The Neighborhood Safe Streets Bill (which we've always called the "slow the fuck down on neighborhood streets" bill, since it gives cities the opportunity to slightly lower speed limits on nonarterial streets without doing costly and time-consuming traffic studies) just passed the state senate today.
"We were the absolute last bill before the senate cutoff," says Blake Trask, policy director at Bicycle Alliance of Washington. The bill's supporters started to think it had pretty much no chance—then, with an hour to go, they suddenly heard the bill might make it to the floor. It passed 45–2. "For it to be the last bill is something special," Trask says. "We can't thank Senators Billig and Frockt enough" for orchestrating its passage, he says, and also thanks the bill's house sponsor Rep. Cindy Ryu.
It's nice to see something good come out of Olympia for a second. If you've forgotten all about this pedestrian-and-bike-friendly bill, which had bipartisan support all along, a refresher from our yearly bill roundup is after the jump.
Here's a popular bill that has died in past years for stupid procedural reasons. Representative Cindy Ryu (D-Shoreline) is once again sponsoring a safe-streets bill, HB 1045, that would allow cities to lower speed limits on side streets to a safe 20 miles per hour (from the usual 25) without requiring a traffic study, which can be prohibitively expensive. It has bipartisan support, and its backing outside Olympia is broad: the AARP (the olds!), AAA (the cars!), public-health organizations (the humans!). Just pass it, already.