In addition to the Ride Illinois-led House Bill 1784, a few other bills relevant to bicycling passed the state legislature and are awaiting the Governor’s signature. These include:
Senate Bill 396 – A bike industry-led bill to update the 2010 state law governing electric bikes. The bill defines three industry-standard classes of e-bikes based on the level and maximum speed of pedal assist. It differentiates between e-bikes and low-speed gas bicycles, and regulates e-bikes like bicycles for roads and traffic laws. It also permits e-bike trail use unless the trail-maintaining agency forbids it for one or more classes. Other safety-related provisions are also included.
House Bill 2725 – This bill removes IDOT from co-administration (with IDNR) of Illinois’ Recreational Trails Program, a relatively small ($1.5M/year) federal grant funding source for non-motorized and motorized trails. Having both agencies involved has duplicated efforts and created inefficiencies over the years, and a bill is required to change the arrangement.
Senate Bill 789 – After vagueness in last year’s transportation “lockbox” amendment to the state constitution (also known as the Safe Roads Amendment), this bill clarifies the flexibility of counties, townships, and towns to spend motor fuel tax funds on improvements for alternative forms of transportation including transit, electric vehicles, walking – and bicycling.
House Bill 3455 – This bill establishes an Illinois Department of Natural Resources “Adopt-a-Trail” program allowing volunteer groups to help maintain and enhance state trails. However, volunteer services shall not include work historically performed by IDNR employees or displace their hours and compensation.
House Bill 2895 – Designates cycling as the official state exercise of Illinois. Who could disagree?!?