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.