Stop Sign Bill Update

I personally have very mixed feelings about this legislation. But I am exceptionally happy that bikes as transportation is a concept that is gaining enough traction that there is litigious will in any direction. Whatever, blathering aside, the following is an email I got this morning from GVBC (thanks Amy!)

HB 68 – Montana’s Stop Sign Bill

Please read the post below from Bill Schneider of NewWest.Net. The good news is that House Bill 68 (involving stop signs and cyclists, you might recall...) has made some great progress. However, it needs a final push and we're lucky to be able to do that. Please consider contacting Bozeman's representative to voice your support!

Gordon Vance (Vice Chair), Bozeman, 587-8608,


Date: February 5, 2009 12:14:03 PM MST

To: "WASCHNEIDER" , , , ,

Cc: "John Flink" , "Will Selser"

Subject: [MontanaCycling] Update on Stop Sign Bill

To update an earlier post, Montana's stop sign bill is close to clearing major hurdle

On a party line vote, the House Transportation voted 6-6 on the bill. I'm not sure how or why bicycle safety is a partisan issue, but all republicans voted against it and all democrats for it. Go figure.

Anyway, the tie vote means that the bill will just set there and die when the transmittal date (45 days into the session) rolls around. Right now, as I write this, it is day 23, so we have three weeks to do something about it.

Last night, I talked to Robin Hamilton of Missoula, the bill's sponsor. He said a couple of calls from local cyclists to their local republican representative could easily make the difference because opposition is sort of soft. If one agrees to change his/her vote, the bill will pass committee and get a floor vote, and the entire legislature is likely to go with the committee's recommendation on a minor bill like this one.

So, if you are so inclined and especially if one of the following six is your local rep, please make a call. One phone call from one local constituent could make the difference. Also, if you know somebody who could make the call, please pass this on.

If you talk to somebody who might change his/her vote, let me know and I'll make sure the bill comes up for a successful re-vote.

Here are the six no votes, including names phone numbers, and emails addresses:

Jon Sonju (Chair), Kalispell, 270-7113,
Gordon Vance (Vice Chair), Bozeman, 587-8608,
Elsie Arntzen, Billings, 259-6134,
Tom Berry, Roundup, 323-3151,
Lee Randall, Broadus, 436-2807.
Janna Taylor. Dayton, 849-6096,

Committee Staff: Rachel Weiss, 444-5367, and Katie Butcher, 406-444-4482


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