2019 legislative session

At hearing on speed limit bills, lawmaker bristles at mention of ‘traffic violence’

Avatar by on March 19th, 2019 at 11:32 am

The Street Trust Advocacy Director Richa Poudyal (L) and Oregon House Rep. Caddy McKeown.

Earlier this month a pair of bills that would give cities across Oregon more authority to set speed limits on local streets got their first hearing in front of lawmakers at the state capitol in Salem.

There was no vote taken on either Senate Bill 558 or House Bill 2702 at the Joint Transportation Commitee on March 6th; but the conversation between advocates, lobbyists, agency staff, and lawmakers was notable. Especially an exchange about “traffic violence”. [Read more…]

Friday Opinion: The bills I wish we were working on this session

Avatar by on March 15th, 2019 at 9:52 am

Bicycle riders should be included in Oregon’s “Move Over Law.”
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

There are plenty of important bills down in Salem this session, but as you might have noticed in the list of bills we’re tracking — and despite a supermajority for Democrats — bicycling doesn’t seem like much a priority. (Not that bicycling is a partisan issue, but in general Democrats tend to be more receptive to it than Republicans.)

When arguably the biggest bike bill in the mix is one that merely clarifies an existing law that bike lanes don’t disappear in intersections, you know it’s another down year for cycling in Salem.

I can think of several reasons why the issue has lost urgency with lawmakers; but instead of lamenting the state of cycling in our politics, I want to share a few legal ideas I wish we were working on.
[Read more…]

Scooter company reps scolded by Oregon legislators over helmet law proposal

Avatar by on February 20th, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Matthew Kopko with Bird Rides (L), and Jonathan Hopkins from Lime.

Senators Lew Frederick (L) and Cliff Bentz.

What was expected to be just another ho-hum hearing on one of thousands of bills working their way through Oregon’s 2019 legislative session, turned out to be anything but.
[Read more…]

Here are the bills we’re tracking this legislative session

Avatar by on February 20th, 2019 at 7:51 am

Capitol building in Salem.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

(NOTE: We are updating this list throughout the session. Please refresh to see latest version.)

We’re about one month into Oregon’s 80th legislative session. And while no blockbuster bike-related bills have emerged yet, there are still a number of things we’re keeping our eyes on.

Here’s our list and a few notes about all the bills we’re tracking this session…

Senate Bills

SB 7 – Lower BAC Level – Overview
Senate President Peter Courtney wants to lower the legal level of alcohol a person can have in their blood while operating a vehicle. Currently at .08 percent, this bill would make it .05 percent. I interviewed Senator Courtney about this bill back in December. Status: Referred to Judiciary Committee.
[Read more…]

Families for Safe Streets lobbying for TriMet crash oversight, driver education bills

Avatar by on February 6th, 2019 at 11:12 am

David Sale’s daughter was killed by a TriMet bus operator in 2010. Now he’s pushing for independent oversight of the agency.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

A group of road safety activists led by family members of traffic crash victims and backed by The Street Trust has thrown their weight behind two bills this legislative session.

According to Oregon and SW Washington Families for Safe Streets, Senate Bill 746 would, “Encourage greater mutual expectations between all road users by combining the official state manuals for driving and bicycling and require drivers to retake a written test every eight years when they renew their licenses.” Senate Bill 747 would, “Close a gap in Oregon law that allows TriMet to lead investigations of crashes involving its own vehicles… a process that creates a conflict of interest and undermines efforts to improve system safety.”
[Read more…]

Off-road advocates prep for first-ever legislative day

Avatar by on February 4th, 2019 at 4:49 pm

Oregon is ripe for more — and better — off-road cycling access. But it won’t happen unless we ask for it.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

On February 27th the Oregon Mountain Biking Coalition (OMBC) will host its first annual lobbying day in Salem.

The OMBC launched in October of last year with a mission to, “Advocate for, create, enhance, and protect mountain biking experiences in the state of Oregon.”
[Read more…]

In push to save lives, Oregon Senator wants to lower DUI limit to .05

Avatar by on December 27th, 2018 at 12:44 pm

In 1983, Utah was the first state to lower the level of blood alcohol content that would qualify for a DUI arrest when they went from .10 to .08. Then Oregon followed suit.

Now we’re poised to follow Utah again as the second state to reduce the DUI limit even further to .05.
[Read more…]

Proposed bill would clarify definition of bike lanes in Oregon

Avatar by on December 19th, 2018 at 10:19 am

The legal protection doesn’t end where the striping does.

A local lawyer wants to amend an existing state law so that Oregon judges can no longer decide that a bicycle rider’s legal right-of-way disappears in an intersection.
[Read more…]