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Washington Bikes legislative preview this Thursday

The Washington legislature’s long legislative session starts next Monday. This is set to be an important session as lawmakers modify Governor Inslee’s proposal for the biennial budget.

If you were wondering what Washington’s statewide bicycle advocacy organization is planing to push for during this session, Washington Bikes is hosting a “Lunch and Learn” session this Thursday at noon to discuss their policy priorities.

Those priorities, from Washington Bikes, are:

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  • Grow bike and pedestrian funding in the multimodal account in the transportation budget. Washington Bikes is supportive of new, flexible revenue sources for active transportation.
  • Protecting and connecting trails statewide. We support the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program’s $140 million funding request.
  • Support policies to address inequities in transportation and policing, including measures to decriminalize biking and walking.
  • Support measures that will incentivize or lower the barrier to e-bike ownership.

Governor Inslee’s budget already includes an additional $20 million for bike & pedestrian grants, and it looks like there are going to be dueling proposals for a big transportation package that could increase that amount over longer than the next two years.

Legalizing the “safety stop” was a high priority item on Washington Bikes’ 2020 agenda, with the legislature passing the law that allows people on bikes to treat stop signs as yield signs if there are no other vehicles present; it took effect last October. Oregon’s version of the law has been in effect for a year now.

RSVP for the Thursday lunch event here.


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One response to “Washington Bikes legislative preview this Thursday”

  1. Kathy

    I just received my renewed driver’s license in the mail. I renewed online and did not have to take a test to refresh my knowlege of driving laws. I’ve been driving since I was 16 and I am now almost 70. In the envelope with my license were a couple of flyers for organ, tissue and blood donation. But there was absolutely nothing about driver safety. As a biker and pedestrian I see rampant disregard for speeding laws and right of way laws for vulnerable street users, with very little enforcement in evidence. What would it take to get some basic driving safety education on a pamphlet included with mailed licenses? I would include on such a flyer the rules about unmarked intersections being implied crosswalks, pedestrian right of way, relative survivability for vulnerable street users in collisions at various speed levels, bicycle passing laws and the new law that cyclists can treat stop signs as yield sighs, and distracted driving and DUI laws with some basic statistics on deaths and injuries they cause. I sent this suggestion to my state legislators and to Tamar at WA Bikes.I don’t know if this is a priority for them, but it certainly is a problem for people walking and biking that many motor vehicle operators are driving unsafely not only because they don’t care, but also because they need re-education.

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