STAND. COM. REP. NO. 276

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 1506

S.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirty-Second State Legislature

Regular Session of 2023

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Transportation and Culture and the Arts, to which was referred S.B. No. 1506 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO TRANSPORTATION,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to:

 

(1) Establish a Safe Routes for People Implementation Program and Safe Routes for People Implementation Committee to develop strategies and facilitate transportation-related projects that ensure the safety of keiki and kupuna using ground transportation facilities;

 

(2) Establish a Safe Routes for People Special Fund;

 

(3) Allow State Highway Fund funds to be expended to establish protected walkways;

 

(4) Increase the minimum amount of State Highway Funds required to be expended by the Department of Transportation on ground transportation projects from two percent to five percent; and

 

(5) Appropriate funds.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Transportation; Hawaii State Council on Developmental Disabilities; Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission; Honolulu Police Department; one member of the Honolulu City Council; Ulupono Initiative; Ahahui o nā Kauka; Hui o Hoohonua; Kauai Path, Inc.; Get Fit Kauai; Hawaii Bicycling League; AARP Hawaii; Hawaii Children's Action Network Speaks!; Bikeshare Hawaii; Hawaii Public Health Institute; and fourteen individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Health and Department of Budget and Finance.

 

Your Committee finds that safety of all roadway users, including pedestrians, should be of paramount importance. Cities of similar population to the City and County of Honolulu have seen significant decreases in traffic-related fatalities, with some cities reporting near zero fatalities annually. Despite successful traffic safety measures elsewhere, traffic-related deaths and fatalities in Hawaii have significantly increased in the past decade. In 2022, there were one hundred seventeen traffic fatalities, which was an increase from ninety-four in 2021.

 

Your Committee further finds that ensuring safe routes to common places for keiki and kupuna will not only protect the State's most vulnerable road users, but planning and project design around safe routes will serve as a long-term investment in the future of transportation in the State. However, decades of automobile-centric planning and development created formidable barriers such as a lack of complete, safe, and comfortable bike and pedestrian networks; burdensome and complicated funding mechanisms for safe routes projects; and a lack of coordination among state and county agencies with community-based organizations. To create safer communities across the State, the development and implementation of safe routes will better protect all pedestrians, bicyclists, and other users during their commute.

 

Your Committee has amended this measure by:

 

(1) Authorizing the Safe Routes for People Implementation Program to develop projects authorized under the Safe Routes to School Program;

 

(2) Authorizing the Safe Routes for People Implementation Committee to develop recommendations to facilitate efforts for communities to apply for projects, streamline project development and implementation, review project proposals, and prioritize projects under the Safe Routes to School Program;

 

(3) Changing the composition of the Safe Routes for People Implementation Committee as follows:

 

(A) Removing the members representing each of the metropolitan planning organizations in the State;

 

(B) Adding one member representing the Hawaii State Council on Developmental Disabilities;

 

(C) Adding one member representing each county Department of Transportation; and

 

(D) Adding one member representing organizations that understand the ways families with young children navigate through the State;

 

(4) Removing language that would have established a Safe Routes for People Special Fund in chapter 286, Hawaii Revised Statutes;

 

(5) Repealing the county safe routes to school programs and replacing the counties' authority to provide safe routes to school funds with the Safe Routes for People Implementation Committee;

 

(6) Clarifying that the Safe Routes to School Program shall not allocate less than ten percent nor more than thirty percent of Safe Routes for People funds intended for Safe Routes to School projects for non-infrastructure related activities;

 

(7) Repealing the grant proposal process for the county safe routes to school programs;

 

(8) Amending the Safe Routes to School Program Special Fund as follows:

 

(A) Renaming the special fund as the Safe Routes for People Special Fund;

 

(B) Clarifying the eligible funding sources for the special fund;

 

(C) Authorizing monies in the fund to be expended by the Department of Transportation to fund projects selected by the Safe Routes for People Implementation Committee under the Safe Routes for People Implementation Program and Safe Routes to School Program; and

 

(D) Requiring the Department of Transportation to submit annual reports to the Legislature regarding expenditures from the special fund;

 

(9) Removing part II of the measure, relating to the use of the State Highway Fund for protected walkways;

 

    (10) Appropriating $50,000,000 to the Department of Transportation to address bicycle and pedestrian facilities in state and county transportation systems;

 

    (11) Amending section 1 to reflect its amended purpose; and

 

    (12) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.

 

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Transportation and Culture and the Arts that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1506, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1506, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.

 


 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Transportation and Culture and the Arts,

 

 

 

________________________________

CHRIS LEE, Chair