Introducing Washington Bikes’ 2020 State Legislative Agenda

The upcoming 2020 Washington state legislative session will be 60 fast and furious days short. Washington Bikes has a full legislative agenda, addressing top issues to make communities across the state safe and accessible by bike. Read on and save the date now for our 2020 Bike Lobby Day (Jan. 22) to help ensure our state legislators follow through on maintaining funding levels and passing laws that matter for people who bike.

Washington Bikes Legislative Agenda:

#1: Investments: Short Session, Mammoth Funding Issues to Address

Washington Bikes will be working to protect critical funding for essential bike and pedestrian safety projects now at risk due to the passage of I-976. Typically, the “short”, 60 day session – the second year of a biennium budget – would be focused on fixing adjustments or errors made during the previous big budget year. But, due to the passage of I-976 on the November ballot, Washington is facing dramatic uncertainties in funding for our statewide transportation system. The state’s approach to filling the funding shortfall created by I-976 is still in flux, but one thing is clear: I-976 will require state legislators to make hard decisions this session in order to cover an anticipated and significant hole in the multimodal transportation account.

The multimodal transportation account dedicates funds for transportation including rail, ferries, transit, biking and walking. It’s the primary state funding source for biking and walking investments and contains projects funded through the 2015 Connecting Washington transportation package, which allocated historic levels of funding for bike and pedestrian infrastructure, as well as Safe Route To School, Bike and Pedestrian grant programs, and the Bike and Pedestrian project list.

#2: Policy: A New Law to Keep People on Bikes Safer – The Safety Stop

Washington Bikes will lead efforts on new legislation to make a simple, intuitive change that will give people on bikes the right to treat a stop sign as a yield. “The Safety Stop” is sometimes described as a rolling stop or the Idaho Stop. The Safety Stop increases safety at intersections by allowing a person bicycling to avoid waiting in the blind spot of a motor vehicle and to get out ahead of following motor vehicles, creating space and less likelihood for interaction between them. Similar legislation has passed in Idaho, Delaware, Arkansas and most recently Oregon. Senator Andy Billig (6th LD, Spokane) and Representative Joe Fitzgibbon (34th LD, Burien) are the prime sponsors in the Senate and House. We’ll be sure to keep you updated as the bill is introduced and moves through the legislative process.

#3: Policy: Health as a Goal in Transportation Investments

This session Washington Bikes will support legislation to include the concept of “health” in the state transportation system policy goals. This effort will ensure WSDOT considers health outcomes in future transportation investments. We know that when people have the opportunity to bike to school or roll to the grocery store, it’s a boon for their health and the cumulative health of their community. Currently, 29 percent of adults and 12 percent of our 10th graders are obese, with significantly higher rates in populations with lower income and lower education. People who are active are more likely to maintain a healthy weight and less likely to develop chronic diseases.

Add Your Voice on Bike Lobby Day

We need your help to advance our 2020 legislative agenda! Wednesday, January 22 is Washington Bikes’ Lobby Day at the state Capitol in Olympia. Together we’ll let our state officials know why safe, healthy communities connected by bike matter. Join us for a fun, impactful day to ensure that your state legislators hear from you regarding critical issues like the funding crisis I-976 has created, and about how active transportation must be prioritized as budget cuts or project delays are considered. RSVP here to get updates ahead of Lobby Day and stay in the loop on what to expect.

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Election Day delivered mixed news for people who bike, walk, and roll

While voters approved Tim Eyman’s I-976 initiative, the majority of Washington Bikes’ endorsed candidates won their race, which means we have bike champions across the state who we are counting on to defend bike and pedestrian funding.

Bike friendly leaders across the state

This year, Washington Bikes endorsed its most robust slate of candidates to date throughout Washington state. We are pleased to report that the majority of Washington Bikes’ endorsed candidates are winning their races, with a couple too close to call ahead of the official certification, December 5th. Candidates names in bold are currently winning their races.




Washington Bikes looks forward to working with the newly elected and re-elected bike-friendly leaders and also thanks all endorsed candidates who ran for office, and articulated the importance of bike-friendly communities in their campaigns.

Future of funding for bike/ped projects at grave risk

Election day results delivered a huge blow to our vision of bike-friendly communities across the state. Voters approved Tim Eyman’s I-976 initiative, which promised dramatic cuts to vehicle licensing fees. In turn, this result means vastly reduced funding for transportation projects delivered by both the state DOT and local communities statewide. It’s clear the consequences will be far-reaching and include funding for bike and pedestrian projects. 

The state funds projects, big and small, to make biking and walking safer and more accessible all across the state through the Safe Routes to School and bike/ped grants in the state transportation budget. The historic Connecting Washington 2015 funding package also funded many important projects to connect communities by bike and keep us, our kids and our neighbors safe. Many of those important projects are now at risk.

We will share more information as we learn about the impacts of I-976. Here’s what’s clear: We will need you to help us protect the essential bike and pedestrian funding investments that our Washington leaders committed to, in order to make our communities safe. One place you can help advocate on behalf of bicycle funding at the state level will be Washington Bikes’ Lobby Day in Olympia during the 2020 legislative session. Save the date for January 22!

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Washington remains the #1 bike-friendly state in the country

Washington Bikes is happy to report that Washington remains the #1 bike friendly state in the nation — for the 11th year running!

The league of American Bicyclists conducts the Bicycle Friendly State program and ranking, based on the following: “The Bicycle Friendly State program is structured around a ranking of all 50 states based upon publicly available data and a survey completed by state Departments of Transportation and/or state bicycle advocacy organizations. This data is used to rank and create a report card for each state. Our last ranking was completed in 2019.”

The League of American Bicyclists has identified five bicycle friendly actions as part of the Bicycle Friendly State program, and as of this year Washington state checks the boxes on all five!

  • Complete streets law/policy
  • Safe passing law (3 feet+)
  • Bicycle safety as an emphasis area in the state’s highway safety plan
  • Statewide bike plan adopted within the last 10 years
  • 2% or more federal transportation funds spent on bike/ped

Safe Passing Law rounds out bike friendly policies

In the 2019 legislative session, Washington Bikes led efforts to pass an updated Safe Passing law, completing the fifth bicycle friendly action for the state. Read more about the updated safe passing law here.

WSDOT’s Active Transportation Division (Washington was the first state DOT in the nation to create an Active Transportation Division) is currently updating the statewide Active Transportation Plan — another marker of a state that knows that people on bikes matter.

While we are thrilled to be in the #1 spot, Washington Bikes knows there is much work ahead to create bike-friendly communities across Washington state.

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Washington Bikes Endorsements: Bike-Friendly Leaders for Seattle

This November, let’s elect these bike champions to keep Seattle on a course for ensuring people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds, can get around safely and comfortably by bike. Read on about what’s at stake in Seattle this election cycle.

Alki Beach PBL

Washington Bikes 2019 Seattle Endorsements:

All seven of Seattle City Council’s district seats are up for election this November, and in four districts the sitting councilmember is not seeking reelection. So, come January one thing is assured: change.

The next cohort of council members will meaningfully shape the future of transportation in the region’s fastest growing city. Seattle is at a critical juncture to catch up to its peers – including Vancouver, BC, Minneapolis, and Washington, DC – who are setting the course to shift their transportation systems toward a future that is healthier, more economically competitive, and safer. As we reach the midpoint of the Move Seattle Levy, and with Light Rail expanding to Northgate by 2021 and the future Ballard to West Seattle line in planning, the time is now to propel Seattle forward by realizing a citywide vision of connected bikeways.

Over the next four years, Seattle City Council will be charged with making policy and budget decisions large and small that will impact how safe and accessible it is to bike in Seattle. Seattle’s council must ensure implementation of an aggressive but realistic plan to Connect Seattle by bike – with a minimum-grid bike network, citywide, by 2021. Looking farther out, Seattle will revisit it’s 2014 Bicycle Master Plan during the lifetime of this new council. Council must adopt a new plan that fleshes out the next phase of building out Seattle’s bike network so that all Seattlelites, regardless of age, language, ethnicity, gender, race, and ability, have the option to get where they need to go by bike.

The Levy to Move Seattle is the primary funding source for building Seattle’s bike network. As we reach the midpoint of the levy, passed in 2015, Council must maintain accountability, and ensure voter commitments are kept. The levy will conclude in its ninth year during this new Council’s term. As such, Council will influence the future of our streets and roadways; whatever follows must direct resources towards people-focused transportation, including a connected network of trails and bikeways, citywide.

Lisa Herbold, City Council Position 1
On Council, Lisa Herbold has demonstrated leadership on active transportation issues. Herbold has helped hold the city accountable to following through on key transportation projects in her district – including the Georgetown to Southpark trail and retaining bike improvements within the Delridge Rapid Ride project. In her response to our questionnaire, Herbold adds that in order to fund planned bike routes, money from traffic cameras and new revenue sources must be dedicated specifically to bike projects.

Tammy Morales, City Council Position 2
During her campaign, Tammy Morales has been vocal in her support of making biking safer and more accessible, with a focus on racial equity in biking. Morales is motivated to address the reality that south Seattle currently has no direct bike route to downtown, and that fatalities for people on bikes is disproportionately larger in the south end. Morales highlights that her priorities will be to invest in the Seattle Bicycle Master Plan, and make our neighborhoods more bicycle friendly for kids.

Kshama Sawant, City Council Position 3
As a member of the Council Transportation and Sustainability Committee, Kshama Sawant’s voting record and policy input reflect her understanding of how biking is a part of the solution to transportation, affordability and social justice challenges facing Seattle today. In responses to our questionnaire, Sawant highlights that safety is an important component of creating a connected network of bicycle lanes, and dedicating funding to bike lanes is an important investment.

Shaun Scott, City Council Position 4
Advocating for a Green New Deal for Seattle, with opportunities to get around sustainably and affordably, is a core campaign theme for Shaun Scott. From Scott, we heard that he hopes, “to propose and oversee investment in sidewalks, bikeways, and trails with an equity-based lens, as they are a critical component to promoting public health, enabling movement for families with strollers and folks in wheelchairs, and making first/last mile transportation options like biking for working people and young folks safer and more accessible.”

Andrew Lewis, City Council Position 7
Andrew Lewis understands that when we build a connected network of protected bikeways, more people – and more types of people – will choose to bike. In response to our questionnaire, Lewis notes that the City needs to prioritize providing safe bike routes to, and around schools. Andrew also says he will emphasize pedestrian and bike improvements whenever the City takes up a major infrastructure project. In District 7, he highlights that the Magnolia Bridge replacement should be a multi-modal project instead of a one-for-one copy of the previous bridge. Additionally, he says that bike and pedestrian infrastructure will play a vital role in providing east-west connections around the Seattle Center in the redesign of Key Arena.

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Washington Bikes Endorsements: Bike-Friendly Leaders for East King County

On November 5, let’s elect these bike champions to keep the Eastside on course to build a healthier, more economically competitive and safer transportation system.


Photo courtesy of John Tiscornia Photography

Read below about what’s at stake in East King County this election.

Washington Bikes 2019 Eastside Endorsements:

King County’s Eastside is squarely part of the fastest-growing region in the US. Facing projections for regional population growth of 1.8 million people in the next 30 years and the reality of denser communities, Eastside cities must evolve their transportation systems. A future that is healthier, more economically competitive, and safer is within reach by centering active transportation. 

Changes are already underway: King County Parks is gaining momentum to connect the trails network thanks to supermajority voter approval of the August 2019 levy; Light Rail will connect through Bellevue to Redmond by 2023. The time is now to propel the Eastside forward by realizing a region-wide network for active transportation.

With the Eastside’s challenges and opportunities in mind, candidates endorsed by Washington Bikes expressed support for completing trails networks, building safer streets, keeping funding commitments to bike routes in progress, and safe biking and walking to transit.

Completing Trails Networks

As new trails like the Eastrail (formerly Eastside Rail Corridor) open to the public, we need champions who will realize the vision for a seamless trails network to knit together Eastside communities. Washington Bikes has identified champions who support completing trails through their communities. For example, in Sammamish, support for completing the East Lake Sammamish Trail matters now more than ever, and we’re confident the three Washington Bikes-endorsed candidates will see the East Lake Sammamish Trail across the finish line.

Safe Streets via Urban Bike Networks

While East King County has an abundant – and growing – trails network, many communities still lack safe on-street bike networks to get to work, transit, or to run errands by bike. By electing bike champions on the Eastside this November, we anticipate progress toward building much-needed urban bike networks and last-mile connections. For example, Bellevue installed its first downtown protected bike lane in 2018. Now, ongoing support from elected leaders is needed to ensure the much-needed and anticipated network of safe, simple, and protected bikeways can expand.

Keeping Funding Commitments

In 2016, residents in both Bellevue and Kenmore approved tax measures that included funding for safe places to bike. We need elected representatives who’ll make sure sufficient percentages from these new funding sources go to projects that will truly make cities like Bellevue and Kenmore walkable and bikeable, and work to renew vital funding for active transportation. In Bellevue, this means electing leaders who keep voter commitments to dedicate funding towards building the Bellevue bike network by 2023.

Safe Biking and Walking to Transit

Biking, walking, and rolling are healthy and affordable ways to get to transit – but only if transit hubs and station areas are accessible on foot and by bike. With East Link Light Rail stations opening in Mercer Island, Bellevue, and Redmond in just a few short years, elected leaders who will champion walk- and bike-ability are essential to ensure first/last mile connections are ready on day one.

Every Eastside Community Counts

In each one of the Eastside communities where we’ve endorsed, there are important funding and policy decisions coming up that can make for safer, connected communities by bike. There’s work to do to make streets around schools safer for children, for investments in recreational places for biking and for connected on-street bike networks. It all starts with electing bike-friendly leaders.

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Washington Bikes & Votes: Vote for these bike-friendly candidates and ballot measures by November 5!

Washington Bikes announces 2019 general election endorsements

Washington Bikes is proud to announce its largest number of endorsed candidates ever. 

Our criteria: Washington Bikes endorsed legislators who led or partnered on efforts to create safer streets, increase accessibility to trails, improve healthy communities and health outcomes, and contribute to the economic vitality of Washington’s communities. Additionally, Washington Bikes has endorsed first time candidates who share our vision for lowering the barriers to bicycling for all ages and abilities.

Washington Bikes works to secure funding for bicycle infrastructure and policies that increase access and safety. To make that happen, it matters who Washington’s elected leaders are and that’s why Washington Bikes spends time connecting with candidates and making endorsements.

We’d like to thank all of the candidates, endorsed or otherwise, for taking the time to participate in Washington Bikes’ endorsement process.

Additionally, Washington Bikes has endorsed the No on I-976 campaign. This effort is working to stop Tim Eyman’s I-976 from cutting billions in state and local funding for bike/ped projects, bridge upgrades, transit, and pothole fixes. We’re recommending you vote NO on I-976 to ensure already oversubscribed programs like Safe Routes to Schools and the Statewide bicycle and pedestrian grant program aren’t decimated. If I-976 passes, Washington will lose $4 billion in revenue for transportation improvements in every community, from Everett to Kennewick, and Westport to Colfax – and all stops between. 

The Washington Bikes endorsement speaks to thousands of engaged Washingtonians statewide who care about a range of issues. From wanting more connected trails, to safer neighborhood streets, to more opportunities for physical activity, Washingtonians are looking for leaders and policies that will advance these priorities. Please use our cheat sheet and share it widely with friends and coworkers who support safe, protected biking! 



With less than six weeks until Election Day, we are in the final stretch! Are you ready to vote? Register if you are new to WA or have recently moved through the Washington Secretary of State’s office. If not, you have until eight days ahead of Election Day to register online or by mail. As of July 2019, you can also register in person until the close of business hours on Election Day! 

Curious what will appear on your November ballot? Check out your sample ballot at Ballotpedia. Lastly, Washington is a vote-by-mail state, so expect your ballot in the mail in roughly two weeks.

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Critical Funding for Safer Streets is on the Line – All Across Washington State

This November, Voter Initiative-976 means essential state funding for biking and walking is on the chopping block. Vote no to preserve critical dollars to keep our state moving.

We’re recommending you vote NO on I-976 to ensure already underfunded programs like Safe Routes to Schools and the statewide bicycle and pedestrian grant  program aren’t decimated. If I-976 passes, Washington will lose $4 billion in revenue for transportation improvements in every community, from Everett to Kennewick, and Westport to Colfax – and all stops between.

Pledge to vote NO

Washington Bikes and our affiliate, Cascade Bicycle Club, have endorsed the No on 976 campaign because of the unprecedented risk it poses to our state’s ability to maintain and evolve our transportation system so it’s safe and reliable for all of us, regardless of how we get around.

What’s I-976?

I-976 is the latest initiative from anti-tax activist Tim Eyman, which would limit all car tabs in the state to $30, as well as reduce other vehicle fees. While that may sound appealing to folks who bike for the majority of their transportation, what’s at stake for bike, pedestrian, and transit funding is huge. If I-976 were to pass, there is potential that we could see a $4 billion cut to bike and pedestrian projects, including cuts to sidewalks, bike lanes, and neighborhood greenways around schools. Funding to teach students how to ride, the rules of the road, and how to stay safe while biking and walking is also on the line.

Among other devastating impacts, I-976 will cut $2.3 billion in local transportation funding for cities across the state, from Spokane to Seattle, Bellingham to Vancouver, and everything in between. This could impact everything from pothole repairs to yellow lights in school zones to future bike lanes and local transit service. And we’re not even going to get into the serious cuts to light rail, the ferry system, Amtrak trains, or other multi-modal transit projects.

Don’t be fooled by the allure of a tax cut to car tabs. The impacts to people who walk, bike, roll, train, and bus on our streets will be tremendous, and all of us will face more dangerous roads, more traffic, worse pollution, and fewer jobs. Pledge to vote NO on I-976 and Keep Washington Rolling.


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A ‘yes’ for King County Prop 1 is a vote for a connected regional trail network

woman and girl biking on a trail

Check your mail: your ballot has arrived for the August 6 primary! This year, a critical levy is on the ballot in King County to improve parks, trails, and open space. Washington Bikes recommends voting yes on King County Prop 1. Take the pledge now and let us know you will be voting yes for trails!

I pledge to vote YES on Prop 1!

People who bike, walk, and roll our region’s trails today know that the number one issue for trails is that there simply aren’t enough of them. Prop 1 includes significant funding to grow and fill gaps in our regional trails network, in addition to other benefits for the zoo, aquarium, and land conservation. Washington Bikes and our affiliate, Cascade Bicycle Club, have both endorsed Prop 1 because of the scale of investment in trails – including several long-standing priorities.

Five Reasons to Vote YES on Prop 1 (in no particular order)

  • Connects Woodinville to Renton on the Eastrail (formerly Eastside Rail Corridor)

The Eastrail promises game-changing connectivity between five of the Eastside’s major fast-growing cities. This levy moves us closer towards connecting King County’s portion of the 42-mile Eastrail, and makes the timely investment to ensure people have more ways to enjoy the outdoors, get to school, work or access light rail. Let’s connect the Eastrail!

  • Completes the long-awaited East Lake Sammamish Trail

Prop 1 enables the construction of the final segment of the East Lake Sammamish Trail, a connection two decades in the making. Connecting Issaquah and Redmond, the East Lake Sammamish Trail is a key link so that people biking will be able to travel all the way from the start of the Burke-Gilman Trail in Seattle to the foothills of the Cascades on a fully-paved network of connected, convenient, and safe regional trails.

  • Connects South King County by bike via the Lake to Sound Trail

The Lake to Sound Trail will connect five cities in South King County, from Lake Washington in Renton to the shores of Puget Sound in Des Moines. Prop 1 fills gaps between existing segments of the trail to connect Renton, Tukwila, Burien, Normandy Park, and Des Moines by trail. Intersecting with four other regional trails, the Lake to Sound Trail marks important progress to connect South King County by bike.

  • Grows local dollars for local investments: $60 million for King County cities

If you live in a city in King County, you stand to benefit twice from Prop 1. In addition to new trail connections, Prop 1 creates a competitive county-wide grant program for cities to fund local trail connections and other recreation opportunities.

The growing Community Partnerships and Grants Program enables community groups from across the county to engage meaningfully in trail planning. By addressing equity, we’re excited to see how this program will help realize King County’s Race and Social Justice Initiative.

Take the pledge to vote yes for trails:

I’ll vote yes for Prop 1!

Need to register to vote or update your address on your current voter registration? Click this link — you have until July 29 to do so!

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Your bike-friendly champions!

Washington Bikes is pleased to announce it’s slate of early endorsements; these are elected officials who’ve been leading the way to create communities that embrace safe, easy to access places for people to bike and walk, knowing that the benefits are many. The Washington Bikes endorsement speaks to thousands of engaged Washingtonians statewide who care about a range of issues. From wanting more connected trails, to safer neighborhood streets, to more opportunities for physical activity, Washingtonians are looking for leaders who will advance these priorities.

Washington Bikes works to secure funding for bicycle infrastructure and policies that increase access and safety. To make that happen, it matters who Washington’s elected leaders are. Please read on to learn more about the Washington Bikes’ early endorsements. Washington Bikes will make endorsements in the general election as well.

Washington Bikes 2019 early endorsement recommendations:

Claudia BalducciClaudia Balducci
King County Councilmember, District 6

As the chair of the Budget and Fiscal Management Committee, which oversees infrastructure funding including the King County Parks, Trails, and Open Space Replacement Levy, Councilmember Balducci has worked to ensure active transportation infrastructure is built throughout King County.

In particular, Councilmember Balducci has championed the Eastside Rail Corridor. As co-chair of the Eastside Rail Corridor’s Regional Advisory Council, Councilmember Balducci has worked to prioritize connectivity, advance equity, and develop a cohesive brand identity for the corridor to ensure a consistent user experience.

As a Sound Transit board member, Councilmember Balducci has advocated for System Access funding in ST3 and other measures to improve first/last mile transit connections by bike.


John Stokes

John Stokes
Bellevue City Councilmember, Position 1

Councilmember Stokes has been a big proponent of the Eastside Rail Corridor and demonstrated conviction around developing the Bellevue Bike Network, Eastside Rail Corridor, and the Grand Connection. His voting record is consistent with these priorities.

As a member of the Eastside Rail Corridor Regional Advisory Council, he’s an engaged champion of this regionally significant multi-use trail.


Janice Zahn

Janice Zahn
Bellevue City Councilmember, Position 5

Councilmember Zahn is a vocal champion of biking as a safe and accessible transportation option. She has articulated support for bikeshare and Vision Zero. Her voting record is consistent with these priorities, and she’s been an effective voice on council for the potential of biking in Bellevue.

Councilmember Zahn recently brought the conversation to Bellevue around how the new statewide Vulnerable User/Safe Passing law affects Bellevue, and is supportive of full buildout of the Bellevue Bike Network. 


Breean Beggs

Breean Beggs
Spokane City Councilmember, Council President

As the chair of the Spokane City Council Public Infrastructure and Environmental Sustainability Committee, which oversees construction of streets and other large infrastructure projects, Councilmember Beggs has worked to ensure active transportation projects are part of new infrastructure built throughout Spokane.

Councilmember Beggs led efforts to substantially increase funding for construction of new sidewalks, paving unpaved streets and additional traffic calming projects throughout the city. Additionally, he’s been supportive supportive of a direct, connected and safe bicycle route coming off of the new University District bicycle and pedestrian bridge, connecting people who walk and bike to one of the city’s economic districts. Councilmember Beggs helped broker a compromise that will lead to the development of a trail.

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Bringing ped and bike interests together in Olympia to get to Target Zero

It’s going to take work on multiple fronts to eliminate deaths and serious injuries to people walking and biking in Washington state. But, by working together we can achieve more, faster. That’s why, this year in Olympia, we championed legislation to merge two separate safety advisory committees – and to empower that group to identify weaknesses in the transportation system that impact people walking and biking, and recommend solutions until we reach #TargetZero. 

The newly created Cooper Jones Active Transportation Safety Advisory Council (ATSAC) will begin its work in July, 2019. This committee will replace the Cooper Jones Bicycle Safety Advisory Committee and the Pedestrian Safety Advisory Committee, which were both set to wrap up work June 30, 2019. 

This is important work. Washington continues to see deaths for people walking and biking trend in the wrong direction; 2018 yet again saw an increase in deaths and serious injuries among Washington’s most vulnerable street users (see chart below).

Image: from the 2018 WSDOT Gray Book

Image: from the 2018 WSDOT Gray Book

In 2017, Washington Bikes partnered with Sen. Liias and Rep. Kloba in efforts to better understand the causes of serious injuries and deaths in Washington state and to find strategies to improve safety for those biking on Washington’s streets and roads. This led to the enactment of the Cooper Jones Bicyclist Safety Advisory Council. 

Until now, the pedestrian and bicyclist safety councils had been working independent from one another to identify weaknesses in the transportation system and submit annual reports to the legislature that include, among other things, policy reform recommendations. Those recommendations have already led to policy changes. One such example is the Vulnerable User/Safe Passing Law passed in Olympia this year, which the Cooper Jones Bicyclist Safety Advisory Council recommended to be updated last year. 

In addition to merging the two committees, the new Cooper Jones Active Transportation Safety Advisory Council (ATSAC) will continue meeting into perpetuity. The Cooper Jones ATSAC bill was introduced by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, the agency that convenes the councils. The Cooper Jones ATSAC bill passed the Legislature with strong bipartisan support.

As with the prior committees, the Cooper Jones ATSAC will convene a panel of interdisciplinary professionals from law enforcement, multimodal transportation planners, public health representatives, municipalities, victim’s families, and active transportation advocates. The council will analyze bicyclist and pedestrian-involved collision data. This will be an opportunity to take a systemic look and gain a statewide understanding of what is taking place, where are the biggest weaknesses, and what solutions will curb the current, alarming trends. The council will submit an annual report to the legislature that includes recommendations for safety improvements.

Washington Bikes expects the recommendations of this panel to help inform and guide future policy and funding decisions made in Olympia and in cities, towns and counties across the state. Washington Bikes anticipates working with legislative and local leaders to change laws, and direct funding that will aggressively reduce deaths and serious injuries on our streets, and hold leaders accountable to both #TargetZero and #VisionZero. 

The legislation honors the heritage of The Cooper Jones Act of 1998 which set the foundation for bicycle safety legislation in Washington state. Named for 13-year-old Cooper Jones of Spokane, Wash., the Jones family worked relentlessly after the tragic loss of their son to strengthen safety laws for people who bike. Now, over 20 years later, Washington still has a lot of work ahead to make streets and roads safe for people who bike. The Cooper Jones Active Transportation Safety Advisory Committee aims to honor the work of the Jones’ family while making much needed transportation system safety improvements for those that bike, walk or roll. 

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