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Idaho Walk Bike Alliance
Walking. Biking. Going Places.
Legislative Update, Week Six

February 14, 2018

Safe Routes to School - Healthy Kids Campaign
H442 Child Pedestrian Safety Projects

Currently, $2 million of sidewalk projects are at stake!

At the beginning of the 2018 session we quickly realized that due to a drafting error, the $27.5M Strategic Initiatives fund had not been appropriated. Our $2M was caught up in a political battle, so we reacted quickly!  THANK YOU to each of you who contacted members of Joint-Finance Appropriations Committee (JFAC), House and Senate members encouraging them to support walking. It worked!

H442 now sits on the Governor's desk awaiting his signature. He has FIVE DAYS to sign this bill, so we need to act quickly!

Please call or email Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and urge him to sign H442 because it includes child sidewalk safety projects.  Use this link for messaging tips for contacting the governor. It’s easy!

Talking points:
  • Proven Demand - $12.3M worth of projects has been received for only $2M available funds.
  • This is the ONLY state money dedicated to walking and biking - let's protect every penny.
  • Walking allows children to be more responsible, mobile and most importantly safer.
  • Walking and biking to school provides a portion of children's required daily exercise.

Our strategy for Safe Routes to School – Healthy Kids campaign, co-sponsored by the American Heart Association, was to present our revised legislation to the House Transportation & Defense Committee. Last year, we started S1121 in the Senate, and very successfully passed 27-8-0 on the Senate floor. Based on conversations with legislators during last summer and fall, our strategy this year was to start in the House. Because of the hard work we have done over the last six weeks, members of the House are prepared to vote enthusiastically for this bill, which would benefit all communities in Idaho, especially rural towns.

Stay tuned as we continue to work toward success on our Safe Routes to School legislation!

The e-bikes hearing is fast approaching

Long-anticipated electric bicycle (e-bike) legislation has been printed and ready for a February 20 hearing in the House Transportation & Defense Committee.  Current Idaho code considers these motorized bicycles in the same class as mopeds. We support a statewide definition as a bicycle. Read H508.

Read Betsy Russell's column here.
Bills We Are Watching Closely
  • H396 adds back in trails, paths, greenways or other ways for walking, running, hiking, bicycling or equestrian use so cities are able to use eminent domain for these purposes. Awaiting a hearing in the House Ways & Means Committee. We Support.
  • H469 removes the language that permits a school safety patrol member to properly report a violation to any peace officer. Passed through House Transportation Committee and is headed to the House floor.
  • H471 States that no person shall drive a motor vehicle in the extreme left-hand lane in a controlled access highway at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation. 
  • S1283 prohibits persons from operating a motor vehicle while using a mobile electronic device, while wearing headphones, and while using social media. This bill will be heard in the Senate Transportation Committee. We support.
  • HB0058 (Utah State legislature) - Allows bicyclists in Utah to follow the Idaho Stop Law. This bill has passed through committee and will be voted on by the full House. We support. 

Youth Lobby Day
As part of our Safe Routes to School - Healthy Kids campaign, we partner with American Heart Association on Youth Lobby Day. This year, we had over 60 high school students and volunteers who met with over 25 Senators and Representatives to explain why Safe Routes to School is important to Idaho towns and why legislators should support it.
Student Jaelahna Coursey talks about Idaho Youth Lobby Day February 1, 2018 at the Idaho Statehouse.  Idaho Youth Lobby Day was an opportunity for students to learn more about the Idaho State Legislature, meet with their representatives, engage in issue advocacy, and see firsthand how our political system operates. 

Thank You to Our Supporters!


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