The complete streets grant bill, HB 1071, passed the Senate yesterday 29-19. The bill needs a concurrence vote to settle differences in the Senate a House versions, then should go to the governor to be signed into law.
With this vote, HB 1071 joins the Vulnerable Users Bill (SB 5326) as two good biking and walking bills to pass both houses this year. Good work everyone who worked to get them this far.
We still have another important complete streets bill on deck. HB 1700, which passed the House 67-31 in March, was passed out of the Senate Transportation Committee April 1. It is in the Rules Committee waiting on a Senate floor vote.
HB 1700 would give municipalities more tools in their traffic design toolkits by allowing the use of nationally-recognized design guides (AASHTO and perhaps even the exciting new NACTO guide) instead of relying on the state’s often outdated and slow-to-adapt guide.
In sad legislative news, however, the 20′s Plenty bill (HB 1217), which passed the House in February, will not be heard by the Senate this year. This bill would have made it much easier for municipalities to set 20 mph speed limits on non-arterial streets. Currently, it takes an expensive and labor-intensive traffic engineering study in order to lower a residential street below 25 mph. The bill would remove this step for lowering, but not for raising, speed limits on non-arterial streets.