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Wrapping up the 2022 Colorado legislative session

The 2022 legislative session was one for the record books for our team here at Bicycle Colorado. We were excited to lead on and support the passage of seven different bills through both chambers of the legislature as well as track the status of five others, two of which ultimately passed. 

Below you can learn more about each bill that we worked on and monitored this session, including our signature Safety Stop effort, the passage of $12 million in funding for eBike subsidies, and more. 

Bills we led on

 

House Bill (HB) 22-1028 – The Colorado Safety Stop

Status: Signed by the Governor

People celebrating as Governor Polis signs a bill into law

This year marked the culmination of more than five years of continued advocacy to make the Safety Stop the law of the land in Colorado. HB 22-1028 earned strong bipartisan support in both chambers of the legislature and was signed into law by Governor Polis on April 13, taking effect immediately. That means bicyclists like you have a new safe and legal option to proceed through intersections across the state. 

This new law means that when an intersection is clear and they already have the right of way, bicyclists ages 15 and older may now treat stop signs as yield signs and treat stop lights as stop signs. 

We were proud to have bipartisan support of this effort and to bring a diverse group of testifiers and supporters to the table to ask for this positive change in Colorado law. This has been an effort years in the making and all of us at Bicycle Colorado are immensely proud to cross the finish line on this safety-enhancing policy and call the Colorado Safety Stop the law of the land. If you haven’t already thanked Governor Polis for his signature on this bill, you can do so here

Spreading the word about the Safety Stop

Now that the legislative session is over, we’re working to get the word out to community members, local governments, agency partners, individuals, and parents about the Safety Stop. We’ve put together this pamphlet that covers what it is, what it isn’t, and how to educate youth on the maneuver when parents are ready. Check it out, and feel free to share!

HB 22-1104 – Powerline Trails

Status: Signed by the Governor

People watch as governor signs a bill

Signed into law the same day as the Safety Stop, the Powerline Trails bill will help communities across the state learn about their options for partnering with utility providers to create new walking, hiking and biking trails underneath power lines.

The bill assists local governments with voluntarily putting in new powerline trails. It addresses a few key informational gaps in current statute to make projects more likely to happen in a smart and prepared way without requiring local governments or private landowners to make changes they don’t want to.

Additional supporters of this legislation included the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP), the Trust for Public Land, the Rails to Trails Conservancy, Sierra Club, National Resources Defense Council, Healthy Air & Water Colorado, Conservation Colorado, and the Nature Conservancy. 

Bills we supported

 

Senate Bill (SB) 22-193 – The Air Quality Bill

Status: Passed both chambers

The Air Quality Bill created several new funding sources from General Fund dollars to improve air quality across Colorado, including by allocating $12 million to the Colorado Energy Office dedicated to eBike incentive programs for low- and moderate-income Coloradans. Bicycle Colorado was proud to support this bill — which also included $65 million that will go toward reducing the cost of electric school buses — and even prouder that this funding is a direct result of our previous work bringing eBikes to low income Coloradans as a transportation tool. 

A press conference focused on air quality
Senator Faith Winter speaks to the benefit of electric school buses and bikes at a press conference announcing Senate Bill 193, the Air Quality Bill, on March 31, 2022.

The new incentive program for low- and moderate-income Coloradans overseen by the Colorado Energy Office will roll out in the near future, and we’ll be sure to let our members, subscribers, and followers know as soon as it does. 

HB 22-1324 – The Pawnbroker Bill

Status: Passed both chambers

The Pawnbroker Bill creates clarity between Pawnbrokers and Secondhand dealers in Colorado law. While this may seem unrelated to our work at Bicycle Colorado, this bill will have a huge and positive impact on local bike reseller The Pro’s Closet in Louisville, Colorado, helping this respected local business operate and support the local economy.

A press conference focused on air quality
Members of The Pro’s Closet Team prepare to testify on HB 1324, the pawnbroker bill.

HB 22-1026 – The Alternative Transportation Tax Credit

Status: Passed both chambers

This bill creates a new 50% tax credit for employers for offering alternative transportation options to employees such as transit passes and bike share memberships.

SB22-179 – Deter Tampering with Motor Vehicle Emission Control Systems

Status: Passed both chambers

This bill takes the work that we did in 2017 to make the dangerous act of Rolling Coal illegal for individual motorists and extends it so that people and dealerships cannot knowingly sell or purchase vehicles capable of putting vulnerable road users at risk in this way. 

SB22-180 – Reduce Ozone Through Transit

Status: Passed both chambers

This bill creates an ozone season transit grant program that will allow transit services to provide fare-free travel for a limited time during peak ozone season. This will reduce the amount of cars on the road and protect Colorado’s air quality, making bicycling even healthier and more enjoyable. The bill also grants $40 million to the Colorado Department of Transportation for new Bustang operations and the Revitalizing Main Streets Program.

In addition to the bills listed above, we also supported HB 22-1138, which would have incentivized large employers to reduce single occupancy vehicle travel on the part of their employees. This bill failed in the House. 

Additional bills we tracked but did not take a position on included:

  • HB22-1080 – Automated Vehicle ID Systems to Ballot – Failed
  • HB22-1321 – Devices to Assess Motorist Impairment  – Passed
  • SB22-215 – Infrastructure Investment And Jobs Act Cash Fund – Passed
  • SB22-175 – Mobile Electronic Devices and Motor Vehicle Driving – Failed

All of our efforts this year were focused on improving safety and accessibility for everyone who chooses to or needs to ride a bike, whether for recreation or transportation. The wins we earned this year were hard fought and a long time coming, and it’s because of support from our donors and members that we were able to fight for them to pass.

We’ll be back next year to work on more legislation that keeps bicyclists safe and creates more opportunities to ride. In the meantime, we’ll be working with state agencies, policymakers, and local governments toward our vision of a Colorado where riding a bicycle is always safe and convenient for everyone, where bicycling is the top choice for recreation and everyday trips, and where the benefits of bicycling are experienced and valued by all people in our state.

 

If you’d like to support this work, please consider joining or renewing as a Bicycle Colorado member today, or making an additional donation.

 

Thank you! 

Bicycle Colorado

About the Author: Bicycle Colorado

Bicycle Colorado is a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Denver. We use advocacy, education and passion to make Colorado one of the most bicycle-friendly states in the nation. We encourage and promote bicycling, increase safety, improve conditions and provide a voice for people who ride bicycles in Colorado. With the support of our members and numerous partnerships across the public and private sector, we’ve made significant strides in improving bicycling since 1992.

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We’re thrilled to see so many people out enjoying (and often rediscovering the joy of) riding a bike right now, and we’re asking ALL bicyclists to do their part to prevent the spread of #covid19 by wearing a mask or other face covering when out for a ride. Doing so keeps you, your loved ones, those around you, and all Coloradans safer while helping reduce stress on our medical system. If you still need a mask, click the link in our bio to pre-order one now and support our advocacy work! Thanks so much to everyone who has already purchased, and to @primalwear for supporting our efforts over the years. Ride on.
  • #BicycleColorado volunteers and staff members spent time today helping @denverurbangardens and @denverfoodrescue deliver “Grow a Garden” food boxes to home-bound families in Denver—via bike! Supporting our community on two wheels makes for a great way to spend a sunny day. Many thanks to our friends @ddchen47, David M., and @juggernautcargo for your help! Head to denverfoodrescue.org or dug.org to learn more about these great local organizations. #rideyourbike
  • Tonight the #BicycleColorado team celebrated Stacey, our outgoing Development Director, with a virtual happy hour. Stacey has been an absolute rockstar for BC. We’re sad to see her leave, but thrilled for her as she heads out on a new adventure (hopefully in the #BikeAdvocacy space!) in North Carolina. Please join us in wishing her well!