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Legislative Agenda, 2021

PCC is working with partners and coalitions statewide to advance:

  • Tax credits for Trail Easements, H.3120 (Representative Hyde) would give property owners a state tax credit if they agree to a trail easement. Easements are voluntary and necessary to patch together a trail corridor. Trails contribute to safer active transportation, economic development for communities and regions, and the eco-tourism that provides a small economic engine for some small communities. The impetus of this bill came from trail building efforts by Partners for Active Living in Spartanburg; the bill was refined by Upstate Forever; and it is supported by trail advocates statewide.
  • Hands Free, S.248 (Senator Young & Senator Hembree), would require motorists not hold a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle, in most cases. This bill was first proposed by another name (DUI-E) in 2017, and after 4 years in the state house and senate, it has a good following and is positioned well for 2021. It now has broad support and familiarity among most lawmakers.  A similar bill resides in the House.
  • 3 Feet to Pass, S.245 (Senator Young) would define the distance that is safe between motorists and bicyclists on the open road. This bill was first proposed in 2020, the 2nd of a 2 year session, until the pandemic ended the session prematurely. It gained steam relatively quickly, given it simply adds definition to existing law, which PCC worked to pass in 2008 (Safe Passing law) alongside many partners, including the law firm Bike Law (Safe Passing law).
  • (let go after SCDOT adopted policy) Performance Measures for Complete Streets, H.3051 (Rep. Pendarvis) relates to the Department of Transportation feasibility determination for Complete Streets, based on certain quantifiable performance measures. Those measures would include, but aren’t limited to: the presence in regional ped/bike plans; alignment with the health equity measures included in local pedestrian plans; safety and crash data; proximity to schools, hospitals, colleges and universities, government offices, parks, recreational facilities, and other pedestrian destinations; proximity to transit stops; existence of worn footpaths; areas identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as socially vulnerable; locations identified in a Safe Routes to School Travel Plan or a department safety audit; proximity to grocery stores or convenience stores; and existence of established federal, state, or local bicycle routes or trails.
  • Others after further review.

Brief history of PCC legislative agenda:

  • In 2019 and 2020, we advanced and supported a large slate of bills (H.3656 – Complete Streets; S.723 – Hands Free; H.3172 – pedestrian control signals; H.3173 – yielding to Vulnerable Road User; H.3174 – Bicycles, electric assisted; S.906 – Bicycles & Motor Vehicles, safe distance [3 ft] between), focusing on the Complete Streets, Hands Free and 3 Feet to Pass.  See our 2020 Safe Streets Lobby Day blogpost.   The Electric Assist Bike bill became law in 2020.
  • In 2017 and 2018, we advanced H.3615, an evolution from the previous year’s H.3909known as the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act.  Both bills succeeded through significant negotiations and agreements with both the Judiciary and Transportation committees in both chambers, but did not achieve a final vote.
  • In 2014, we assisted the statewide effort to convince Rep. Nanney to drop the “bike liability bill” and bikes on sidewalks bill (a context sensitive issue).
  • From 2005-2008, PCC worked to update SC’s bike laws to their current state.
  • Prior to that, we advanced the SC Safe Routes to School law.