The bicycle community is faring well in the legislature. While we may not get all the funding for programs and infrastructure we want, several policy bills are doing well. Here's a quick rundown on where we are:
The Bicycle Alliance is thrilled that our two priority bills are moving well through the state legislature. As previously reported both HB 1129, requiring the bicycle and pedestrian awareness curriculum be taught in traffic school , and SHB 1217, providing local jurisdictions the option of lowering speed limits to 20 mph, cleared the house on a vote of 92-0. HB 1129 is scheduled for a hearing this Wednesday, March 9, in the Senate Transportation Committee. It is at 3:30 in Senate Hearing Room 4 of the Cherberg Building. If you are in Olympia that day, please come to the hearing and sign-in as a supporter. SHB 1217 was previously scheduled for a hearing on March 10 at the same committee, but has been canceled and not yet rescheduled.
Here is a link to the membership of the Senate Transportation Committee. If your Senator is on this committee, please contact them right away and ask them to support both these important bills!
We have actively supported the Vulnerable Users bills, SB 5326 and HB 1339 both of which have passed their respective chambers. While there may be differences in the bills to reconcile, it appears this bill will finally become law. Congratulations to the Cascade Bicycle Club for coordinating the multi-year effort to win passage of this bill that sends a strong message that vulnerable users deserve more justice.
Two complete streets related bills are also making progress – SHB 1071, Complete Streets which we previously reported on, passed the house and awaits Senate action. HB 1700 provides more flexibility with design requirements awaits a vote on the House floor.
Here is a link to find out who your house and senate members are, and how to contact them.
Please contact them and ask for their support on these bills that would make our roads safer and work for all users.
A bill of concern is SSB 5191. A new section of this bill would repeal the requirement that public schools teach the driving around bicyclists and pedestrians portion of the driver education curriculum. This bill is waiting for floor action and we are working to get an amendment to strip Section 17 (4).
SB 5778 which would have required a 5-cent deposit on drink containers did not make it out of the Senate Environment, Water and Energy Committee and is dead.