Wednesday, January 9, 2013

BTA Legislative Agenda Revealed Monday Night in Portland

The 2013 Legislative session is coming into focus and yesterday BikePortland reported on the three legislative priorities for the Portland Bicycle Transportation Alliance.

Sharing details from a meeting Monday night Jonathan Maus of BikePortland said the BTA would have three main goals:
  • An expanded bill to make it easy for cities to create a residential 20mph speed limit, the "The Safe Neighborhood Streets Act of 2013."  
  • Expanded provisions for "unmanned photo radar cameras" and "remote enforcement."
  • And remedying and expanding ConnectOregon for its fifth round, ConnectOregon V.  The ConnectOregon program is ostensibly multimodal, but is for "air, marine, rail, and public transit infrastructure improvements" only.  "ConnectOregon Plus" would add "funding for 'non-roadway' bike paths/trails, sidewalks, and transit operations (as opposed to capital infrastructure) projects."
I was a little surprised to read Maus reporting that BTA Advocacy Director Gerik Kransky "said he doesn't expect much opposition to the bill. 'There are not a lot of reasons to oppose reductions in speed when it comes to safety, especially on neighborhood streets where we feel it should be more of a public space.'"

The City of Salem was not in favor of the initial 20mph limit passed in the 2011 session.  They actually opposed it!  And I wonder just how strong the actual support for the expanded law will be outside of Portland in the 2013 Legislature. 

One interesting omission or silence?  The $4+ Billion Columbia River Crossing.  How strongly will they advocate for a right-sized project or none at all? 

Once the presession filings are posted, it will be interesting to see where bicycling falls this year.

Much, much more to come!  The session will start February 4th.

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