Joint Committee on Transportation Public Hearing Recap

Standing Room Only As Bicyclists Compel Lawmakers to Act on Key Bills

First off, the big question of the day...How did it go?

MassBike representatives arrived at the State House this morning to see a full house. Legislators, advocates, enthusiasts, those who have been impacted by injury or loss of a loved one, law enforcement, doctors, lawyers and many, many more lined the rows of the crowded, standing-room only hearing room in front of the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Transportation. Key bills dealing with the safety and protection of cyclists and pedestrians were on the docket, including two bills filed by MassBike (you can find a summary here).

Hearings began with Rep. William Straus, co-chair of the committee,  announcing that after all testimony from lawmakers and government officials was completed, the testimony for bicycle and pedestrian related bills would be moved up in the hearing schedule due to how many people were interested in testifying. What a great success in terms of turnout! Thank you to all of those who attend and to those who provided written testimony.

Great thanks to the support of fellow advocacy organizations like the Boston Cyclists Union and Livable Streets Alliance, and all citizens who came to testify. You can see full live coverage on twitter in our Storify.

What now?

While many of you may remember “I’m Just a Bill” from the famed Schoolhouse Rock this hearing today is just the start of the process for these key bills. While that is at the Federal level, the process at the State level is very much the same. We think we’re off to a great start, but there is still a lot of work to be done. For how a bill becomes a law in Massachusetts, read about the process here.

What else can you do to help?

We will be posting more updates as they become available and will alert the community when action is needed. There will be more times where public comment, letters and emails become crucial when we need to draw lawmakers attention to these matters. This process will take some time and we will need your continued energy to complete the job. In the meantime, consider supporting MassBike. If you believe in our efforts to make bicycling safer and more enjoyable around the state, become a member or donate today. We rely on the support of our members and donors to be able to do work like this supporting bicycle friendly legislation.

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