Cycling

WA Bikes: ‘There’s alternative abound’ briefly 60-day state legislative session

State legislators appeared decided to cross a significant transportation funding invoice through the 2021 session, however the deal with freeway spending and backwards concepts like a tax on bicycles in the end helped stall the hassle till the session ran out of time. There was even speak of a particular session to get the hassle handed, however that luckily by no means occurred.

Governor Jay Inslee picked Steve Hobbs, the earlier Senate Transportation Committee Chair, to function Secretary of State after Kim Wyman joined the Biden administration. Hobbs was a significant power pulling the funding talks backwards, proposing a brand new bicycle tax, chopping the Home’s proposed multimodal investments and including tens of millions for freeway growth tasks.

Marko Liias is the brand new Senate Transportation Chair, setting off a surge of hope {that a} high quality transportation funding package deal, together with different wanted transportation insurance policies, shall be attainable this 12 months. Liias has lengthy obtained glowing endorsements from protected streets, bicycling and transit advocacy organizations. But it surely’s a brief session, so legislators and advocates might want to transfer rapidly to get it executed in time.

“With a brand new Senate Transportation Committee Chair, and momentum from work began in 2021 on a state transportation income invoice, there’s alternative abound,” wrote WA Bikes State Coverage Director Alex Alston in an electronic mail to supporters.

Washington Bikes has revealed their targets for the session, which embrace growing the funding for biking, strolling and transit, addressing inequities in transportation (together with inequitably harmful streets), e-bike incentives (if electrical vehicles get them, why not electrical bikes?), and updating the Progress Administration Act to incorporate local weather resiliency. That’s bold however achievable record for the brief session. You possibly can assist the hassle by signing up for the WA Bikes Legislative Week of Motion February 1–5.

From WA Bikes:

The 2022 legislative session begins Monday, January 10. With simply 60 days to finish the legislative session, and final minute format changes  as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, it will likely be a dash to get payments via each chambers and to the Governor’s desk. We’re excited to work with our legislative champions, together with state Sen. Marko Liias because the newly appointed Senate Transportation Committee Chair, to develop investments and enact insurance policies to extend entry to protected biking for transportation and recreation throughout the state of Washington.

Develop bike and pedestrian funding within the multimodal account 

  • Ask: Shield and develop investments for bike and pedestrian grant funding within the state transportation funds or via new income investments. The multimodal account dedicates funds for modes of transportation aside from motor automobiles, reminiscent of rail, ferries, transit, biking and strolling. These investments embrace the Secure Routes to Faculty grant program and the Bicycle and Pedestrian grant program and challenge record. By defending and rising funds for these tasks, we are able to enhance security and accessibility for folks of all ages who bike, stroll and roll.

Prioritize funding to handle inequities in transportation

  • Ask: Leverage Washington’s Lively Transportation Plan fairness evaluation to prioritize lively transportation investments that can enhance security and entry in low-income communities, communities of colour, and areas of historic under-investment. Prioritizing these communities will assist deal with inequities in Washington’s transportation system, which has led to disproportionate incidents of crashes, based on site visitors harm and fatality information.

Assist measures that can incentivize e-bike possession

  • Assist: Set up measures that can incentivize or decrease boundaries to e-bike possession. E-bikes present an environment friendly approach to bike as a result of pedal-assist that permits for longer rides, ease of traversing hills, navigating busy intersections, and carrying groceries or youngsters. 76% of journeys taken by e-bike homeowners would have been automotive journeys previous to proudly owning an e-bike. Extra folks e-biking means much less folks in vehicles, which helps meet Washington’s transportation congestion and local weather targets.

Assist modernizing the Progress Administration Act (GMA)

  • Assist: Go Home Invoice 1099, which updates GMA necessities to incorporate local weather resiliency methods in addition to plans for folks in communities throughout Washington state to have protected, seamless, and reasonably priced transportation choices. Guaranteeing counties and cities are planning to scale back automobile miles traveled of their complete planning equates to investing in lively transportation networks. When extra folks bike, stroll, and roll, not solely are Inexperienced Home Gasoline emission discount advantages clear, however there are additionally vital well being, mode-shift, and financial advantages. Learn extra about this invoice, and it’s impacts.

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