Virginia bicyclists -- support these pro-bicycling bills now!

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Matt O'Toole, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    I got this today from Allen Muchnik, president of the Virginia Bicycling
    Federation. Please call or write your state legislators to support these bills.
    Phone/email contacts for the Senate Transportation Committee are listed below.
    However it would be helpful for you to call your own representatives, as well as
    any others.

    Matt O.

    --

    SUPPORT PRO-BICYCLING BILLS IN THE VIRGINIA SENATE (2-9-05)

    This is both an action alert and an update on the three bicycle-related
    bills--HB 1818, HB 1883, and HB 2677--that the Virginia Bicycling
    Federation instigated for the 2005 session of the Virginia General
    Assembly which concludes February 26th.

    *****

    BILL STATUS

    HB 2677 (to establish nine regional VDOT bicycle and pedestrian advisory
    committees) and HB 1883 (to require a taillight between sunset and sunrise
    for bicycling on highways posted for 35 MPH or higher) were both approved
    by the House of Delegates and are now before the Transportation Committee
    in the Virginia Senate. PLEASE ASK YOUR VIRGINIA SENATOR AND MEMBERS OF
    THE SENATE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE TO SUPPORT HB 2677 AND HB 1883.
    Contact information and bill details are below.

    HB 1818, to allow income tax credits for bicycle commuters and for
    businesses that provide bicycle parking and shower facilities for
    employees, was tabled (killed) by the House Finance Committee, due to the
    estimated administrative cost ($171,000 for FY07) and an unknown loss of
    state General Fund revenue. The Virginia Bicycling Federation will
    explore pursing similar legislation in future years.

    Moped Bills: Twelve bills were introduced to regulate mopeds and other
    motorized bicycles (http://leg1.state.va.us/051/lst/LS001035.HTM), but
    only SB 954 and SB 1039 remain viable. The latter bills would merely
    extend to the Cities of Charlottesville and Hopewell the current authority
    of Northern Virginia localities to regulate mopeds and similar devices for
    noise. HB 2334
    (http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?051+sum+HB2334), which had
    only a single patron and was Tabled in the House Transportation Committee
    on 2-1-05, would have banned mopeds on highways where the speed limit is
    35 MPH or higher. Since mopeds are generally categorized with bicycles
    under the Code of Virginia, restrictions on moped access could potentially
    lead to restrictions on bicycle access in future years. Members of the
    House and Senate Transportation Committees will meet after the current
    session to discuss potential moped legislation for the 2006 session.
    Meanwhile, HB 1883, by requiring taillights for bicycling after dark on
    highways posted for 35 MPH or higher, affirms bicycle access to such
    higher-speed roads. We will continue to monitor this issue, but no threat
    to bicycling (or moped access) is imminent.

    *****

    ACT NOW: PHONE AND WRITE SENATORS TO VOTE FOR HB 2677 AND HB 1883

    ACTIONS: Suggested actions are numbered below by the time and effort
    needed. Please do the first action ASAP and proceed to the others as
    feasible. YOUR VOICE IS NEEDED NOW AND CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! Also, feel
    free to thank your Delegate if he or she recently voted for HB 2677 and HB
    1883 in the House (links to the House votes are also below).

    MESSAGE: No detailed or eloquent explanation is needed, and busy
    legislative staff will appreciate your brevity. You can simply say that
    HB 2677 would be an important step toward improving bicycling and walking
    conditions in your region and that HB 1883 should decrease bicycling
    fatalities.

    1) PHONE THE CONSTITUENT VIEWPOINT HOTLINE at 800-889-0229 (or
    804-698-1990) between 8 AM and 5 PM on weekdays. State your home address
    and that you support HB 2677 and HB 1883, and this basic information
    should be reported to your Senator.

    2) PHONE, EMAIL, FAX, OR MAIL YOUR SENATOR (and Delegate) DIRECTLY. Use
    the "Who's My Legislator" tool at
    http://conview.state.va.us/whosmy.nsf/main?openform to find your Senator
    (and Delegate) and to send them email directly from the Virginia General
    Assembly website. Alternatively, if you know a legislator's district or
    last name, you can phone their office at 804-698-75XX or 804-698-10YY,
    where XX is the number of the Senate district and YY is the number of the
    House district, or send email using the formulas
    <[email protected]> for Senators and
    <[email protected]> for Delegates. Richmond mailing
    addresses are PO Box 396, Richmond VA 23218-0396 for Senators and PO Box
    406, Richmond VA 23218-0406 for Delegates.

    3) PHONE, EMAIL, FAX, OR MAIL MEMBERS OF THE SENATE TRANSPORTATION
    COMMITTEE (http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?051+com+S11),
    especially those who represent your area:

    Senator Marty Williams (R, Newport News), Chairman: 804-698-7501,
    [email protected]

    Senator Yvonne Miller (D, Norfolk): 804-698-7505,
    [email protected]

    Senator Nick Rerras (R, Norfolk): 804-698-7506, [email protected]

    Senator Frank Wagner (R, Virginia Beach): 804-698-7507,
    [email protected]

    Senator John Watkins (R, Midlothian): 804-698-7510,
    [email protected]

    Senator Harry Blevins (R, Chesapeake): 804-698-7514,
    [email protected]

    Senator Henry Marsh (D, Richmond): 804-698-7516,
    [email protected]

    Senator Edward Houck (D, Spotsylvania): 804-698-7517,
    [email protected]

    Senator J. Brandon Bell (R, Roanoke): 804-698-7522,
    [email protected]

    Senator Stephen Newman (R, Forest): 804-698-7523,
    [email protected]

    Senator R. Creigh Deeds (D, Charlottesville): 804-698-7525,
    [email protected]

    Senator William Mims (R, Leesburg): 804-698-7533,
    [email protected]

    Senator Jeannemarie Devolites Davis (R, Vienna): 804-698-7534,
    [email protected]

    Senator Phillip Puckett (D, Tazewell): 804-698-7538,
    [email protected]

    Senator Jay O'Brien (R, Clifton): 804-698-7539, [email protected]

    =====

    BILL SUMMARIES AND LINKS TO MORE INFORMATION

    *****

    HB 2677 Regional Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committees
    Chief Patron is Del. Adam Ebbin (D-HD49, Arlington)
    Co-Patrons include Senators O'Brien, Ticer, and Whipple plus 10 Delegates
    Referred to Senate Transportation Committee on 2-08-05

    Would require the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to
    establish regional pedestrian and bicycle advisory committees with citizen
    members for all nine VDOT construction districts. These committees would
    "hold regular meetings in order to seek public input for methods of
    improving government programs related to walking and bicycling," and
    "[c]itizen members of each regional committee" would "be represented on a
    statewide pedestrian and bicycle advisory committee, which shall also hold
    regular meetings". (Note: The last regular meeting of VDOT's statewide
    bicycle advisory committee was in October 2002).

    Bill Summary Page:
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?051+sum+HB2677

    Current Bill Text as Approved by the House:
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?051+ful+HB2677H1

    House of Delegates Floor Vote (57-38) on 2-7-05:
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?051+vot+HV0712+HB2677

    House Transportation Committee Vote (17-3) on 2-3-05:
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?051+vot+H19V0171+HB2677

    *****

    HB 1883 Bicycle Taillight
    Patron is Del. Frank Hargrove (R-HD55, Glen Allen)
    Referred to Senate Transportation Committee on 2-2-05

    Would require a bicycle, or its rider, to use a red taillight between
    sunset and sunrise when traveling on highways posted for 35 MPH or higher.

    Bill Summary Page:
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?051+sum+HB1883

    Current Bill Text as Approved by the House:
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?051+ful+HB1883E

    House of Delegates Floor Vote (83-15) on 2-1-05:
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?051+vot+HV0344+HB1883

    House Transportation Committee Vote (20-1) on 1-27-05:
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?051+vot+H19V0096+HB1883

    *****

    HB 1818 Income Tax Credits for Bicycle Commuting.
    Patron was Del. Terrie Suit (R-HD 81, Virginia Beach)
    Bill was Tabled (killed) in the House Finance Committee on 2-2-05

    Would create two separate credits for Virginia income tax. Employees who
    commute by bicycle could receive a tax credit of $15 for each month they
    bike both ways on at least 10 days. Businesses would be allowed a tax
    credit of up to $5,000 for providing employee bicycle racks and showers at
    the worksite; however, a broader range of bicycle parking facilities,
    clothes changing and storage facilities, and employer expenses for
    off-site facilities were not specified.

    Bill Summary Page:
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?051+sum+HB1818

    Bill Text as Introduced:
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?051+ful+HB1818

    Fiscal Impact Statement:
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?051+oth+HB1818F161+PDF

    =====

    Allen Muchnick, President
    Virginia Bicycling Federation
    PO Box 5621, Arlington VA 22205-5621
    [email protected]
    703-271-0895
    http://vabike.org
     
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