UPDATE: The Senate passed the Neighborhood Safe Speeds Bill just before the deadline to pass non-budgetary bills Wednesday. With 45 Senators voting in favor (2 against, 2 excused), HB 1045 is on its way to the governor’s desk.
The Neighborhood Safe Streets Bill (HB 1045) got off to a screaming start this legislative season, flying through the House with wide bipartisan support. It’s progress through the Senate has found similar bipartisan support, but it has moved very slowly. It is in line for a full Senate vote, but time is running out:
Last day for the senate to vote for safer streets: Call 800-562-6000, ask your #waleg state senator to vote YES on HB1045. Pls RT.
— Bicycle Alliance WA (@BikeWA) April 17, 2013
The bill would make it easier for municipalities to lower non-arterial, mostly residential street speed limits to 20 mph. There is no pricetag on the bill. In fact, because it would remove the red tape burden on local governments to conduct costly and time-consuming traffic studies, it may actually save money. Remove red tape, save money and make neighborhood streets safer? You can see why the bill has found so few enemies.
This is where the bill died last year. Let’s not let that happen again. Call your senator and tell them this is important to you and your neighbors, and should be a priority today.
For those looking for an easy way to act, here is the action alert from the Bicycle Alliance: http://bicyclealliance.org/act-now/action-alerts/
and Cascade: http://blog.cascade.org/2013/04/vote-yes-safe-neighborhood-streets/
I just called. Thanks for the nudge!
Can someone play devil’s advocate for a minute and give me a quick rundown of the rationale behind opposing the bill? Why would this not pass, other than pure apathy on the part of the legislators? Is there some sinister rider on the bill?
The biggest arguments against it come from people who are concerned that cities will use the law to set up speed traps. However, since the law only applies to “non-arterial” streets (AKA, not thoroughfares or busy commercial streets) these fears are very likely not warranted. Typically, when people think of speed traps, they think of section of state highways where speed limits drop from 50 to 30, and officers hang out right after the speed limit change and pull people over all day long. This law will not apply to such streets.
Hooray! I’m looking forward to how this affects SDOT policy, especially in regards to greenways and speed calming, and school zones.
As far as people being against this bill, one of the crazier claims I’ve read (on comments in news posts, where the crazies like to gather) is that when passed, SDOT will re-classify arterials. Once they’ve been classified as non-arterials, they’ll set up their nefarious speed traps to drain poor, innocent drivers of their livelihoods.
Bicyclists screaming down residential street hills as well as skateboarders will get tickets?
Maybe, if they don’t get killed first.
Let’s hope so grandpa. Those scofflaw cyclists and kids on skateboards are a scourge on our fair city.
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