Good legislative news: Safe Neighborhood Streets bill passes

I have good news to report from the state capitol: our top priority policy bill has passed both chambers of the Legislature and will soon become law!

In a down-to-the-wire finish, as the last bill passed before the bill-passage deadline, the Washington State Senate passed HB 1045, the Safe Neighborhood Streets bill, by a vote of 45-2. Senator Andy Billig (D-Spokane) led the effort to bring the bill to the floor for a vote, with critical help from Senator David Frockt (D-Seattle).

For several years in a row, the bill had received overwhelming bipartisan support in the House of Representatives, including passing 86-10 earlier this session. Representative Cindy Ryu (D-Shoreline) deserves the credit for leading the effort in the House all those years.

However, until now, the bill had always died without coming to a vote in the Senate.

But this year, thanks to the vocal support of Cascade Bicycle Club members and other advocates, the Senate finally took up the bill. Nearly 900 of you sent messages to your legislators urging them to support this bill – thank you! When legislators hear from their constituents – and realize their constituents who care about bicycling are paying attention – those legislators become much more eager to support a bill. The Safe Neighborhood Streets bill now moves to Governor Inslee, who is expected to sign it into law soon.

With that, we will save cities and towns money and cut red tape when they choose to set speed limits at 20 miles an hour on neighborhood streets. We will improve government efficiency and allow cities and towns to spend money on actual safety improvements to reduce speeding, address cut-through traffic, and improve the safety of neighborhoods – especially for children and the elderly.

To all who helped pass the Neighborhood Safe Streets bill into law, thank you! We especially want to highlight the tireless leadership on the bill from our allies Blake Trask and Barb Chamberlain at the Bicycle Alliance of Washington (they spearheaded the effort), and the assistance of concerned Washingtonians like Seattle Councilmember Sally Bagshaw and citizens like Bob Edmiston.