Two bills that give municipalities more tools to make streets safer are making good progress in the state legislature.
The Safe Neighborhood Speeds Bill (SHB 1217) is headed to the Senate floor for a final vote after passing the House 96-0. The bill — which would give municipalities the option of lowering speed limits on non-arterial streets to 20 mph — has until 5 p.m. Friday to pass. So write your Senator and let them know we need safe speeds on the streets where we live. It could go to vote as early as today, so write now!
Just last week the Neighborhood Safe Speeds Bill (SHB 1217) was voted out of the Senate Transportation Committee and forwarded onto the Senate Rules Committee. Due to the letters, emails, and calls from supporters across the state, Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown pulled the bill in yesterday’s Senate Rules Committee!
Excellent news for sure, but we now have less than three days to get the Senate to vote for SHB1217. If we miss Friday’s 5 p.m. Senate cutoff, the bill dies.
The Better Design Standards and Complete Streets Bill (SHB 1700) passed the Senate yesterday 43-6. It already passed the House 63-32, so it’s headed to the governor for a signature.
If Governor Gregoire signs it, SHB 1700 will make it easier for cities to use modern design guidelines (such as the new NACTO urban bikeways design guide) when doing road work. Currently, cities are supposed to default to the out-of-date state guidelines, which are often very car-centric and slow to adapt to design options that have proven safe and efficient around the world (and even right here in Seattle). The bill also encourages better standards for sidewalks and mandates that all users are considered when designing a road project.
HB 2370, which would include “health” in the state’s transportation goals. Can you believe it isn’t already there? Insane! This bill passed the House 53-43 and is currently in the Senate Transportation Committee after a hearing Monday.
So it’s gonna need to sprint to make that Friday deadline, but it can make it!
UPDATE: It appears that HB 2370 has been declared dead. Time of death: Monday. Cause of death: Senate Transportation Committee inaction as the committee deadline passed. State government to transportation department: We don’t care how many of us you kill or poison along the way, just get us there…