Washington Bikes will push to increase investments in infrastructure for people who bike, walk, and roll during the 2021 legislative session. Join us on Thursday, Jan. 7, for a virtual meeting to learn more about our legislative priorities.
The 2021 Washington state legislative session begins next week on Jan. 11, and we’ve spent the last several months preparing for a unique and challenging session. This will be a predominantly virtual session, with tight budgets and huge community needs.
Despite these challenges, we see several exciting opportunities to advance policy and funding to make it safer for people who bike, walk or roll.
Washington Bikes 2021 Legislative Priorities:
- Grow bike and pedestrian funding in the multimodal account in the transportation budget. Washington Bikes supports new, flexible revenue sources to support active transportation. The multimodal transportation account dedicates funds for rail, ferries, transit, biking, and walking. These investments include the Safe Routes to School program and the Pedestrian and Bicycle grant program and projects. We are working to grow this dedicated funding to ensure that all Washingtonians, especially those who rely upon active transportation because of cost or ability, can get around safely and easily. Washington Bikes supports the additional $20 million investment in the Pedestrian and Bicycle grant program ($15M) and the Safe Routes to School Program ($5M) funded in the governor’s 2021-2023 transportation budget.
- Protecting and connecting trails statewide. Trails are the backbone of many biking and walking networks statewide. Washington Bikes supports the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program’s (WWRP) $140 million funding request in the capital budget. WWRP projects include improving outdoor recreation opportunities, trail development, and enhancing state parks.
- Support policies and funding to address inequities in transportation and policing. Washington Bikes will advocate for active transportation funding investment that prioritizes low-income communities, communities of color, and areas of historic under-investment. These locations regularly align with high incidents of crashes, according to traffic injury and fatality data. Additionally, as part of our commitment to racial equity, we are working in coalition to support policies such as decriminalization that emerge, leveraging the active transportation equity analysis, and ensuring funding is prioritized in racially equitable ways.
- Support measures that will incentivize or lower the barrier to electric bike ownership. E-bikes provide an efficient way to bike due to the pedal-assist that allows for longer rides, ease of traversing hills, and carrying groceries or children. 76% of trips taken by e-bike owners would’ve been car trips prior to owning an e-bike. More people e-biking means fewer people in cars, which helps meet Washington’s transportation congestion and climate goals. Washington Bikes support measures that will incentivize or lower barriers to e-bike ownership.
Washington Bikes will work over the 105-day session to help create healthier communities and thriving economies by making streets safer for active transportation, and by working to connect and grow bicycle and trail networks throughout Washington. Stay in touch by signing up for Washington Bikes’ alerts.
Join us tomorrow, Jan. 7 at noon for a deep-dive into our legislative priorities. We’ll share how we can collaborate to advocate for funding and policies that will create easily accessible, connected bike routes, bolster Washington’s local economies and tourism industry, and ensure streets are safe for all.
RSVP here and we will send the Zoom link