The Bicycle Alliance of Washington has announced that HB 1018, the controversial “Mutual Responsibility” bill, has been tabled. The bill was not well received by many in the cycling community (including this blog). Problems mostly centered around a provision of the bill that would require cyclists to ride on shoulders or in bike lanes unless the cyclist does not feel it is reasonably safe. Currently, riding in a bike lane is optional.
From the Bicycle Alliance newsletter, sent Jan 21:
Mutual Responsibilities Bill Tabled – HB 1018. The Mutual Responsibilities bill was an ambitious undertaking by the Bicycle Alliance of Washington and its Legislative Committee to better define what is expected and required of bicyclists and motorists to safely share the road. There were many good elements to the bill, including a definition for safe passing and providing bicyclists the same protections as pedestrians when they were in trail crossings, crosswalks and sidewalks.
While we conducted outreach with clubs across Washington, attorneys within the bicycling community, and solicited extensive input from within our own organization, we received extensive comments from cyclists both in favor and in opposition. In light of this, the Bicycle Alliance has chosen not to pursue the bill and the sponsors have agreed to table it.
The Bicycle Alliance is working on several other bills, such as the Vulnerable Users bill, the Complete Streets bill and a bill to make it easier for municipalities to set 20 mph speed limits. All these bills are very worthy causes that need all the support we can give them.