Posted by Elly Blue (Columnist) on April 3rd, 2009 at 8:55 am
One surprise at the Idaho Stop bill hearing two weeks ago was outright opposition from an unexpected quarter — the city of Eugene.
BikePortland obtained a copy of a letter in opposition from Lee Shoemaker, Eugene’s bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, outlining his concerns with the bill’s effect on road safety, particularly for young people on bicycles.
We just received word that the City of Eugene has decided to change this position. Instead of opposing the bill, the city will now take a neutral stance.
According to a blog post by Eugene advocacy organization GEARs (Greater Eugene Area Riders) he city’s Inter-Governmental Relations Panel (IGR) received numerous calls from citizens who support the bill. Yesterday, in a move supported by Mayor Kitty Piercy (who called it a “good move”), the panel decided to change the city’s official position on the bill to neutral.
We’ll see what this means for the Idaho Stop bill as it moves through the legislative process. Opposition from a major city like Eugene which has a fairly large bicycling population was seen as a blow to the bill’s chances. The city’s new position on the bill may not help push it forward, but it will not be as likely to actively hold it back.
See here for background information on the Idaho Stop bill, and here for full coverage of the bill as it works its way through the 2009 legislative session.