Legislative Update - February 2024

Last month, the MassBike team invited advocates from across the Commonwealth to meet with their State Representative and State Senator to build bike-friendly momentum and ask their local representatives to support a variety of bills that would make Massachusetts better for all bicyclists. About 40 MassBike members joined us on Beacon Hill for a full day at the State House, complete with welcoming remarks from legislative champions and their staff, while other advocates met locally in their district. Regardless of where the meetings took place, we’re so grateful to have MassBike members building real connections and relationships between constituents (you!) and the policymakers who are charged with looking out for your best interests (your elected officials!). Thank you! The relationships you create with legislators are key to our success in being a bike-friendly state.

The push for our lobby day was in advance of “Joint Rule 10,” which is a key legislative deadline where bills need to move out of their respective committees in order to be considered for votes this session. We now have updates on our priority bills. Some are moving forward with favorable reporting, some have their deadlines so more discussions can be had, and some bills are sent to “study” which means more work needs to be done and we’ll keep at it for the next session. Please note that for many of the bills we’re focused on this session, this is their first time through the process, so we expected some bills to be sent to “study” which gives us a sense of how to approach the issues.


Automated Enforcement

H.3393, one of our priority bills related to overall automated enforcement was sent to study,  however, S.1483 is extended until the end of May giving us more opportunity to pursue the conversation. We are also tracking S.2275, a bill related to enforcement specific to school bus cameras to capture violations of drivers going around a bus stop arm. Our hope is that some form of automated enforcement will pass through this session, which will help break the absolute prohibition across the state, and allow for certain jurisdictions to start to pilot enforcement technologies to make traffic violations more equitable and regular in Massachusetts.



The Class 3 e-bike pursuit has two avenues we’re tracking, one is the stand-alone bill S.2230 which is extended until the end of May, giving us more time to argue for the importance of classifying all three e-bike categories to match the standards already in place around the country, from manufacturers, and what you find at bike shops. We are also grateful that the Governor’s Fiscal Year 2025 Budget has included elements that will define Class 3 e-bikes, however, both the House and the Senate still need to weigh in on the budget, meaning there are twice as many conversations still to be had!

The e-bike incentive bill H.3145 which provides community access to e-bikes, including funding for bike share such as ValleyBike or Bluebikes, has been extended until early April. We are also hopeful that the Governor’s Transportation Funding Task Force will be able to tackle the issue of stable funding for equitable, sustainable transportation such as electric bicycles.


Road Safety

The two road safety-specific bills, H.3470 related to expanding protections in crosswalks, and H.3702 related to safe yielding for bicyclists at intersections, both are sent to study. This was not a surprise, since this is the first session for these bills, and this means MassBike will work with our coalition partners to present a case for their importance. We are hopeful that in the next legislative session, the Transportation Committee will put together a road safety package that will include these elements.



Working alongside the Trails Caucus, MassBike is still keeping watch on H.3158 related to creating a program for public access on utility corridors which is extended until early April, and H.4000 related to local assessor offices being able to levy taxes on dormant rights of way which is extended until the end of April. We are very pleased that An Act expanding access to trails for people of all abilities H.769/S.446 were reported out favorably and now can be considered for future discussion as they continue their way through the process.


So, in conclusion, we have more work to do! If you would like to help us in our continued efforts on any of these bills, please email us at [email protected] and we will engage you in our strategy as we keep pursuing our work on Beacon Hill!

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