Crosswalk bill redesigned to be friendlier to local governments

January 19, 2021

On January 19, the House Transportation Innovation and General Topics Subcommittee heard testimony on HB 1841 (Keam). As originally written, this legislation would have required new crosswalks and crosswalks receiving future maintenance to be in a zebra pattern and have warning tiles at each end, with additional specifications. Though well intentioned, this would impose additional costs on local governments, including the two counties that maintain their own roads, and preempt local authority to determine the best management of roads in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and guidelines from the Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.

Thankfully, after VACo and others expressed concerns to the patron, the original bill was replaced with substitute language directing the Commissioner of Highways to convene a workgroup to determine whether there should be model policies for crosswalk design and installation in Virginia and that such workgroup specifically include representation from local governments. The Subcommittee unanimously recommended to report the legislation as amended, 8-0. VACo testified to thank the patron and the subcommittee for their responsiveness in improving the bill.

VACo Contact: Jeremy R. Bennett

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