Victory for Safer Streets!
Wednesday, April 17th, 2013 – Olympia, WA
With one minute to go before the cutoff of the legislative session in Olympia, the Neighborhood Safe Speeds bill (HB 1045) reached the Senate floor yesterday at 4:59pm. The result was 45 yay votes to 2 nays. The bill is now on its way to Governor Inslee’s desk for signature, and Washington is on its way to improving safety for its pedestrians and bicyclists.
What exactly will HB 1045 do? The bill allows towns and cities to lower speed limits to 20 MPH on non-arterial streets without seeking approval from the State. It’s estimated that the State will save $1,000-5,000 per traffic study (previously required for lowering speed limits on these streets) in addition to a lot of red tape.
The bill will also make it safer for Washington residents to be more physically active. High traffic, high speed streets are often a deterrent for children and adults alike to bike and walk.
HB 1045 is truly bipartisan, having passed out of the House earlier this session in an 86-10 vote. It also passed unanimously in the 2012 and 2011 sessions. It had the support of AARP-Washington, AAA-Washington, Association of Washington Cities, Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition, the cities of Spokane, Seattle and, Kirkland, the Town of Winthrop, and public health and safety organizations like Tacoma-Pierce County Public Health, Washington Fire Chiefs, and the Washington State Public Health Association.
Please join us in thanking Representative Ryu for developing and supporting the bill, Sen. Andy Billig (D-3) for supporting the bill and leading the effort for a special order of business to bring the bill to the floor for a vote, Sens. Tracey Eide (D-30) and Curtis King (R-14) (co-chairs of the Senate Transportation Committee) and key supporters Sens. David Frockt (D-46), Ed Murray (D-43), and Joe Fain (R-47).
This is a great victory for a healthier, safer, and more active Washington. COPC and its partners are proud to have been a part of it. Major kudos are extended to the Bicycle Alliance of Washington for organizing support for the bill, and to YOU – our readers – for sending your letters and calls of support.