THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

1506

THIRTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2023

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO TRANSPORTATION.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that traffic-related deaths and fatalities in the State have significantly increased over the past decade. In 2014, there were ninety-five deaths and three hundred seventy-eight serious injuries in the State. In 2019, Hawaii led the nation in pedestrian deaths of kupuna. In 2022, these numbers grew to a record one hundred seventeen deaths and five hundred seventy-two serious injuries. Hawaii's students are also frequently hit by cars, and unfortunately all too often seriously injured or killed while walking or biking to school.

The legislature also finds that other places, including cities of similar size and population to Honolulu, have successfully reduced traffic-related fatalities, in some years to zero, by making safety the priority for project spending and investing in safer infrastructure accordingly.

However, the legislature recognizes that, in Hawaii, decades of automobile-centric planning and development have created formidable barriers to safe walking and bicycling, especially for students and kupuna. These barriers include a lack of complete, protected, and comfortable bike and pedestrian networks; burdensome and complicated funding mechanisms for safe routes projects; complicated coordination between state and county agencies and community-based organizations to identify and prioritize projects; and most of all a lack of dedicated funding. The legislature further finds the safe routes to schools program itself is no longer working, as federal funding has stalled, state funding has been separated from the program, and engagement with community stakeholders has slowed.

Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to re-prioritize the safety of keiki and kupuna by fixing and simplifying the safe routes to schools program, expanding it to include safe routes for all people, re-engage community stakeholders, and appropriate a meaningful $50,000,000 to move priority projects and save lives, by:

(1) Establishing within the department of transportation, a safe routes for people implementation program to develop strategies and facilitate transportation-related projects that will ensure that keiki and kupuna are able to safely walk, bike, or roll to common destinations through the Vision Zero policy adopted by the department and county transportation departments pursuant to section 286‑7.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes; the ground transportation facilities plans developed and implemented by the department of transportation and counties pursuant to section 264‑142, Hawaii Revised Statutes; and the safe routes to school program under section 291C-3, Hawaii Revised Statutes;

(2) Establishing a safe routes for people implementation committee to advise the State in carrying out the purposes of the safe routes for people implementation program;

(3) Renaming the safe routes to schools special fund to the safe routes for people special fund;

(4) Authorizing the safe routes for people implementation committee to develop an application process for projects under the safe routes to school program and determine awards for selected projects; and

(5) Appropriating $50,000,000 for priority projects that will improve safety and allow keiki and kupuna to safely walk, bike, or roll to common destinations.

SECTION 2. Chapter 286, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding two new sections to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"286‑A Safe routes for people implementation program; establishment. There is established within the department of transportation for administrative purposes only, a safe routes for people implementation program to develop strategies and facilitate transportation-related projects that will ensure that keiki and kupuna are able to safely walk, bike, or roll to common destinations through the Vision Zero policy adopted by the department and county transportation departments pursuant to section 286-7.5, ground transportation facilities plans developed and implemented by the department of transportation and counties pursuant to section 264-142, and projects authorized under the safe routes to school program pursuant to section 291C-3.

286‑B Safe routes for people implementation committee. (a) There is established within the department for administrative purposes only, a safe routes for people implementation committee to advise the State in carrying out the purposes of the safe routes for people implementation program. Specifically, the safe routes for people implementation committee shall:

(1) Develop recommendations for any additional metrics or benchmarks to ensure progress toward improving safety by achieving the department's policy goals and plans adopted and implemented pursuant to sections 286-7.5 and 264-142;

(2) Develop recommendations for federal and other grant funding opportunities that may help achieve the department's policy goals and plans adopted and implemented pursuant to sections 286-7.5 and 264-142;

(3) Develop recommendations to facilitate efforts by communities to apply for and receive projects pursuant to sections 286-7.5, 264-142, and 291C-3, and streamline project development and implementation between communities and the department;

(4) Review project proposals and select priority projects pursuant to sections 286-7.5, 264-142, and 291C-3 to be funded through the safe routes for people implementation program or otherwise be prioritized and implemented by the department; and

(5) Submit annual reports on the activities and recommendations of the safe routes for people implementation program to the governor and legislature no later than December 31 of each year.

(b) The safe routes for people implementation committee shall consist of the following members:

(1) The chairs of the house of representatives standing committee and the senate standing committee with primary jurisdiction over transportation, who shall serve as co-chairs;

(2) The deputy director of the department's highways division;

(3) The department's safe routes to school program coordinator;

(4) One member representing the physical activity and nutrition section of the department of health's chronic disease prevention and health promotion division;

(5) One member representing the department of education;

(6) The chair of the Hawaii climate change mitigation and adaptation commission;

(7) One member representing the Hawaii state energy office;

(8) One member representing the Hawaii state council on developmental disabilities;

(9) One member representing each county department of transportation;

(10) One member representing an organization with a focus on bicycling;

(11) One member representing an organization with a focus on senior citizens;

(12) One member representing organizations that understand the ways families with young children navigate through the State;

(13) One member representing an organization with a focus on public health and mobility; and

(14) One member representing an organization with a focus on transportation equity and mobility.

In addition to the members listed in this subsection, the co-chairs of the committee may request the participation or input of members of the public; experts in the field; and county, state, or federal officials or others as necessary.

(c) The members of the safe routes for people implementation committee shall be nominated and, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, appointed by the governor to serve for a term of three years each. Except as provided in this section, the appointment, tenure, and removal of the members and the filling of vacancies on the committee shall be as provided in section 26-34.

(d) Members of the safe routes for people implementation committee shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for expenses, including travel expenses, necessary for the performance of their duties.

(e) No member of the safe routes for people implementation committee shall be subject to chapter 84, solely because of the member's service on the committee.

(f) As used in this section, "department" means the department of transportation."

SECTION 3. Section 291C-3, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"291C-3 State [and county] safe routes to school [programs;] program; coordinators; grants; reports. (a) There is established, within the department of transportation, a safe routes to school program that shall, among other things, enhance traffic safety around Hawaii's schools, enable and encourage children to walk and bicycle to school, and make bicycling and walking to school a safer and more appealing transportation alternative.

(b) There is created, within the department of transportation, the position of safe routes to school program coordinator. The safe routes to school program coordinator shall provide a central point of contact for the federal safe routes to school program.

(c) [A county designated office, through the county safe routes to school program coordinator, and] The safe routes for people implementation committee, in consultation with the department of education, department of health, and Hawaii Association of Independent Schools, shall provide safe routes to school funds for school-based and community-based workshops and infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects that will reduce vehicular traffic and congestion, encourage walking and bicycling, and promote health and safety around Hawaii's schools.

(d) The [legislature shall appropriate] department of transportation, in conjunction with the safe routes for people implementation committee, shall expend funds from the safe routes [to school program] for people special fund [to the counties] to be used for the implementation of [county] safe routes to school program projects and projects pursuant to section 286-B(a)(3) and (4). No later than twenty days prior to the convening of each regular session, [each county] the safe routes for people implementation committee shall submit to the legislature an annual report on the status and progress of [its county] the safe routes to school program, including an accounting of all grants provided through the program and a timeline for future grant awards.

(e) Implementation of the [county] safe routes to school program shall take into consideration the need to:

[(1) Fill a permanent, full-time position of safe routes to school coordinator within the county designated office;

(2)] (1) Maximize the participation of school officials and stakeholder groups in the community;

[(3)] (2) Work in conjunction with county designated safe routes to school stakeholders and train volunteer facilitators for school-based workshops and community-based projects, including flexible training schedules;

[(4)] (3) Train potential grant requestors and stakeholder groups in federal and state requirements necessary for procurement, contracts, design, and construction; and

[(5)] (4) Allocate not less than ten per cent and not more than thirty per cent of safe routes [to school] for people funds intended for safe routes to school projects for non-infrastructure-related activities or activities to encourage walking and bicycling to school, public awareness campaigns, student sessions on bicycle and pedestrian safety, or other non-infrastructure activities as prescribed under section 1404 of the 2005 Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users, Public Law No. 109-59.

[(f) Each grant proposal in the county safe routes to school program shall:

(1) Identify the modes of travel used by students to get to school;

(2) Determine the number of students using each mode of travel;

(3) Survey the parents of each student to gather information regarding the factors involved in the choice of transportation mode for the student and, where the student travels by automobile or bus, conditions that would need to change for the parent to permit the student to walk or ride a bicycle to school, and obstacles to walking and biking; and

(4) Identify traffic infrastructure elements in the immediate vicinity of each school, including multi-lane roadways, speed limits, and traffic calming features that, either by their presence or absence, contribute to the use of automobiles as a student's mode of travel to school.

(g)] (f) The [director of transportation,] safe routes for people implementation committee, in consultation with organizations that have received non-infrastructure and pending infrastructure grants, shall develop a streamlined process for the safe routes to school program that meets federal and state requirements, simplifies the grant proposal application process, and expedites release of funding after completion of school-based and community-based projects for infrastructure and non-infrastructure.

[(h)] (g) The director of transportation shall submit to the legislature an annual report of the status and progress of the safe routes to school program, including an accounting of all grants provided through the program and a timeline for future grant awards, no later than twenty days prior to the convening of each regular session.

[(i)] (h) Nothing in this section shall be construed as requiring actions or omissions that would render the State ineligible to receive funds for the safe routes to school program under the 2005 Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users, Public Law No. 109-59."

SECTION 4. Section 291C-4, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"291C-4 Safe routes [to school program] for people special fund; establishment. (a) There is established in the state treasury the safe routes [to school program] for people special fund, into which shall be deposited:

(1) Legislative appropriations and federal or private grants, gifts, and donations made to the safe routes for people implementation program for deposit into the fund;

(2) Interest earned or accrued on moneys deposited in the fund;

[(1)] (3) Assessments collected for speeding in a school zone, pursuant to section 291C-104; and

[(2)] (4) Safe routes to school program surcharges collected in accordance with sections 291-16 and 291C‑5.

(b) The moneys in the special fund shall be administered and expended by the department of transportation, in conjunction with the safe routes for people implementation committee, to:

(1) Fund projects selected and approved by the safe routes for people implementation committee pursuant to section 286-B;

(2) Distribute to counties for the implementation of projects selected and approved by the safe routes for people implementation committee; provided that the department of transportation may require matching funds from a respective county based on the nature and funding requirements of the proposed project; and

(3) Fund projects selected and approved by the safe routes for people implementation committee under the safe routes to school program pursuant to section 291C-3.

(c) The department of transportation shall submit an annual report to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of each regular session that outlines the receipts of, and expenditures from, the special fund."

SECTION 5. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $50,000,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2023-2024 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2024-2025 to address bicycle and pedestrian facilities in state and county transportation systems.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of transportation for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 6. In codifying the new sections added by section 2 of this Act, the revisor of statutes shall substitute appropriate section numbers for the letters used in designating the new sections in this Act.

SECTION 7. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 8. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2023.


 


 

Report Title:

Traffic Safety; Keiki and Kupuna; Safe Routes to School Program; Safe Routes for People Implementation Program; Safe Routes for People Implementation Committee; Safe Routes for People Special Fund; Appropriation

 

Description:

Establishes 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. Authorizes the Safe Routes for People Implementation Committee to develop the application process under the Safe Routes to School Program. Renames the Safe Routes to Schools Program Special Fund to the Safe Routes for People Special Fund and amends its purpose. Appropriates funds. (SD1)

 

 

 

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