Thanks for helping us get a “do pass” recommendation from the House Transportation Committee last week. Now it’s time to take action in the Senate: Contact your state senators to speak out for SB 5066 and safer neighborhood streets.

Last year, the Washington State House of Representatives unanimously voted 96-0 in favor of the Neighborhood Safe Streets Bill. After passing through the Senate Transportation Committee, this legislation ran out of time on the Senate floor.

Now we have a chance to give this important safety legislation a jump-start in the State Senate. Already, we’ve gotten its sister bill in the state House of Representatives a favorable hearing (HB 1045 got a “do pass” out of committee). Knowing we have a lot of work to do in the Senate, it’s one of the first bills to be heard in the 2013 session and legislators need to hear your voice now!

The Neighborhood Safe Streets bill (SB 5066) gives cities and towns the authority to create safer neighborhood streets by lowering speed limits on non-arterial streets to 20 miles per hour without conducting an expensive traffic study. As an added benefit it removes government red tape and cuts study costs currently required by the state.

Time is critical and we’re having a hearing this Tuesday, Jan. 29, in the Senate Transportation Committee. Now we need to remind our state senators that the time is now to support this important safety legislation that can save cities and towns across Washington money while they work to improve safety on neighborhood streets.

Your reminder to your elected officials is critical in making this happen. And it only requires two simple steps:

#1 – Enter your mailing address here http://app.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder/ (choose Legislative, not Congressional) and follow the instructions on the site to reach a contact form for your state senator (if you haven’t already, feel free to send the note to your entire district delegation since it will be coming up for a vote in the full House).

#2 – Email your Senator a note expressing your support of this important public safety legislation, SB 5066. We’ve included some model text for you to use—putting it in your own words will make it even better and more personal:

Dear Senator _________,

I write to ask you to support the Neighborhood Safe Streets Bill (SB 5066), which will be heard in the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday, Jan. 29. The bill passed out of the House unanimously in 2012, and passed out of the Senate Transportation Committee as well before running out of time on the Senate floor—this is the year to save cities money, cut red tape, and give local jurisdictions another tool to improve safety on neighborhood streets.

I urge you to let your colleagues on the committee know that you’re hearing from your district in support of this important safety legislation. SB 5066 provides more local control, offers an additional safety tool for local governments, removes additional study costs and red tape currently required by the state, and encourages active living by offering cities and towns the chance to create safer and more livable streets. Most importantly, when used in conjunction with engineering and enforcement, lower speeds on non-arterial streets can save lives.

As a constituent and voter in your district I would greatly appreciate your yes vote on the Neighborhood Safe Streets Bill (SB 5066) to make our hometown safer for everyone from kids to grandparents.

Sincerely,

[Your Name here]

Thank you for your support and advocacy to make Washington streets safer!

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– Barb Chamberlain Executive Director Bicycle Alliance of Washington