The Complete Streets bill has been filed (HB 1102 and SB 565)! The Complete Streets Bill has a bi-partisan range of authors: House Reps Harper-Brown (R), Keffer (R), Morrison (R), Martinez (D) and Lucio III (D), and Senators Ellis (D), Duell (R), Davis (D), Lucio, Jr. (D), Rodriguez (D), Uresti (D) and Watson (D). You may remember that in the 2011 session, Complete Streets passed out of the House and Senate Transportation Committee after some negotiation and language changes. This was late in the session and the bill died, along with thousands of others, when the session ran out of time. To help the bill get a faster start this session, the committee substitute language from 2011 is being used for the 2013 filing.
BikeTexas continues to talk with potential bill authors concerning the Safe Passing effort.
On February 26, BikeTexas staff attended the House Transportation Committee hearing and registered support for the Anti-Texting While Driving Bill, HB 63 by Rep. Tom Craddick (R-Midland) and other authors. This bill is of interest to cyclists and pedestrians for several reasons. First, cyclists and pedestrians have a lot to gain in safety from reduced numbers of distracted drivers. Second, Rep. Craddick’s bill has a similar history to Safe Passing: overwhelming passage in each house and a veto by the Governor. BikeTexas staff was able to observe the House Committee’s first response to re-filing of the bill, which was positive overall.
BikeTexas held a second bike ride on Sunday, February 24 for interns from the Texas Legislative Intern Program, sponsored by Senator Rodney Ellis. The interns took in many of the Austin sights by bicycle, including a visit to the newly-remodeled LBJ Library. BikeTexas staff frequently encounters these interns during office visits.
Please put Cyclists In Suits Day, Monday, March 25, on your calendar. The Lege Staff are always asking, “Where are our bike pins?” and we tell them our cycling constituents will be there with bucket-loads on our bike lobby day. They recall well our previous Cyclists in Suits efforts, so we really need your participation in 2013! Register for Cyclists in Suits here.