Please RSVP If You’d Like to Attend and Share Ideas
Question: What do cycling advocates do right after the state legislature’s annual session comes to a close? Answer: Start planning for next year’s session.
The job of setting policy priorities, crafting legislation and building support for its passage starts months before the legislature’s opening gavel in January.
The Bike Alliance will begin that process for next year’s session on Saturday, June 25, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., when its Legislative and Statewide Issues Committee meets at REI Headquarters, 6750 South 228th Street in Kent. Anyone who is interested in bicycle advocacy is welcome to attend the meeting and share ideas. However, because the meeting will be held at REI’s offices during non-business hours, those who wish to attend should RSVP in advance by contacting Bike Alliance Executive Director Barbara Culp at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Committee, which acts in an advisory capacity to the Bike Alliance’s board, is made up bike-club representatives and other appointed individuals from around the state. The Committee’s current membership includes cyclists representing clubs from Spokane to Vancouver, from Bremerton to Walla Walla and Wenatchee, and from Yakima to Snohomish and Skagit County. The Committee’s charter calls for two formal meetings a year; committee members also hold periodic telephone conferences during the legislative session.
Under the charter, the purpose of the June meeting is to “develop a list of legislative and advocacy matters of statewide significance to be pursued in the subsequent year as a recommendation to the Bicycle Alliance Board.” Among other things, this year’s meeting is likely to include discussion about whether to pursue three bills backed by the Bike Alliance that failed to make it through the 2010 session. They are:
· HB 1217, which would have given cities broader authority to set 20-mph speed limits on non-arterial streets.
· HB 1700, which would have allowed greater design flexibility to encourage construction of higher-quality cycling and pedestrian infrastructure.
· HB 2053, which would have increased some Department of Licensing (DOL) fees, with a part of the new money to be earmarked for the “Safe Routes to School” program.
HB 1018, the Mutual Responsibility bill, was tabled at the Bike Alliance’s request and will not be re-introduced. Shortcomings in the bill were identified during this year’s legislative session despite previous widespread outreach and input on the measure, which three years earlier had started as the “3-foot passing” bill. Components of the bill that have value and those that are of concern will be discussed at the June 25 committee meeting. Some elements of the bill may be included in a future legislative proposal; however, the Bike Alliance does not intend to reintroduce any such bill during the 2012 legislative session.
Committee members and other participants may also bring new proposals for discussion by the group.
If you’d like more information about the Committee and its work, you can visit the Legislative Issues page on the Bike Alliance’s website, at http://www.bicyclealliance.org/programs/legislation.html. That page includes a link to some of the Committee’s past accomplishments.