Friday, February 6, 2009

Stop Sign Bill Update 02/06/09

I personally have very mixed feelings about this legislation. But I am exceptionally happy that bikes-as-transportation is a concept that is gaining enough traction that there is litigious will among members of the state government to consider cyclists. Whatever, personal blathering aside, the following is an email I got this morning from GVBC (thanks Amy!)

HB 68 – Montana’s Stop Sign Bill

Please read the post below from Bill Schneider of NewWest.Net. The good news is that House Bill 68 (involving stop signs and cyclists, you might recall...) has made some great progress. However, it needs a final push and we're lucky to be able to do that. Please consider contacting Bozeman's representative to voice your support!

Gordon Vance (Vice Chair), Bozeman, 587-8608,


Date: February 5, 2009 12:14:03 PM MST

To: "WASCHNEIDER" , , , ,

Cc: "John Flink" , "Will Selser"

Subject: [MontanaCycling] Update on Stop Sign Bill

To update an earlier post, Montana's stop sign bill is close to clearing major hurdle

On a party line vote, the House Transportation voted 6-6 on the bill. I'm not sure how or why bicycle safety is a partisan issue, but all republicans voted against it and all democrats for it. Go figure.

Anyway, the tie vote means that the bill will just set there and die when the transmittal date (45 days into the session) rolls around. Right now, as I write this, it is day 23, so we have three weeks to do something about it.

Last night, I talked to Robin Hamilton of Missoula, the bill's sponsor. He said a couple of calls from local cyclists to their local republican representative could easily make the difference because opposition is sort of soft. If one agrees to change his/her vote, the bill will pass committee and get a floor vote, and the entire legislature is likely to go with the committee's recommendation on a minor bill like this one.

So, if you are so inclined and especially if one of the following six is your local rep, please make a call. One phone call from one local constituent could make the difference. Also, if you know somebody who could make the call, please pass this on.

If you talk to somebody who might change his/her vote, let me know and I'll make sure the bill comes up for a successful re-vote.

Here are the six no votes, including names phone numbers, and emails addresses:

Jon Sonju (Chair), Kalispell, 270-7113,
Gordon Vance (Vice Chair), Bozeman, 587-8608,
Elsie Arntzen, Billings, 259-6134,
Tom Berry, Roundup, 323-3151,
Lee Randall, Broadus, 436-2807.
Janna Taylor. Dayton, 849-6096,

Committee Staff: Rachel Weiss, 444-5367, and Katie Butcher, 406-444-4482

1 comment:

samh said...

I wrote my congresswoman two weeks ago regarding this bill and I was glad to see she was in favor. Here is her response to me:

Hi, Mr. Haraldson,

Thank you so much for emailing me! Sorry it's taken me this long to reply to your email; I do ppreciate your message.

House Bill 68, to revise stop requirements for bicycles, was heard in the House Transportation committee on January 12. To date, the committee has not taken action on the bill. I'll keep an eye out for it; if it passes committee, the bill will come to the House floor for consideration.

I've received many emails from people supportive of the legislation, and as a bicyclist myself (road and mountain bikes), I'm keenly interested in the more gracious rules for bicyclists-if that includes reasonable consideration for traffic and transportation safety. I've supported Bozeman's "We Share The Road" policy, and it seems this legislation could promote a more practical approach for bicyclists.

Many thanks for emailing me. I really appreciate your support for this measure!

Best regards,
JP Pomnichowski
Montana State Representative
House District 63, Bozeman/Gallatin County
406 587 7846