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SB-480 San Diego-Coronado Bridge: safety study.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 09/08/2017 02:33 PM
SB480:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  September 08, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  July 03, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  March 29, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 480


Introduced by Senator Hueso

February 16, 2017


An act to add Section 14527.5 to the Government Code, relating to transportation. transportation, and declaring the urgency thereof, to take effect immediately.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 480, as amended, Hueso. Bridge San Diego-Coronado Bridge: safety study.

Existing

(1) Existing law requires a project study report or project study report equivalent that is prepared for any new project involving the construction of a new bridge, or the replacement of a bridge with a history of documented suicides, which project is included in the regional transportation improvement program, the interregional transportation improvement program, or the state highway operation and protection program, to include a document demonstrating that a suicide barrier was a feature considered during the project’s planning process. Existing law defines “bridge” for these purposes.
This bill would require the Department of Transportation, in consultation with the California Transportation Commission, to conduct a bridge safety study and make a specified report to the Legislature, no later than July 1, 2018, with regard to the safe operation of a bridge. The bill would require the study to focus on overall safety, including, but not limited to, speeding, debris, guardrails, wrong-way accidents, and suicides. no later than February 1, 2018, to update the Legislature, the Assembly Committee on Transportation, and the Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing regarding any feasibility studies completed for proposed projects designed to improve safety and mitigate suicide risks on the San Diego-Coronado Bridge. The bill would require the department, no later than June 30, 2018, to also update the Legislature and those legislative committees regarding any scoping reports for any proposed projects for which a feasibility study was completed pursuant to those provisions, containing specified timelines and information, as prescribed.
(2) This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.
Vote: MAJORITY2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares that “historic parks” are important to communities. all of the following:
(a) At the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, roughly 400 suicides have occurred since 1969.
(b) From 2011 to 2016, the bridge averaged 15 suicides per year. That number is double the average in the period from 2005 to 2010.
(c) The average annual number of suicides at the San Diego-Coronado Bridge has more than doubled over the past six years.
(d) The 2012 death toll of 19 lives was the highest in the bridge’s nearly 50-year history.
(e) The nationwide average age of those who killed themselves at a bridge is 50 years of age; at the San Diego-Coronado Bridge that age is 38 years of age.
(f) According to statistics compiled by the San Diego Harbor Police Department and the San Diego County Medical Examiner, around a dozen would-be suicides have resulted in survival; that is a fatality rate of 95 percent. Survivors will eventually lead a life “typically consisting of some amalgam of paralysis, disfigurement, and pain,” according to the article “Coronado Bridge to eternity,” dated June 17, 2015, in the San Diego Reader.
(g) Over 80,000 passenger vehicles cross the San Diego-Coronado Bridge daily as the bridge serves a critical connection for the community of Coronado and Naval Base Coronado to San Diego.
(h) In addition to the lives lost from suicide, beneath the San Diego-Coronado Bridge in Barrio Logan is Chicano Park. The park’s location is a predominantly Mexican American and Mexican-immigrant community in central San Diego. The park is home to the country’s largest collection of outdoor murals as well as various sculptures, earthworks, and an architectural piece dedicated to the cultural heritage of the community. Because of the magnitude and historical significance of the murals, the park was designated an official historic site by the San Diego Historic Site Board in 1980, and its murals were officially recognized as public art by the San Diego Public Advisory Board in 1987.
(i) Chicano Park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2013 owing to its association with the Chicano civil rights movement, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2017. The park, like Berkeley’s People’s Park, was the result of a militant but nonviolent people’s land takeover. Every year on April 22 (or the nearest Saturday), the community celebrates the anniversary of the park’s takeover with a celebration called Chicano Park Day.
(j) On October 15, 2016, a truck plummeted off the San Diego-Coronado Bridge into Chicano Park, killing four people on the ground.

SEC. 2.

 It is the intent of the Legislature that the Department of Transportation act expeditiously and report progress to the Legislature regarding efforts to improve safety and mitigate suicide risks on the San Diego-Coronado Bridge.

SEC. 3.

 (a) No later than February 1, 2018, the Department of Transportation shall update the Legislature, the Assembly Committee on Transportation, and the Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing regarding any feasibility studies completed for proposed projects designed to improve safety and mitigate suicide risks on the San Diego-Coronado Bridge.
(b) No later than June 30, 2018, the department shall also update the Legislature, the Assembly Committee on Transportation, and the Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing regarding any scoping reports prepared for any proposed projects for which a feasibility study was completed pursuant to subdivision (a).
(c) In addition to the updates required under subdivisions (a) and (b), the department shall provide the Legislature and those legislative committees with a timeline, including all of the following information:
(1) The timeframe for implementation and administration of any project to improve safety and mitigate suicide risks on the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, which includes:
(A) An environmental permit clearance timeline.
(B) Design plans and a secure funding timeline.
(C) A description of important upcoming deadlines and dates.
(2) The identification of any anticipated complications and challenges in implementing any proposed project.

SEC. 4.

 This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the California Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
In order for projects that improve safety and mitigate suicide risks on the San Diego-Coronado Bridge to be implemented and administered, at the earliest possible time, it is necessary that this act take effect immediately.
SEC. 2.Section 14527.5 is added to the Government Code, to read:
14527.5.

(a)The department, in consultation with the commission, shall conduct a bridge safety study and make a report with regard to the safe operation of a bridge as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 14527.1. The study shall focus on overall safety, including, but not limited to, speeding, debris, guardrails, wrong-way accidents, and suicides.

(b)The study shall do all of the following:

(1)Examine the agencies or departments that exercise authority over, or are responsible for safety improvements to, bridges in the state.

(2)Identify additional treatments and technologies with the potential to reduce the number of incidents where injury occurs on or around the bridge.

(3)Review the methods studied or implemented by other jurisdictions, including state or local agencies inside or outside California, as well as methods studied by nongovernmental entities to improve the safety of bridges and reduce the number of deaths on bridges in the state.

(4)Give priority to treatments and technologies applied to bridges in California that provide transportation links over state and local parks, and for other bridge safety projects in the state.

(c)The report shall include a plan that sets forth the treatments and technologies that the department has determined will improve bridge safety. The report shall also include the department’s recommendations for actions and measures that are needed to prevent accidents on bridges erected or existing above historic parks and the report shall examine prior reports that have evaluated technological advancements that have occurred since the department last studied the issue of bridge safety.

(d)(1)The department shall report to the Legislature no later than July 1, 2018, and shall provide the report to the Senate Committee on Housing and Transportation and the Assembly Committee on Transportation.

(2)This section is repealed on January 1, 2023, pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code.