This started as a short post but obviously isn’t any more. For those unfamiliar with reading bills, like me a few weeks ago, the “Bill Digest” gives you an very simple overview of the legislation, and the “Bill Analysis” or “Bill Report” gives you a more detailed description if available. “Fiscal Notes” tells you what kind of financial impact a bill would have.
SB 5416 – This bill would limit the use of toll revenue in the same way that gas taxes are through the 18th Amendment. Senator Haugen, who is the Chair of the Transportation Committee is a sponsor of this legislation. If there is any bill you should fight it is this bill. It will set the exact opposite precedence that needs to be set. Tolls and transit are the keystone our transportation future and they must be integrated, not segregated.
HB 1536 – A temporary $30 dollar car tab tax we previously wrote about. This bill certainly is good but the timing of the bill has been troublesome for Pierce Transit’s Proposition 1. Agencies certainly need more money but there are so many morally imperatives needs this year in Olympia any new taxing authority is going to be hard to get.
HB 1382 – Moves forward with the implementation of High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes on I-405. The end goal of this bill is a continuous one or two lane managed corridor on SR-167 and I-405 from Puyallup to Lynnwood. The bill essentially moves forward a two phase “Option 4”. Phase 1 converts the HOV lanes on I-405 north of Bellevue into HOT lanes in addition to one general purpose lane (existing and new and already funded by existing revenue) between Bellevue and SR-522 in Bothell. Phase 2 is a high capital, unfunded phase and fills in the gap between SR-167 and Bellevue with a two lane HOT system and direct flyover ramps between SR-167 and I-405.
Lots more after the jump.
SB 5326 – Increases penalties when a motorist hits vulnerable users due to negligent driving. I think bicycle advocates aren’t doing an effective job in framing the discussion around this bill. Most of what I hear essentially boils down to “we don’t punish drivers enough for hitting or kill a pedestrian or cyclist”. I don’t think that is an effective way to advocate for the bill. The end goal of any vulnerable user legislation should be based on the common sense idea that those road users that pose the largest danger to other road uses must correspondingly take a higher level of responsibility when using the road. Its not about punishing drivers, its about hold people accountable for the risk the pose on others. That might sound nuanced but I think it is an important difference.
HB 1171 – Would exempt BRT projects from the state’s current high capacity transit planning requirements. In my opinion this is a mixed bag. BRT probably shouldn’t have as rigorous planning requirements as light rail but it certainly shouldn’t be exempt from all planning requirements.
Other Noteworthy Bills:
SB 5541 – Requires cities to refund taxes to certain public higher education institutions (read UW) at an amount equal to or greater than what they invest in their transportation demand management program (UPass)
HB 1217 – Allows municipalities to more easily lower speed limits on non-arterial streets. In Oregon, Portland has wanted something similar for a while, mostly to use in conjunction with bike boulevards. This has passed out of the transportation committee already.
HB 1700 – Requires the state to consult with municipalities on projects and ensuring they consider the needs of all users.
HB 1005 – Creates a Washington State Ferries (WSF) commission. Invokes the emergency clause of the constitution, barring referendums.
HB 1516 – Ferry bill requiring WSF to meet performance goals, make changes to ferry management, etc. If performance goals not meet in two years management functions of WSF must be privatized. HB 1119 straight out privatizes ferry management and is an early version of HB 1516.
HB 1071 – Complete streets grant program. Requires applicant cities to pass complete street legislation. Currently no funds a available through the program.
HB 1590 – Requires voters in a municipality to approve the use of red light cameras and requires a 4 second yellow phase. Two similar bills by Rep. Hurst (HB 1098 and HB 1099) also limit the use of red light cameras. A similar mess of bills in the Senate.
HB 1279 – Requires a certain yellow signal phase as well as require annual crash reports for intersection in which red light running cameras have been installed.