2020 Legislative Priorities Overview

The Wisconsin Bike Fed is the only statewide organization that advocates for better bicycling for everyone who rides a bike. Whether you ride for transportation, train for health, fitness and competition or just ride for fun on trails, our staff and board are working to make it easier, safer and more fun. We work with the governor’s office, the state legislature, and state, county and local agencies and departments.

Our staff and board members attend key meetings, track legislation and budgets to keep our members informed about how decisions and dollars will affect you wherever you live, work and ride. We encourage you to contact any of our staff if you have concerns about any legislative issue at the state, county or municipal level. Look over our Advocacy 2.0 plan to see how you or a local advocacy group you belong to can get more involved in shaping our agenda.

1.  Reinstating State Complete Streets Law (Wisconsin Chapter Trans 75)

  1. We ask the Legislature to reject AB281/SB282 limiting the scope of highway improvement plans and potentially discouraging the addition of bicycle and pedestrian improvements needed for safety and comfort.
  2. We ask the Legislature to pass and the Governor to sign a Complete Streets bill. Complete Streets was repealed under the Walker administration

2.  Vulnerable User Law

  1. We ask the Legislature to pass and the Governor to sign a vulnerable user law. A version of the law was enacted into law in the 2017-2018 session, but with the penalty enhancers removed. We need a law with teeth
  2. The Law provides for greater penalties for motorists injuring or killing vulnerable users of the road.
  3. States with law: Illinois (allows for Class 3 felony), Oregon, New York (A07917-C S5292-B) and Delaware

3. TAP funding

  1. We ask that the Governor direct the Department of Transportation (WisDOT) to stop diverting Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) funds to road projects and leave those funds for the non-motorized projects defined in the TAP.

4. Knowles Nelson Stewardship Program

  1. We ask the Legislature to pass and the Governor to sign a bill to explicitly include bicycling and mountain biking in the statutory definition of “Nature-based outdoor activity” in Stat. 23.0916(1)(b), regulating the Knowles Nelson Stewardship Program. Our lobbyist is exploring which legislator, from both parties, can be approached to author such a bill.

5.  Eminent Domain

  1. We ask the Legislature to pass and the Governor to sign a full repeal of the prohibition of the use of eminent domain for recreational trails and bicycle and pedestrian ways, e.g., SB65.  As a stopgap measure, we also support any partial repeal. The Bike Fed is a member of the Paths for People Coalition to accomplish this goal, emphasizing community organizing through our Advocacy 2.0 program.