CalBike Announces 2023 Campaign: INVEST/DIVEST

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SACRAMENTO, CA (March 2, 2023) — Despite California’s reputation as an environmental leader, our transportation sector remains the main source of toxic emissions, climate pollution, and fatalities on our streets. To address this reality, the California Bicycle Coalition today launched its 2023 campaign Invest/Divest: Invest in Our Transportation Future/Divest from Regressive Road-Building.

Cargo bikes carry kids and take cars off of Berkeley’s streets. Photo by Dave Iltis

Invest/Divest is an ambitious campaign to shift California’s transportation spending from traffic-inducing, climate-killing, over-policed, and community-destroying motor vehicle road expansions, to Complete Streets and other projects that make it easier and safer for more people to get around by biking, walking, or using public transportation.

CalBike’s agenda for 2023 continues momentum from last year, lifting up multi-year campaigns like the Bicycle Safety Stop and Complete Streets

“California prides itself on being a climate leader. But our state doesn’t deserve that title as long as it keeps spending billions on transportation projects that increase greenhouse gases while underfunding or completely ignoring much cheaper projects that could bring about the green transportation revolution we desperately need,” said Jared Sanchez, senior policy advocate for CalBike. “The Invest/Divest campaign is the logical path forward to create a green, sustainable transportation future for our state.”

The Invest/Divest campaign aims to build communities where all Californians have equitable access to safe streets, improving health and increasing joy along the way.

2 cyclists ride over I-80 on the Berkeley Bike Bridge. Photo by Dave Iltis

Priorities of the INVEST/DIVEST Campaign

Invest in Complete Streets: Prioritize new safe, accessible, and equitable infrastructure that makes biking, walking, and micromobility convenient and appealing. Invest in safe roadways for all transportation modes, bringing us closer to Vision Zero and our ambitious climate goals.

Invest in Just Streets: We’re expanding the definition of a Complete Street to mean one where people of all identities and bodies are safe from police harassment. To accomplish this, we must decriminalize biking and walking, including bikes treating stop signs as yields—often used in biased, pretextual policing—to make our complete streets safe for all identities and bodies. Remove discriminatory barriers based on class, race, gender, age, ability, and other identities and invest in communities where the safety of all residents is paramount.

Invest in Complete Communities: No more bike lanes to nowhere. Invest in connected bikeways and pedestrian paths that provide safe, integrated access to essential destinations, making active transportation a viable option for more Californians.

Invest in Thriving Communities. Invest in long-term neighborhood safety, security, and wealth that connects sustainable transportation options with affordable housing that is integrated with healthy destinations. We must empower the communities most impacted by harmful transportation investments to choose their own goals, strategies, and projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, local toxic air, and lethal streets.

Divest from Freeway Expansion: Don’t build one more mile of dead-end infrastructure that increases traffic, damages communities, increases fossil fuel dependence, and creates new maintenance bills that California can’t afford to pay. Divest from failed traffic mitigation policies that lead to gridlock, and invest those funds in infrastructure to move California into the future.

Divest from Climate Collapse: Transportation is the biggest contributor to GHG emissions, so we must divest from projects that increase VMT and invest those funds in low- or no-carbon transportation alternatives.

Divest from Environmental Racism: Low-income communities of color are harmed the most by toxic air, freight distribution, displacement, and gentrification pressures. It’s time to divest from projects that bring environmental degradation and invest those funds in historically marginalized communities.

Divest from Enforcement and Criminalization: Californians need safety from the violence of cars, freight trucks, and other forms of publicly-subsidized harm that especially burden and criminalize Black and brown bodies/communities. Divest from racist, militarized traffic enforcement and invest in community resources to support and protect vulnerable residents.

Divest from Policing as a Street Safety Solution: Law enforcement is often positioned as the prevailing authority on street safety, ignoring other forms of community protection. We cannot trust the police to enforce traffic laws equitably without the removal of white supremacy from law enforcement. Therefore, we must remove police enforcement from Vision Zero and other safe streets strategies.

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