A Bad Bill Deferred
Luckily, the the overwhelming opposing testimonies were heard. At the 11/19/15 hearing, Councilmember Trevor Ozawa, Bill 68’s introducer, started the hearing by saying that he was requesting that the bill be deferred and that he intends to work with DTS to come up with a positive alternative. Thank you to all those that were part of this opposing testimony.
HBL met Ozawa and most of the other councilmembers to discuss Bill 68 and propose an alternative approach. The stated goals of Bill 68 is increased transparency, accountability, and public and council involvement in bikeway implementation. There are options to achieve these goals without impeding bikeway implementation, as Bill 68 will do. HBL looked at models from around the US and found the Seattle model to achieve these goals in a way that HELPS the advancement of bikeways and Complete Streets.
We have urged councilmembers to consider the Seattle model as an alternative to Bill 68:
- Master bicycle plan with 20-year network (which we already have) – this provides the overall network vision to make cycling safe and accessible to all
- 5-year bikeway implementation plan updated on an annual basis – this creates a high level of transparency into how the priorities and projects identified in the master bicycle plan are being implemented, while allowing for response to unforeseen opportunities and needs.
- Implementation update to council every 6 months
- Use of a 2 public meeting process for bikeway projects with a significant potential for impacts, such as parking and traffic flow – this ensures that all members of the community have the opportunity to have their needs, desires, and concerns heard and considered in the final outcome
These combined procedures will ensure a high level of transparency in bikeway prioritization and implementation, accountability in implementation of the bike plan, and robust community and council involvement.
Thank you to all those that submitted testimony, called your Councilmember, and urged others to act. Your actions played a GIANT role in Bill 68 being deferred in seek of a good solution. While the day’s news is positive, we are going to have to remain vigilant as it’s possible the next bill could be negative.
If you aren’t already, please join our Bike Advocacy Team to stay involved in this and other bicycle advocacy issues.
Bill 68 – Impediment to Bikeways, Bad for Complete Streets
- The Oahu Bike Plan, which identifies needed bikeway projects, had an extensive public process.
- The Oahu Bike Plan was approved by unanimous vote of the City Council on 12/7/12 (Resolution 12-307).
- The City is required to update the bike plan every 5 years, so there are frequent opportunities for the public to weigh in on what should and shouldn’t be in the plan and the City Council has approval power for every update (Revised Ordinance of Honolulu 2-12.1(e)).
- Bikeway projects with potential community impacts go through an additional project specific public process. Bikeway projects, such as Waialae Avenue and King St, go through a project specific public process involving public meeting, neighborhood board presentation, and direct outreach to adjacent property owners. Click here for a summary of all the outreach that occurred for King St.
- While this bill is about so much more than the, we shouldn’t forget that the City Council initiated action towards King Street protected bike lanes with the unanimous vote on Resolution 14-46 CD1.
- It would make bicycling projects more expensive and time consuming. Adding a City Council step to every bikeway project would add time to each project, which could increase the cost of projects.
- In 2006, 72% of voters said that making Honolulu bicycle and pedestrian friendly should be a priority. This bill would slow and impede implementation of this strongly support priority.
- It would make Complete Streets more difficult to implement. With the passage of Bill 26 in 2012, the City Council made Complete Streets the law. Bill 68 would make implementation of this more difficult and ultimately lead to many lost opportunities and fewer Complete Streets.
- The Public Infrastructure Map is reserved for large infrastructure projects (i.e. wastewater facilities, police stations). The only transportation projects included in the PIM are major roads, and rapid transit corridors and stations. South King Street isn’t even on the PIM (see the PIM here).