Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee where he gets to work with traffic engineering firms to design and build safer bicycle facilities in Mill Valley.