Electric bicycles (e-bikes) are becoming more popular as more options become available. So far, ten states have updated their laws to reflect this trend and accommodate the technology. An additional 20 states have defined e-bikes but have not fully defined their operation under law. The remaining states have no e-bike laws at all. So far, the technology and its adoption have been outpacing legislation. It is now up to states and localities to determine how to best regulate them.
Transportation decisionmaking is changing in Utah, thanks to the state’s SB136, which passed earlier this year. The bill garnered attention in part because it reforms the governance of the Utah Transit Authority, but UDOT is also moving forward on other important aspects, including adding a new deputy director, developing a strategic multimodal vision, and supporting the development of new project prioritization criteria.
Utah recently approved the nation’s strictest drunk driving standards. Republican Governor Gary Herbert signed legislation on March 23 that will reduce the maximum blood alcohol limit for drivers to .05 percent from the current threshold of .08 percent. The new standard is slated to take effect at the end of 2018. The legislation has been controversial, pitting opponents in the state’s tourism and hospitality industries against supporters in the fields of transportation safety, and public health.
SSTI’s fall 2014 Community of Practice meeting was held October 8-9, 2014 in Salt Lake City. These gatherings focus on peer-to-peer interaction between CEOs of state departments of transportation. The meetings allow attendees to share ideas and learn from one another’s experiences leading state DOTs.
In its newly released 25-year Regional Transportation Plan, Utah’s Wasatch Front Regional Council—which controls more than half of available statewide transportation funds—makes active transportation one of its three major transportation pillars, in addition to highways and transit. The plan includes more than 1,600 miles of proposed bike lanes and improvements, including several hundred miles that coincide with planned road construction.