With barely over two weeks remaining in the legislative session, Washington Bikes continues to collaborate with our partners, legislators, and a diverse array of organizations and cities from around the state to promote legislation that encourages complete and healthy streets, and grows bicycling statewide.
Happily we are still engaged on each of our legislative priorities that include (1) safer neighborhood streets; (2) Better design standards & Complete Streets; and (3) investments in transportation funding, including Complete Streets.
|www.pedbikeimages.org / Dan Burden|
Safer Neighborhood Streets: We’ve had an especially busy week supporting our priority legislation, SHB 1217 – the NeighborhoodSafe Streets bill. Last Thursday, we held a fantastic public hearing in the Senate Transportation Committee that featured council members Jon Snyder (Spokane), Sally Clark (Seattle), Bicycle Alliance Executive Director Barbara Culp and former WSDOT Secretary Douglas MacDonald. Video of the testimony can be seen on TVW.
Just yesterday, the Senate Transportation Committee passed SHB 1217 out in executive session without opposition! We are excited to now move forward in the Senate and to work with our over 35 partner organizations and cities on next steps to ensure the bill’s passage.
Better Design Standards & Complete Streets. SHB 1700 was also heard in the Senate Transportation Committee last week and passed out of the Committee on Monday. This bill promotes safe and flexible design standards by providing cities and counties the flexibility to use updated guidelines for designing bicycle and pedestrian projects, increasing safety and reducing project costs.
Healthy Communities. HB 2370, a bill led by Representative Andy Billig of Spokane adds health as a transportation system policy goal. After a fantastic public hearing in the House Transportation Committee, which included our own Barbara Culp noting the transportation changes occurring since she grew up in the Methow Valley, the bill passed out of the House two weeks ago. It is now slated to be heard Monday, February 27 in the Senate Transportation Committee.
|www.pedbikeimages.org / Mike Cynecki|
Funding. Transportation funding is still very fluid as supplemental budgets in both the House and Senate have been introduced. The initial Senate proposal includes a smaller proportion allocated for Safe Routes to Schools funding (3% versus 4%, which amounts to approximately a $1 million difference). We are also monitoring the situation for funding the Complete Streets Grant Program, which originated out of the passage of last year’s HB 1071.
Your involvement. Washington Bikes has succeeded over the past 25 years with a focus on collaborating and working with members, clubs, and individuals across the state to lend experience, expertise, and support. Legislators need to hear your voice and we can’t thank you enough for lending it over the course of the session. If you want to get involved, please contact me, join our e-activist list, and – most importantly – become a member of the BicycleAlliance!