Friday, March 20, 2009

Action Alert from Bike Texas!

The 2009 Safe Passing bill, House Bill HB 827, authored by Representatives Linda Harper-Brown, Carol Kent, Eddie Lucio III and Ellen Cohen, will be heard by the Texas State House Committee on Transportation on Tuesday, March 24 at 8:00 am, in room E2.014. I am planning to be there bright and early registering cyclists who are showing up to show their support for the bill. I will also be at the Bike Candidate Forum on Monday, March 23, 6-9 p.m at St. David's Episcopal Church, 301 E. 8th Street (at San Jacinto) promoting the bill and listening to mayoral candidates speak about cycling and pedestrian issues. Questions may be fielded from the audience if time permits. For more information, call Scott at 389-2250.

What you can do to help is contact your Representative if he/she is on the Transportation Committee, attend the Forum, and go to the Hearing. You get triple bonus points for doing all three!

Click here for the current text of the Safe Passing Bill. Below are the Representatives on the Transportation Committee, with their party affiliation and general district areas as well as more info about the Hearing.

Supporting HB 827
Rep. Linda Harper-Brown, (Primary Author) R- Irving, Dist. 105
Rep. Ryan Guillen, D- Rio Grande City, Dist. 31
Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon, D- San Antonio, Dist. 120

Uncertain on support for HB 827
Rep. Joseph Pickett, (Chair) D- El Paso, Dist. 79
Rep. Larry Phillips, (Vice-Chair) R- Fannin, Grayson, Dist. 62
Rep. Bill Callegari, R- Harris, Dist. 132
Rep. Yvonne Davis, D- Dallas, Dist. 111
Rep. Jim Dunnam, D- Waco, Dist. 57
Rep. Tommy Merritt, R- Longview, Dist. 7
Rep. Todd Smith, R- Euless, Dist. 92
Rep. Wayne Smith, R- Baytown, Dist. 128

Please wear business attire including coat and tie for men at the hearing. RSVP to Mark Stine at or 512-476-7433 is appreciated. We also appreciate cc's or forwards to Mark of email communication sent to and received by you from your Representative. If your State Representative is not on the Transportation Committee, please do not contact them yet. Your communication will be much more effective once the Safe Passing Bill has its language finalized, passes the Transportation Committee and goes to the full House. BikeTexas will keep you updated.

Information for attending the hearing.The committee session will start on Tuesday, March 24, 2009 at 8:00 a.m. in Capitol Extension room E2.014. You can expect to spend most of the morning there. The Chair often switches agenda items so we never know exactly when our bill will come up for action. BikeTexas has promised the Committee Chair to limit our testimony to four witnesses addressing four different aspects of the bill. In this way, we present this case effectively but succinctly so that limited Committee time is used wisely.