2019 legislative session

Bill’s passage will lead to more oversight of TriMet crashes

Avatar by on July 25th, 2019 at 3:50 pm

Familes for Safe Streets advocate Darla Sturdy (right) stands with Governor Kate Brown and House Rep. Barbara Smith Warner following the vote on SB 1053.
(Photo courtesy Darla Sturdy).

The dogged determination of one advocate has forced TriMet to create a new committee to review all injury and fatal crashes involving their vehicles.

Darla Sturdy, a volunteer with Families for Safe Streets, turned anguish over her son’s death in 2003 into activism that has now led to passage of two bills through the Oregon Legislature. In 2007 she passed a bill requiring TriMet to study and create recommendations for how to make dozens of light-rail crossings safer. That bill became law four years after her 16-year-old son Aaron Sturdy-Wagner was killed while biking through one of them.

And on June 30th of this year, Sturdy’s bill passed just one hour before the end of the session. Senate Bill 1053 establishes a seven-member TriMet Crash Advisory Committee. Originally intended to be completely independent of TriMet with members appointed by the Oregon Transportation Commission, the final bill allows the agency’s general manager to appoint the members. The bill also mandates that committee members must come from a wide variety of experiences and professional expertise including: a disability rights advocate, a biking and walking advocate, a government agency staffer, a vision zero expert from Portland, and a TriMet board member.
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Oregon legislature finds ‘missing middle’, passes ban on single-family zoning

Avatar by on July 1st, 2019 at 3:38 pm

Built in 1927, this duplex has been illegal has been prohibited in our zoning code for almost a century. HB 2001 changes that.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

When it comes to boosting bicycle mode share, where we build our homes is more important than how we build our streets. Density of residential dwellings matters because the viability of bicycle use increases as people live closer to their jobs, schools, friends, and other destinations.

That’s why we’ve talked up the connection between cycling and land-use planning and zoning on this site for well over a decade.

Now we’re very happy to share that over the weekend the Oregon Legislature passed a bill that bans single-family zoning. This is a boon for the potential of efficient transportation modes like cycling, and transit.

Here’s the lowdown from Michael Andersen at Sightline:

If signed by Gov. Kate Brown in the next month, House Bill 2001 will strike down local bans on duplexes for every low-density residential lot in all cities with more than 10,000 residents and all urban lots in the Portland metro area.
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Oregon passes version of “Idaho Stop” law that allows bike riders to treat stop signs as yields

Avatar by on June 25th, 2019 at 4:37 pm

Closer than expected.

The Oregon House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 998 today by a vote of 31 to 28. From here the bill will go to Governor Kate Brown’s desk for signing.

This is a huge victory for bike advocates who have worked for years to get this legislation through. Once it becomes law, every bicycle rider in Oregon will be able to legally treat every stop sign and flashing red signal as a yield sign. That is, you will no longer have to come to a complete stop at every frickin’ stop sign!

Here’s the official summary of the bill (PDF below):

Permits person operating bicycle to enter intersection controlled by specified traffic control devices without stopping. Permits person operating bicycle to turn without stopping at intersection with specified traffic control devices. Creates offense of improper entry into intersection where traffic is controlled by stop sign. Punishes by maximum fine of $250. Creates offense of improper entry into intersection where traffic is controlled by flashing red signal. Punishes by maximum fine of $250.

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Big weekend push helps Oregon’s ‘Idaho Stop’ bill pass final committee

Avatar by on June 24th, 2019 at 2:45 pm

“Hey, did you hear we might not have to stop at these anymore?”.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Oregon’s attempt to decriminalize rolling stops for bicycle riders took a giant leap forward today when it was voted out of the House Rules Committee 5 to 2.

At Senate Bill 998‘s first House hearing on Thursday, committee members voiced several concerns with the idea of allow bicycle riders to treat stop signs and flashing red signals as yields. One member noticed there were only three pieces of testimony in the official record. So on Friday we put out a call to get more people to email the committee.

By today’s meeting there were 183 emails filed on the State legislative website — the vast majority of which were in strong support of the bill.[Read more…]

Oregon’s Idaho Stop bill needs your help – this weekend! – to get over the finish line

Avatar by on June 21st, 2019 at 3:32 pm

Sen. Floyd Prozanski testifying at the House Rules Committee yesterday.

As we’ve been reporting, Oregon is tantalizingly close to passing a version of the Idaho Stop law. Now its chief sponsor says the bill needs your help to get over the final hurdle.

Senate Bill 998 would allow bicycle riders to treat stop signs and flashing red signals as yields. Because it makes so much sense and would make our roads safer and more efficient for all Oregonians, it breezed through the Senate earlier this week with bipartisan support by a vote of 21 to 8.

With just days left in the legislative session, the bill now sits in the House Rules Committee — its final stop before a vote on the House floor. The committee gave the bill a public hearing yesterday, but there was no vote taken. A majority of the representatives seemed open to supporting the bill, but they were tentative and expressed a need to learn more and see more public support for it.
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Stops-as-yields bill up for possible vote in House committee

Avatar by on June 19th, 2019 at 2:52 pm

We might have to remove this marking.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Senate Bill 998 — Oregon’s version of the “Idaho Stop” law that would allow bicycle riders to treat stop signs and flashing red signals like yields — has finally made it to the House.

Since our report on this bill last week, the bill passed the full Oregon Senate yesterday by a vote of 21 to 8. It was then referred to the House Rules Committee where it will receive a public hearing and possible vote tomorrow (6/20).

The House Rules Committee has seven members. Among them are Portland-area Democrats Barbara Smith-Warner (District 45), Rob Nosse (District 42), and Vice-Chair Jennifer Williamson (District 36).
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Bill that could make rural roads safer on its way to Governor’s desk

Avatar by on June 18th, 2019 at 5:18 pm

Two people died on Sunday and a 4-year old was injured in this crash on McKay Road in the Willamette Valley.

A bill that has received unanimous support from the Oregon House and Senate will give counties throughout Oregon a new tool to improve safety on rural roads.

House Bill 3213 creates a pilot program that will allow five counties to designate a dangerous stretch of road as a “safety corridor”. The legislation is meant to stem the tide of serious and fatal crashes that plague rural roads throughout the state. During committee hearings for the bill, lawmakers heard that many of Oregon’s once quiet farming roads now see increased levels of driving due to population growth and people who want to avoid congested interstates.

Some of these rural, county-owned roads also happen to be popular for bicycle riding.
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Oregon’s version of ‘Idaho stop’ rolls closer to passage

Avatar by on June 13th, 2019 at 11:43 am

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s not the Idaho Stop, but a law that would allow bicycle users to treat stop signs and flashing red signals as yields (when safe, of course) would be a major step forward for bicycle users in Oregon. And it just moved one major step closer to passage as the 2019 session rolls into its final few weeks.

Senate Bill 998 passed the Senate Rules Committee yesterday by a vote of 4-1. This comes two months after it passed the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Lane County Senator Floyd Prozanski — who introduced a bill inspired by Idaho’s law in 2003 — was the sole person to testify at the committee hearing yesterday. “What Idaho has is much broader than what’s been introduced here, he explained to the committee. “It [Idaho’s law] also allows bicycle riders to do the same [yield] at red lights. I believe that’s too far to go at this stage and that’s why we should follow what would be more the Delaware model.”

Delaware passed their law, which they call the “Delaware yield”, in 2017.

According to Prozanski, the main benefit of this law is that it would allow people on bicycles to maintain momentum at intersections and therefore be less likely to suffer from a collision or close-call. When bicycle riders come to a complete stop, the act of starting up again can make them vulnerable to being hit by other road users who can increase speed more quickly and easily.
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‘Missing middle’ housing bill needs a push in Salem

Avatar by on June 10th, 2019 at 8:46 am

Plenty of “middle housing” in Montreal is one reason why it’s such a great city for biking.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

One of the most important bills we’ve been tracking this legislative session is hanging in the balance.

House Bill 2001 would allow “missing middle” housing (a.k.a. multi-family dwellings) in places currently zoned for only single-family housing. It would have a vast impact on cycling because it would enable more people to live in closer proximity to jobs and other destinations — making a trip by bike more feasible.

According to advocates who support the bill, the time is now to press legislators to move the bill forward. Below is a message from southeast Portland resident Doug Klotz: [Read more…]

No paint, no problem: Oregon passes bike lane clarification bill

Avatar by on May 6th, 2019 at 4:28 pm

This language will now exist in Oregon law.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

“The rules of the road just got clearer today.”

That’s the statement from The Street Trust Executive Director Jillian Detweiler upon hearing House Bill 2682 passed the Senate today by a vote of 20-0 (with 8 absent and 2 excused), clearing its last hurdle before being signed into law by Governor Kate Brown.

The bill adds language to Oregon’s definition of a bicycle lane (ORS 801.155) to clarify that a lane still legally exists in an intersection even when the paint striping does not. It sounds like a no-brainer right? After all, no one would assume intersections are a legal free-for-all for other road users just because there’s no lane striping.
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