Legislature Passes HB 1793, Don’t Block the Box

OLYMPIA—On March 9, the Washington State Legislature passed HB 1793, Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon’s Don’t Block the Box legislation.

This bill helps keep crosswalks clear, making cities safer for pedestrians. It also adds enforcement options for transit only lanes so buses and riders can get where they need to go.

“I’m pleased that my legislation to improve safety and mobility in Seattle is headed to the governor’s desk.” said Fitzgibbon. “This will help Seattle protect pedestrian safety downtown and help buses move passengers through the most congested roads in Washington more efficiently and quickly.”

Don’t Block the Box received attention last year when Rooted in Rights put out a video in support of the bill. They highlighted safety concerns about how frequently people in wheelchairs are forced to navigate through and around vehicles blocking the crosswalk.

Anna Zivarts, the Rooted in Rights Program Director, said “Everyone should be able to access our streets and sidewalks, especially those of us who rely on walking, rolling and buses to get where we need to go.” On final passage she added “Thanks to everyone in the legislature who stood up for the disability community and their transit-dependent constituents.”

HB 1793 was also supported by the City of Seattle, with Mayor Jenny A. Durkan noting “This legislation is a critical and long-overdue step to ensure transit and all our residents can move through our city quickly and safely.  I applaud the advocates and legislators who worked together over the last year on this important bill – it will improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists, improve the reliability of transit, and manage congestion along key arterials.”

The bill now goes to the Governor’s desk for a signature.