This month marks Cascade Bicycle Club’s third session advocating in Olympia for safer and more accessible bicycling in Washington state. Coming up are three critical opportunities to make a difference.
The Vulnerable User Bill is our top priority this year, and it is scheduled for a hearing on Friday, Jan. 21 at 1:30 p.m. in the state Senate Judiciary Committee. Please join us if you can and sign in favor of the bill. Please RSVP by email and let us know if you would like to join a carpool, and we will do our best to accommodate you.
The Vulnerable User Bill has changed a great deal since it was developed a few years ago. We were skeptical when Sen. Adam Kline said at the Traffic Justice Summit in 2008 that bills generally take three years to pass through the judiciary committee.
Lo and behold, we are in our third year. We continue to learn more about the intricacies of judicial administration as we grow support among police and the courts. Last year we came within minutes of the bill reaching the floor of the Senate before time ran out at a critical cutoff date. Stakeholder groups have suggested changes that clarify the role of the courts and lower administrative costs, but the substance is nearly identical to last year’s substitute bill language. Last year’s Frequently Asked Questions are a good primer on the goals and ramifications of this legislation.
Next Friday, many of the hearing attendees will be family members or victims of tragic crashes, and they will need our support. Stay tuned for more bill information, which will be posted here on the blog.
Also, next Monday, Jan. 17, there is a hearing for the Complete Streets bill, which includes a state grant program to create safer state highways in places where they serve as main streets in small towns. The bill also adds Complete Streets standards to consider all forms of transportation – including bicycling – when reconstructing state roads. You can sign up if you are free for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday at the Transportation Choices Coalition website.
Finally, Thursday, Feb. 10 is Transportation Advocacy Day, this year’s best opportunity to meet your legislators and personally advocate for pro-cycling legislation and funding for biking, walking and transit projects. Please join Cascade Bicycle Club, Transportation Choices Coalition and many other organizations at United Churches (110 11th Ave SE, Olympia) at 9 a.m. and become a lobbyist for a day.
We’ll gather at the church in the morning for guest speakers and small-group sessions so you get all the detailed information you need to lobby successfully for our 2011 priorities. We will spend the afternoon meeting with legislators. Carpools from Seattle to Olympia and shuttles from the Lacey Amtrak station will be available. To RSVP for the day’s events, visit this page on the Transportation Choices Coalition website.
Thank you for being an advocate, and we hope to see you in Olympia!