LANSING, Mich., May 15, 2024 — State Rep. Julie M. Rogers (D-Kalamazoo), a dedicated cyclist and advocate for sustainable transportation, welcomed participants to Bike Advocacy Day yesterday at the Capitol. During this event, Rogers highlighted significant legislative efforts aimed at enhancing safety and sustainable transportation policies.

“As a lifelong cyclist, runner and practicing physical therapist, the safety of road users is deeply personal to me,” Rogers said. “The tragedies I have witnessed compel me to push for substantial changes in how we protect bicyclists, pedestrians and all non-motorized road users.”

Rogers has been working diligently on the bipartisan Vulnerable Roadway User (VRU) package, House Bills 5223 (Rogers) and 5224 (state Rep. Bill G. Schuette, R-Midland), which were voted out of the House Transportation, Mobility and Infrastructure Committee yesterday. These bills are tie-barred to Senate Bills 617 and 618, championed by state Sens. Sean McCann (D-Kalamazoo) and Veronica Klinefelt (D-Eastpointe). The legislative package formally defines VRUs and expands legal protections to include pedestrians, bicyclists, wheelchair users and others.

Additionally, Rogers sponsored the creation of an electric bicycle incentive program through HB 4491, which offers a financial incentive toward the purchase of e-bikes for Michigan residents. New bill language is being worked on that would create a two-tiered approach, with a larger incentive going to those who need it the most. The bill aims to make e-bikes more accessible, especially for low-income individuals. This initiative supports a focus on greener, more efficient modes of transportation that is eco-friendly. The bill had a hearing today in the House Tax Policy Committee and it is anticipated that it will be voted out soon.

“The recently passed House Transportation budget allocates $2.9 million for an e-bike program, reflecting our commitment to fostering a sustainable future,” Rogers added. “One of the most often cited barriers to employment is the cost of reliable and affordable transportation. E-bikes are a creative solution for working families.”

As Bike Week progresses, Rogers will continue to advocate for policies that ensure safer, more inclusive roads and environmentally friendly transportation solutions. Her ongoing efforts reflect a comprehensive approach to transportation policy that prioritizes safety, accessibility and sustainability.