Oregon’s biggest legislative session for bike-related issues in years will come to its first peak on Monday, but many biking advocates have a prior engagement.
Awkwardly, five separate bills that could make big differences for biking will get hearings in Salem on the same day that dozens of Oregon biking leaders and professionals are scheduled to gather in Portland for the annual Oregon Active Transportation Summit.
The bills to be tackled include HB 3255, which would ban nighttime bike use for people not wearing reflective clothing; SB 533 A, which would permit someone on a bike or motorcycle to proceed through an unresponsive red light after a full cycle; HB 2621, which would let Portland issue speeding tickets on its high-crash corridors using unmanned photo radar; HB 3035, which allows school-zone warning lights to flash all day, rather than just at the start and end, for schools whose campuses straddle 45 mph+ streets; and SJR 16, which would refer a bill to the voters in 2016 that would allow car-related taxes and fees to be spent on off-road transportation projects.
The first four bills will be considered by the state House’s Committee On Transportation and Economic Development at 3 p.m. Monday in Room HR E of the Oregon State Capitol. The fifth will be held by the Senate Committee on Business and Transportation in Room HR B at 1 p.m.
The agendas were announced Monday morning. Today, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance plans to circulate an action alert to its members urging them to travel to Salem and/or contact legislators in opposition to HB 3255, the mandatory reflective clothing bill.
Kransky said he heard about the schedule after getting a “rare invitation” from ODOT official Mac Lynde to field the transportation committee’s questions about reflective clothing for 20 minutes.
“Mac assured me that he tried to persuade the committee that he and his staff and the people they want to testify will be at the AT [Active Transportation] Summit in Portland, to no avail,” said Kransky, who nonetheless accepted the invitation and will be skipping the summit that he spends much of his year planning. “I’m pretty sure the legislators doing this know it is bad timing.”
Until 2013, the Active Transportation Summit was actually held in Salem and combined with a legislative lobby day. Last year, the event moved to Portland.
UPDATE, 11:09 am: This committee has just added and “Informational Meeting regarding the Status Report on Bicycles” to the 3/30 hearing (that will pull even more advocates/staff away from Portland conference):
Michael Andersen was news editor of BikePortland.org from 2013 to 2016 and still pops up occasionally.