Where the Rubber Meets the Road

November 4, 2013, by Sarah Olinger

Two new California laws will become effective on January 1, 2014, which will make it easier for cities, counties, and other government agencies to promote the use of rubber tires in two different ways:

AB 513 (Frazier) creates the Rubberized Asphalt Concrete Market Development Act, which requires CalRecyle to award grants to public agencies for public works and disability access projects that utilize rubberized asphalt concrete.  Rubberized asphalt concrete (“RAC”) is an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional road paving material.  RAC is made by blending ground-up recycled tires with asphalt to produce a binder, which is then mixed with conventional aggregate materials.   Grant money would come from the California Tire Recycling Management Fund and would be awarded in the amount of $2 for every 12 pounds of crumb rubber used.  However, CalRecycle may adjust the amount if it determines that an adjustment would further the purposes of reducing landfill disposal of used whole tires.  AB 513 adds section 42872.1 to the Public Resources Code and is scheduled to sunset on June 30, 2109. 

AB 417 (Frazier) establishes a narrow CEQA exemption for bicycle transportation plans for  urbanized areas that involve restriping of streets and highways for bicycle lanes, bicycle parking and storage, signal timing, and related signage for bicycles, pedestrians, and vehicles.  Prior to determining that a bicycle transportation plan is exempt, the lead agency must first hold a public hearing and prepare an assessment of potential bicycle and pedestrian traffic and safety impacts, and measures to mitigate such impacts.  This exemption does not apply to all potential impacts of a bike plan, however, such as bike paths through natural areas.  AB 417 adds to and amends Public Resources Code sections 21080.20 and 21080.20.5, respectively, and is scheduled to sunset on January 1, 2018.

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