Call for Votes on Maryland Bicycling & Road-Safety Legislation

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“Sine die,” the close of the 2024 Maryland legislative session, is fast approaching. Bills that haven’t been heard and voted in committee within the next few days won’t pass the General Assembly before closing day, April 8th.

Please help convince Sen. Will Smith, chair of the Judicial Proceedings Committee (JPR), to schedule committee votes for five key bicycling/safety bills. Use this action, which sends a message to Chair Smith and to your district’s senator. Customize the suggested text with your personal message.

We’re asking Chair Smith to schedule JPR votes for two bills whose senate “cross-files” have already been heard by JPR:

  • HB 511, Bicycle Safety Yield, which passed the House of Delegates by a 119-13 vote. HB 511 will boost road safety by allowing a cyclist to move through a Stop sign without stopping, after yielding to pedestrians and motor vehicles that have the right of way. (SB 826 had a JPR hearing.)
  • HB 111, Bikes on Sidewalks, would make allowing cyclist use of sidewalks the default statewide, a safety booster given narrow shoulders and the lack of bike lanes. The bill passed the House 134-2. (SB 77 had a JPR hearing.)

And we’re asking Chair Smith to schedule committee votes for three bills that would facilitate speed-limit reductions. Reducing limits is the best and lowest-cost step we can take to reduce the number of road deaths and serious injuries of pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers and passengers! Two are local bills applying to one county. The third applies to Maryland state roads in urban areas. Each should have been heard in JPR by the time you read this.

  • HB 612 would allow Montgomery County and county municipalities to reduce speed limits to 15 MPH without conducting an engineering and traffic investigation. Montgomery County has done systematic, county-wide planning that covers the investigation need.
  • HB 278, urban highway speed-limit reduction, would similarly allow 5 MPH reductions by the State Highway Administration without investigations.
  • HB 193 is a similar speed-limit reduction bill, applying to Anne Arundel County.

Please help us move these bills by using our action to contact Senate Judicial Proceedings Chair Will Smith and your district’s senator. Please edit our sample message, if you wish, with your own personal stories or perspective.