West Hartford, Conn. (Jan. 28, 2016) – Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, a nationally known law firm with offices in Bridgeport, New Haven and Danbury, has made a $100,000 donation to Bike Walk Connecticut in recognition of the work of Sean Alexander and Colleen Kelly Alexander. The Alexanders were elected to the board of Bike Walk Connecticut in 2015.
Attorney William Bloss, a litigator with Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, hails Colleen and Sean Alexander for being “effective advocates for bike safety for years. Their focus and deeply personal perspective on this vital issue should cause all of us to pay close attention. We’re inspired by their work and dedication, and we’re pleased to support it and the work of Bike Walk Connecticut.”
“We are exceedingly grateful to Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder for this gift,” said Bike Walk Connecticut Executive Director, Kelly Kennedy. “What’s extra special about this donation is that the firm’s generosity is matched by its deep understanding of how important it is for Connecticut to be a better, safer, place to bike and walk. This gift will help us amplify our Share the Road campaign to urge drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to follow the rules of the road.”
Colleen Kelly Alexander’s connection to cycling started early. Her father got her on a bike when she was two. As a child she loved spending time at her dad’s bike shop. She became a successful triathlete, overcoming two serious medical challenges. Then, on October 8, 2011 on a routine bike commute home from work, Colleen was run over by a 30-ton freight truck. Colleen was following the rules of the road that day, but the truck was not. The truck didn’t stop at a stop sign and ran over Colleen, ripping open her abdomen, breaking her pelvis and legs, severely damaging her leg muscles, and tearing off massive amounts of skin. Colleen was resuscitated twice, needed 78 units of blood, and was in a coma for five weeks. The truck driver got a ticket for not stopping at the stop sign.
Miraculously, Colleen survived and has gone on to run more than 50 races and compete in 30 triathlons, including four half Ironman events. Since her trauma, Colleen has become a sought-after public speaker on gratitude and leading a purpose-driven life.
Noting that cycling has always been a part of her life, Colleen says “It is an honor to be on the board of directors for Bike Walk Connecticut.” About the aftermath of her trauma, Colleen continues, “We are so grateful that Bill Bloss represented our case with such integrity, passion, and conviction. And he continues to support us and our cause! By this substantial donation, it's clear how much Bill and Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder care about making Connecticut's streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians. This donation is a testament that we are a human community. When we work together for the good of everyone, we can create incredible change. I am alive to be a change maker, and I am committed to helping Connecticut become a safer place to bike and walk.”
Colleen’s husband, Sean Alexander, a competitive triathlete himself, explains, “While Colleen was in a coma, I looked for just the right firm to represent us. Bill Bloss was the right pick. His support for us, our work, and what we stand for has been unwavering. My wife was brought back to life, but other people are being lost daily on our roads. We all should be able to live in a safe, bicycle and pedestrian friendly community. Together, we can make Connecticut a safer place to bike and walk and save lives.”
About Bike Walk Connecticut: Bike Walk CT is a not-for-profit organization that works to change the culture of transportation and make Connecticut a better place to bike and walk. Bike Walk CT advocates at the state government level for laws, policies and funding that support active transportation. Bike Walk CT relies on individual and business members, sponsors, donors, and volunteers to carry out its mission. www.bikewalkct.org.
About Koskoff, Koskoff &Bieder: With offices in Bridgeport, New Haven and Danbury, the law firm of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder is known nationally for achieving record verdicts for people who suffer serious personal injuries or economic harm from medical malpractice, violation of their civil or constitutional rights, dangerous products, negligence, drunk drivers, corporate or governmental abuse and commercial misconduct. www.koskoff.com.
We are very excited and grateful to the Governor for putting $7 million for the CT DEEP Recreational Trails Program on the bond commission's Jan 29 agenda. (See our Jan. 15 letter to the Governor, below.)
The funding isn't a done deal yet, since it's always possible that the meeting could be cancelled and the bonding wouldn't go forward. But it's very gratifying to see our state government taking significant measures to make Connecticut a better place to bike and walk. Our advocacy is making a difference.
Here's what the Jan. 29 agenda includes at page 79:
ITEM NO. 65 CONNECTICUT BIKEWAY, PEDESTRIAN WALKWAY, RECREATIONAL TRAIL AND GREENWAY GRANT PROGRAM
REASON FOR REQUEST: These funds are requested to finance grants-in-aid for planning, design, land acquisition, construction, construction administration, equipment, trail amenities, trail facilities, parking lots, toilet buildings, signs, benches and publications for bikeways, pedestrian walkways, greenways and multiuse trails, and for development and maintenance of recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both motorized and non-motorized uses. The release of these funds will be controlled through the allotment process pending project selections.
Grants-in-aid to Eligible Recipients $4,915,000
DEEP State Park Trail Projects 1,785,000
DEEP Administrative Costs 300,000
Total, This Request $7,000,000
Bike Walk CT and the Rails to Trails Conservancy team up to advocate for putting trails funding on the January 2016 Bond Commission agenda. click for pdf
Dear Governor Malloy:
We commend you for the leadership you’ve shown with Let’s Go CT and for seeing to it that active transportation is part of our short- and long-term transportation vision.
We think you agree: Connecticut’s longtime lack of investment in multi-modal transportation networks is a competitive disadvantage.
With that in mind, Bike Walk Connecticut and the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy write jointly to ask you to ensure that the January 2016 Bond Commission Agenda include $7 million in funding for the Recreational Trails Program of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
With 88% of Connecticut’s workers driving to work alone by car, it’s no wonder that our roads are congested, costing us some $1.3 billion annually in lost time and wasted fuel, according to DOT. Nor should we overlook the fact that transportation is the single biggest source of Connecticut’s greenhouse gas pollution. According to DEEP, that’s mostly from passenger cars.
We believe that multiuse trails should no longer be considered as “nice to have” amenities. For reasons of economic competitiveness, climate and health, Connecticut should view multiuse trails as critical components of our active transportation infrastructure. We would we like to see Connecticut take a holistic view of complete streets and multiuse trails as complementary parts of an overall active transportation network. We need to connect Connecticut.
Moreover, we believe Connecticut must go beyond accommodating cyclist and pedestrian travel to actually promoting it, so that we can simultaneously relieve congestion, address climate change, and attract and retain the millennials and knowledge workers that will give Connecticut's innovation economy a true competitive advantage.
We agree with other advocates that it is urgent to include trails funding on the January bond commission agenda so that work on trail projects can start as soon as possible when the field season begins in Spring 2016. More than $6 million in trails projects are reported to be shovel ready.
Thank you for considering our views.
Kelly Kennedy, Esq., Executive Director, Bike Walk Connecticut
Andrew N. Dupuy, Manager of Policy Outreach, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
cc: Ben Barnes, Secretary of OPM
Garrett Eucalitto, Under Secretary, OPM Office of Transportation Policy
City, Town and State Policies Could Aim to Double or Triple Travel by Biking and Walking
- Kelly Kennedy, Executive Director
When a college newspaper interviewed me recently they asked if Connecticut was doing anything to promote biking and walking as transportation. While the state is starting to get better about accommodating biking and walking, that’s not the same as actually promoting it.
It’s time for that to change. The climate situation mandates it. And there’s really no time to waste.
I had a chance to talk about active transportation and climate change yesterday with CT Fund for the Environment and other advocates at a press event in New Haven that called for the City to update its climate action plan and implement strategies to reduce emissions.
Transportation is the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Connecticut, creating 40% of all our emissions. And most of that is from passenger cars.
Meanwhile, 88% of CT workers commute to work alone by car. Because there are so many cars on the road, drivers in Connecticut spend up to one work-week sitting in traffic. Those costs exceed $1.6 billion in lost time and fuel.
And then we have GE, opting to leave a Connecticut for a dynamic, bustling metropolis where transit, bike share, millennials, and knowledge workers are all part of the mix.
I was happy to praise New Haven at yesterday’s event for having bike commuting rates nine times the state’s average (2.7% vs. 0.3%). And the Go-NewHaven-Go initiative is a great demonstration of leadership on active transportation.
But I urged New Haven not to stop there. New Haven can seize this opportunity to keep thinking outside the car, and set official goals to double--or even triple--travel by biking and walking as part of the City’s climate action plan.
New Haven has a chance to show every Connecticut city and town—and the state—the way to get behind active transportation as a serious strategy for fighting climate change in Connecticut.
#ThinkOutsidetheCar #climatechange @CTEnvironment @goNHgo
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