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The 2024 legislative session in Nebraska kicked off on January 4th.

Bike Walk Nebraska uses an intersectional lens, directing our time and energy towards bills about mobility, safety, and accessibility. 

For this session, Bike Walk Nebraska isn't championing any bills but is instead closely monitoring several bills that impact the growth and safety of active transportation. After all, active transportation intersects with infrastructure, education, mobility, accessibility, health, public safety, zoning, and much more.

Here are the bills we're tracking in 2024:

LB 966 (DeKay) - Gives pedestrians right-of-way in crosswalks at intersections with flashing yellow turn arrows. 

The bill proposes a change in provisions around flashing yellow turn arrows, primarily seen in metropolitan areas now but becoming more common across the state. Specifically, it states that drives shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians within a crosswalk.

Our Stance: Proponent*

*Bike Walk Nebraska is a proponent of this bill pending review to see if bicyclists in crosswalks need to be mentioned in the language of the bill to be consistent with LB716 passed in 2016, which gives bicyclists right-of-way rights in a crosswalk.

LB 1033 (Lippencott) & LB 1340 (Kauth) - Distracted Driving Becoming a Primary Offense

These two bills both pertain to the enforcement of distracted driving around texting, speed limit violations, and motor vehicle homicide. Both bills propose changes to Nebraska's distracted driving law from a secondary offense to a primary offense. 

Our Stance: Proponent*

*Distracted driving needs a complex solution, and we need more than enforcement measures alone to solve our safety issues. Law enforcement is on record at the hearing, saying it's difficult to confidently and accurately identify texting drivers.

LB 1165 (Lowe) & LB 1166 (Lowe) - Zoning Regulations for Duplexes & Accessory Dwelling Units 

These bills would create a state standard for zoning issues and would allow duplexes to be built on single-family house lots and "granny flats", or accessory dwelling units, in backyards. 

Our Stance: Proponent*

*In denser populated areas, these zoning regulations would allow for greater active transportation opportunities and generate necessary population density. However, we have concerns about establishing a statewide precedent for local ordinances, especially for less populated areas of the state. 

LB 1250 (J. Cavanaugh) - Provides Grants for Non-Profit Bike Sharing Operators 

This bill would allow the Department of Economic Development to develop a grant process for nonprofit bike share operators in Nebraska. 

Our Stance: Proponent  

Take Action: Make your voice heard and submit a comment for the committee here by Monday, February 5th at 8:00 am CST. 

LB 1357 (McDonnell) - Prohibits Camping Within a Public Right of Way 

This bill would prohibit camping on city streets, medians, and trails and will most directly impact the unhoused population in Nebraska. 

Our Stance: Neutral 

We understand the safety concerns of trail users, yet have concerns about criminalizing those experiencing homelessness on a statewide level. We will be monitoring this closely. If the bill progresses, BWN plans to be at the table to advocate for safe and compassionate ways to navigate the implications for active transportation users and the unhoused.

LB 121 (Bostelman) - Repeals the Trail Development Assistance Act

If passed, this bill would remove funds for the Trail Development Assistance Act and the Cowboy Trails Fund.

Our Stance: Opposed*

*This is a carryover bill from last session. The Statement of Intent says this is a shell bill for the committee, but we will still monitor it closely due to the title and language in the bill.

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