Public Comments for 01/19/2022 Transportation - Subcommittee # 3 Highway Safety and Policy
HB66 - Secondary roads; use of certain utility vehicles.
HB67 - Projecting vehicle loads; flagging.
Last Name: Ron Jenkins Organization: Virginia Loggers Association Locality: Goochland County

Mr. Chairman and Honorable Members of House Transportation Committee, Virginia Loggers Association supports HB 67 Amendment in the nature of a Substitute. The amendment changes Section 46.2-1121 flag color and size requirements. Virginia Loggers Association is a trade association representing many businesses in forest harvesting and wood mills across the Commonwealth of Virginia. Commercial hauling is essential for our businesses to remove forest trees and logs from the harvesting sites and transport the unrefined materials to processing mills. Safety for the public and our drivers is our industry's top priority. VLA believes visibility of loads will be enhanced by the proposed changes offered by Delegate Edmunds. Our research has found that red and orange flag colors are typically available and required by every state and generally readily available from most suppliers. Red and orange are compliant with federal motor carrier regulations. The yellow and green colors are not as prevalent but should offer strong options for haulers. We found one supplier to offer yellow and green but did not do an exhaustive survey. The requirement for 18"X18" size flagging also matches federal requirements and will give motorists 180 square inches of additional visibility. Virginia Loggers Association supports the proposed changes as described above in my comments. Thank you, Ron Jenkins, Executive Director VLA (804 677-4290)

HB88 - Golf carts and utility vehicles; Town of Ivor authorized to allow operation on highways.
Last Name: Kea Organization: Town of Ivor Locality: Ivor

I am writing in regards to HB 88 on behalf of the Town of Ivor. It is my understanding that there is opposition to the town’s request that we be added to a list of other small towns that are exempted from the police department requirement. We initially asked for this exemption due to the fact that a precedent had already been set for approval, as evidenced by the eight other towns being exempted from this requirement. The Town of Ivor is just under 1.1 square miles in area and just over 300 in population. A portion of this area is along Route 460, which obviously is irrelevant to this request. Therefore, the area which we would like to designate for this usage is less than one square mile in area. The speed limit for this area is already 25 MPH and would stay as that. In our preliminary discussions on this matter, council has indicated the willingness to establish a permit system, that will only be available to town residents. Additionally, we are willing to limit use to the “side streets” of town. This will specifically disallow usage on Rt. 460, the very outer limits of town that have a 35 MPH speed limit, as well as on Main Street, where the speed limit is still 25 MPH, but also which is our only street with any measurable amount of traffic. Delegate Wachsmann has been in contact with our Sheriff, Josh Wyche, and he also has not issued an opposition to our request. The health and safety of my residents is my single highest priority as mayor. I would not be bringing this request before you if I were not confident that we would abide by the rules already set forth by the state and that this would not pose a danger to anyone. I appreciate your consideration of my comments and the town’s request. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if there are any further questions or concerns.

HB386 - Arland D. Williams, Jr. Memorial Bridge; added to Potomac River Bridge Towing Compact.
HB450 - Parking of vehicles; electric vehicle charging spaces, signage for penalty, civil penalties.
Last Name: Nicholls Locality: Chesapeake

Thank you for your consideration. This bill puts penalties on electric car spots, but if this is like handicapped/disabled spots, don't bother. They don't enforce it. People always say "we'll just be a minute". Try dropping a wheelchair ramp in a regular space. There's no sense in putting in a law when local police either refuse to report it or wont let you have the handicapped app that works with the police to ticket owners. Thank you.

Last Name: Banashek Organization: Sierra Club Virginia Chapter Locality: Alexandria

Members of the Committee, thank you for this opportunity to testify in support of HB 450 to protect electric vehicle charging spots. My name is Steve Banashek. I’m an Alexandria resident, electric vehicle owner, and the Electric Vehicle Chair of the Sierra Club’s Virginia Chapter. As an EV owner I support this bill and as the Electric Vehicle Chair, I speak on behalf of the Sierra Club’s Virginia Chapter. Virginians are driving more electric vehicles and automobile manufacturers are releasing more EV models to choose from. I have had several first-hand experiences with vehicles blocking EV chargers in the seven months since driving electric. EV charging should be accessible to drivers and not blocked by vehicles not capable of charging. This bill is not about privileging EV drivers; it is about protecting access to public infrastructure. Investment dollars are and will be used by Virginia to build its own charging network, by the Federal Government from the infrastructure bill, and by private investment from EV charging companies. It is also an equity issue. Access to public charging is essential for those who cannot install a charger at home because they live in an apartment or a house without off street parking. Please support HB 450. Thank you.

Last Name: Gerena Organization: Drive Electric RVA Locality: Chesterfield

* This bill is not about privileging EV owners. It is about protecting access to public infrastructure. Virginia is investing $14 million to build its own charging network, millions more will come to the state from the federal infrastructure bill, and private investment from companies like Tesla, Electrify America, Chargepoint and Volta will continue. * Protecting access to charging will be essential as the market for electric vehicles grows, driven nationally by decreasing battery costs, lower total cost of ownership vs. internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, and the demand for cleaner transportation alternatives. In Virginia, EV registrations grew by 44 percent between June 30, 2020 and June 30, 2021. * This is also an equity issue. Access to public charging is essential for those who cannot install a charger at home because they rent an apartment or live in a house with no driveway or garage. Only 40 percent of Virginians have access to an outlet within 20 feet of where they park. Access is also important for those who own less expensive EVs with smaller batteries and need to travel long distances. * To create a sufficient deterrent, a minimum fine should be designated when someone parks a gasoline powered car in a parking space reserved for EV charging. In addition, the owner of the charging station or the property should be empowered to tow a noncompliant vehicle, just as they would if someone parked in a loading zone or a space designated for people with a physical disability. * Such deterrents are necessary against a behavior commonly called “ICE-ing” that has plagued other states which are further along in their charging infrastructure development. Prohibiting gasoline cars from parking at EV charging stations now would not be more onerous than the regulations currently in place to ensure that handicapped drivers have access to accessible parking spaces and delivery vehicles have access to loading zones.

End of Comments