Will Oregon get a Share the Road license plate?

I just got a phone call from BTA lobbyist Scott Bricker about a bill before lawmakers in Salem that would establish a Share the Road license plate for Oregon.

Washington’s version.
Photo: Todd Boulanger

According to Bricker, Senate Bill 789 will get a public hearing tomorrow (4/18) at 5:30PM in front of the Senate Business and Transportation Committee.

The bill is sponsored by Senators Prozanski and Atkinson and Representatives Dingfelder, Macpherson, and Read and was created at the request of Eugene cyclist Tom Jefferson in memory of his wife, the late Jane Higdon (Tom mentioned this in a speech at the Oregon Bicycle Summit last Saturday).

Here’s an excerpt from the bill:

“The Department of Transportation shall establish a share the road registration plate program to issue registration plates called ‘share the road registration plates’ upon request to owners of motor vehicles…to observe the importance of sharing the roadway with bicyclists.”

Bricker says details are still being ironed out, but money generated from these plates would likely go into some sort of educational fund.

Our neighbors in Washington State passed a bill like this back in 2005 and $28 in fees from each plate sold go back into bike safety programs.

If you would like to testify and/or have questions about the hearing, please contact Scott Bricker at (503) 757-8342.

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Lenny Anderson
Lenny Anderson
15 years ago

This is nice, but Scott should be spending his time getting the Idaho “Stop” law for bikes passed into law.

Jessica Roberts
Jessica Roberts
15 years ago

My impression is that this is not a major legislative agenda item for the BTA, but rather has been brought forward by some legislators…which is great news, as in the past bike/ped bills were hardly introduced if the BTA didn’t do it. More interest will mean more bills and more diversity of bills that are introduced for bikes.

Curt Dewees
Curt Dewees
15 years ago

Lennie, the BTA is working on three bills in the Oregon Legislature this season, and the “Idaho-style” yield bill isn’t one of them. In fact, no one has introduced an “Idaho-style” bill to the Oregon Leg. this year.

For more info on what BTA Legistlative Agenda is for 2007, go here: http://www.bta4bikes.org/at_work/BTALegislature2007.php

The BTA has a Legislative Committe that gets together and decides what legislation should push for diring each legislative season. Scott Bricker serves on that committee.

If you are a member of the BTA (or, even if you’re not), you could contact Scott or some other member of the BTA Legislative Committee directly and let them know of your interest in supporting an “Idaho-style” bill next time around, in 2009.

Todd Boulanger
Todd Boulanger
15 years ago

Oregon advocates…good luck with this effort.

It would be great if these plates were to allow BTA to hire an extra FTE to work on bike safety for shared on-road facilities (Bike Boulevards, etc.).

Up here in Washington over 1950 share the road plates have been sold in 16 months (Jan 06 to April 07) with $54,600 of these fees set aside for bicycle advocacy by the BAW. This fee may also be tax deductable too.

http://www.bicyclealliance.org/shareplate/share_plate.html

Bicyclist friendly corportations such as Flexcar (Vancouver) are also placing these plates on their fleet vehicles, so this could happen in Portland too.

Todd Boulanger
Senior Transportation Planner
Transportation Services
City of Vancouver

John Mynhier
John Mynhier
15 years ago

There should be “share the road” plate here.
Heck my home state of Kentucky has one.

J Price
J Price
15 years ago

Why wouldn’t the funds go to road maintenance/finance or something obvious? That way naysayers who “believe” that cyclists aren’t tax payers and thus don’t contribute to road financing would be obviously incorrect [instead of generally incorrect].

The biggest argument you hear against cycling is because without buying gas and paying the surcharge tax ‘we’ aren’t financing roadways – why should ‘we’ get our share….forget the societal federal/state general fund taxes which go to this end.

Todd B
Todd B
15 years ago

Comment to J Price…my mention of the use of the funds was not so much a vote but a description of how the Washington State law if applied to Portland would be implimented.

The question is what would be an effective use of these funds…$50K will not fill a lot of potholes statewide. $50k may stripe and sign 1/2 miles of bike lanes, etc. Bike education, etc. may be a more effective use for these funds if spread over Oregon.

Martha R
Martha R
15 years ago

I’d get one. I agree with Todd B — as J Price points out, ignorance about road funding sources is a big problem for cyclists. Solve the problem by educating the public about how to bicycle safely, the importance of driving safely, and where transportation funding comes from.

If we could get everyone to use roads safely and politely, we could save a lot of money on engineering fixes (speed bumps are expensive, and they only exist because too many people refuse to drive politely).

J Price
J Price
15 years ago

Fair enough; I threw the idea out there because I find education – although sounding good when sitting in the state house sipping coffee – does not change the way people do things in my estimation. A person will drive/walk/cycle as they see fit to meet their needs. The laws are out there but few have the inclination to look into them beyond the basic “How to” in the drivers manual when you’re 16; after you pass the exam it’s lost. If it stuck then nobody would break them?

It’s a tough call. As long as it is spent well, everyone will be ahead on some level.