Announcing WA Bikes’ 2023 Legislative Agenda

  • Limit right turns on red
  • Reduce the legal blood alcohol limit
  • Curb the largest and deadliest vehicles.

In early January, the Washington State Legislature will convene for a “long-session” of 105 days, all in-person for the first time since 2020. Between Jan. 9 and April 24 state leaders will be humming to the tune of Schoolhouse Rock (or is that just us?) as they work to pass bills into law.

We are excited to work with Bike Champions in the Senate and House Transportation Committees and across the Legislature to advance policies in four areas to make biking safer and more accessible for all.

Invest in safe places to walk, bike, and roll for transportation and recreation:

  • Protect investments for bike and pedestrian grant funding in the state transportation budget and through the Move Ahead Washington transportation package. We will educate legislators on the importance of Move Ahead funding in their communities, and protect statewide bike education funding.
  • Support Washington State Parks’ capital budget funding request to protect and rehabilitate trail connections throughout our state.
  • Support Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program funding request in the capital budget to improve outdoor recreation opportunities, develop trails, and enhance state parks.

Enact new policies to make our streets safer for people biking, walking, and rolling:

  • Support legislation to improve street safety and infrastructure that safeguards and prioritizes people walking, biking, and rolling.
  • Traffic fatalities and injuries continue to trend in the wrong direction, especially for vulnerable road users. We will advocate for strategies to reduce traffic violence, including:
    • Lower Washington state’s legal blood-alcohol limit for driving to 0.05.
    • Make dangerous intersections safer by outlawing right turns on red in urban areas and locations with high foot and bike traffic.
    • Require driver education as a condition of getting a license, and fund equitable access to training.
    • Decriminalize jaywalking.
    • Raise fees for the deadliest vehicles.

Grow the number and types of people who can bike:

  • Lower barriers to electric bike ownership. E-bikes are an efficient and affordable car-replacement due to their pedal-assist that enables longer rides, makes it easier to climb hills, and provides power to carry groceries or children. E-bikes are bicycles with superhero powers. Seventy-six percent of trips taken by e-bike owners would have been car trips prior to owning an e-bike. By reducing car trips, e-bikes can help Washington state meet its transportation congestion and climate goals.

Build climate resilient communities connected by bike

  • Support legislation that updates the Growth Management Act by including climate resiliency strategies, and which provide everyone with safe, seamless and affordable transportation options. Safe and seamless biking infrastructure reduces motor vehicle miles traveled, and it should be a core goal of county and city comprehensive plans. Increasing the number of people who bike, walk, and roll reduces greenhouse gas emissions, decreases air pollution, improves public health, and boosts the economy.
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