ANC6B Transportation Committee Gives Nudge to CM Allen’s Traffic/Parking Enforcement Bill
by Larry Janezich
CM Allen’s Vision Zero Enhancement Omnibus Amendment Act has been kicking around since last year when a smaller version was introduced to “start a conversation,” according to Allen’s Legislative Director, Chris Laskowski. A new bill was introduced this year, and a number of pedestrian fatalities added impetus to its proposed agenda.
Wednesday night, ANC6B’s Transportation Committee, chaired by Kirsten Oldenburg, voted to recommend that the full ANC send a letter to councilmembers Allen and Cheh supporting Allen’s Vision Zero legislation. Cheh chairs the Committee on Transportation where Allen’s bill has been referred and she is expected to hold hearings this fall.
The most controversial part of the bill is a provision for citizen parking enforcement. The pilot program would establish 10 citizen enforcers per ward, who after training could issue parking tickets, documenting violations with photos. Laskowski told the committee that bills rarely get stronger after introduction; a better strategy is to introduce a strong bill and scale it back if necessary. He hinted that Allen would not let the citizen parking enforcer language jeopardize the bill. Other provisions would mandate wider application of four way stops at intersections, ban right turns on red, and reduce the current 25 mph speed limit to 20 mph on most neighborhood streets. The bill also calls for aggressive towing of cars parked in bike lanes, bus stops and cross walks.
Some observers fear that the bill’s momentum following a series of pedestrian deaths has waned. Commissioner Kelly Waud moved that the committee support the bill and recommend that a letter be sent to the councilmembers. The motion passed unanimously, and a letter is likely win quick approval at the full ANC at its monthly meeting next Tuesday in Hill Center.
4 responses to “ANC6B Transportation Committee Gives Nudge to CM Allen’s Traffic/Parking Enforcement Bill”
“He hinted that Allen would not let the citizen parking enforcer language jeopardize the bill.” I trust Laskowski is hinting that the citizen parking enforcer section will be dropped at the first opportunity. If ever there was an idea gravid with unintended consequences, turning neighbors into Barney Fife vigilantes is it.
Of course ANC commissioners support this. It’s who they are.
I strongly agree that vigilante parking enforcers is a bad idea gone rogue. They won’t have the same training required of current parking enforcers. Moreover, policing the streets, including parking, should be left to the police not civilians. I also question the desirability of increased enforcement of towing vehicles parked in a bike lane. There are deliveries that have to be made and handicapped and infirm people are often dropped off for various reasons and need to be helped inside a building. As long as cyclists are using the streets they should be subject to the same rules and inconveniences as other vehicles. Cyclists should also be licensed, required to take a test on traffic rules, subject to stop signs and traffic signals, barred from sidewalks, and required to observe all of the traffic rules as others, such as motorists, buses, trucks, delivery vehicles, taxis, construction equipment and others who use the streets for transportation.
…and also test and license pedestrians since they also flout the laws and regs…..and perhaps we should also be building more freeways with limited access (only motor vehicles).
I also enjoy your suggested selective enforcement (bike lanes).