Monday, February 21, 2011

Legislative Update - Week 3 - Presidents Day Edition

As has been widely reported, Governor Kitzhaber decided not to make a change at ODOT, and Matt Garrett will remain agency head.

What's new?

BikePortland reports a bike trailer law will be introduced.

Hearings on local control for speed limits and for school bus funding are scheduled this week.

And since it's President's Day, let's take a moment to look at new old things. Here's Teddy Roosevelt in a presidential motorcade from 1902.* He was apparently the second president to motor. McKinley had appeared in a steam-powered horseless carriage. Roosevelt's car was an early eV, a Columbia Electric Victoria Phaeton (here's some on the 1903 models). Roosevelt is surrounded by police on bikes. More things change, the more the stay the same?...or something like that.

Bills Specifically about Bicycling

Senate Bill 130 for bicycle traffic lights. Referred to House Transportation and Economic Development Committee.

Senate Bill 604 will be a gut-n-stuff. No action.

Senate Bill 660 would decrease the "penalty for failure to stop for stop sign to maximum fine of $40 for person operating bicycle." Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee.

House Bill 2331 to study bicycle licensing. Referred to Ways and Means. No action.

House Bill 2332 would create a weight-based schedule of traffic fines. Vehicles that do less damage, like bikes, would be fined less. Referred to Judiciary. No action.

House Bill 2824, creating the crime of altering or removing a stolen bike's serial number, had a hearing. BikePortland has some interesting comments, including some from Bjorn, on the BTA legislative committee.

Relevant to Transportation Generally

Senate Bill 266 on electronic tolling. Referred to Business, Transportation and Economic Development Committee. No action.

Senate Bill 344 would permit local jurisdictions to enact a 20mph speed limit on neighborhood streets. No action. House Bill 3150 is very similar, and it has been scheduled for a hearing and possible work session on Friday, February 25th, at 1pm, in Hearing Room D. HB 3150 would also define a "neighborhood greenway," according to BikePortland, but that language is not yet in the bill. Look for a gut-n-stuff.

House Bill 2333 prohibiting studded tires. Referred to Transportation and Economic Development Committee. No action.

House Bill 2437 on school busing. Referred to Revenue Committee. Public Hearing scheduled for Wednesday, February 23, 1pm, Hearing Room E.

House Bill 3178 looks like it would encourage transit-oriented development to be funded by tax-increment financing. Referred to House Revenue Committee.

House Bill 3186, co-sponsored by Representative Berger, would eliminate the jobs loophole on the texting and cel phone ban. Referred to Judiciary Committee.

Proposed Oregon Constitutional Amendment to permit gas taxes to be used for pollution control and congestion reduction. Referred to Revenue Committee. No action.

Dead or Moribund Bills

House Bill 2228 prohibits bike transportation of child under 6 years old.

House Bill 2602, the headphone ban.

* Invoke standard internet warning about unverified sourcing! According to the source, the Columbia
was propelled by two rear electric motors, using power stored in 20 two-volt Exide lead-acid batteries. Together the batteries weighed about 800 pounds, roughly 40 percent of the vehicle’s total weight.

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