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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Illinois Complete Streets bill

Last month, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich used his amendatory veto on a bill that would require bicycle and pedestrian ways to be given full consideration in the planning and development of transportation facilities, including the incorporation of such ways into state-funded transportation plans and programs in urban areas. Blagojevich said he would sign the "Complete Streets" bill if the wording is changed from "shall" to "may."

It looks like Blagojevich may not get his way. The Illinois Senate voted 53-0 today to override the amendatory veto. The Illinois House gets to vote on the override next. Given that the House voted 113-2 to approve the original bill, I would think the odds are rather good the House will vote to override as well.

Nevertheless, the League of Illinois Bicyclists isn't taking any chances. It has urged the cycling community to contact legislators:
Dear Illinois bicyclists,

Please leave a quick 30-second phone message for your state representative. Identify yourself as a bicyclist in his/her district. Thank them for voting Yes on Senate Bill 314 back in May, and ask for a Yes vote again to override the Governor’s amendatory veto.

Please do this ASAP, as a vote may occur very soon. Find your State Representative’s name and phone number at http://www.elections.il.gov/DistrictLocator/AddressSearch.aspx (it’s easy). During business hours, call the Springfield office. Off-hours, leave a message with the district office.

SB314 directs IDOT to include walkways and bicycle ways with the expansion or reconstruction of any state road in urban areas. IDOT has done badly in this regard in the past, despite calls for reform. The governor’s veto stripped the bill of its effectiveness. A positive House vote is the last step needed for an override.

Further background from an earlier bill is at http://www.bikelib.org/completestreets/sb508mtg1005.pdf. LIB’s analysis of IDOT’s bike and ped policies is at http://www.bikelib.org/political_state/bdemanualreview.pdf.)

Thanks – your call could make a difference!!!

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