Hartford, Conn. (March 5, 2014) - For the fifth consecutive year, the Connecticut General Assembly is considering a bill to help hold accountable careless drivers who injure or kill pedestrians, cyclists and other non-motorized “vulnerable users” of the state’s roads.
Bike Walk Connecticut, the advocacy organization working to make Connecticut a better place to bike and walk, supported the bill again this year in testimony before the legislature’s Transportation Committee on March 5.
The bill, SB 336, would allow reckless drivers to be fined up to $1000 when they cause the death of or injury to a pedestrian, cyclist or other “vulnerable user” who uses reasonable care on the road.
From 2006 to 2012, a total of 10,793 pedestrians and cyclists have been killed or injured while using Connecticut roads, according to federal and state crash data registries.
A majority of vulnerable user accidents occur along “arterial” roadways—streets that are designed for speeding traffic with little or no provision for people on foot, on bicycles or in wheelchairs. Excessive speed, distracted driving, and occasional outright driver hostility too often play a role in these tragedies.
Study after study reveals that more people would make more trips by bike or on foot and drive less if they felt safer in traffic. Passing the Vulnerable User bill, and then enforcing it, will raise awareness across the board about the need to be alert for the various users of our public roads.
Vulnerable User legislation is good public policy. Making Connecticut a better place to bike and walk will reduce traffic congestion; create more vibrant town centers; save money; and give us cleaner air and a healthier population.
In the last two years, the Vulnerable User bill has had broad legislative support and passed the Senate unanimously, but it was not brought to a vote in the House in either year. Bike Walk Connecticut and its members urge readers to ask their legislators to pass the Vulnerable User bill, SB 336, early this legislative session and get the bill across the finish line this year.
Sources: http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/; http://www.ctcrash.uconn.edu/; http://www.tstc.org/reports/danger12/; http://t4america.org/tag/dangerous-by-design
# # #Bike Walk Connecticut (bikewalkct.org) is a member supported, not-for-profit organization that works to make Connecticut a better place to bike and walk.
The town of Old Lyme will hold a public meeting on Thursday to discuss the South View Beach improvement project, which calls for a bike path from Hartford Ave. to Route 156 and up to the Raymond E. Baldwin Bridge.
BSC Group, an engineering firm from Glastonbury will present the improvement plan, design specifications and cost of the first phase of the project.
The meeting will be held Thursday, March 6 at 7 p.m. at the Old Lyme Town Hall.
The CT Post reports the public had a mixed reaction to the conceptual layout of the Fairfield section of the proposed trail along the Merritt Parkway during a public meeting last week. This was the first of eight informational meetings the DOT will hold in the towns where the trail will run through.
Approximately 50 people attended the meeting in Fairfield last week. Some attendees said the trail would increase their property values and quality of life. However, three members of the Merritt Parkway Conservancy opposed the building of the trail because of its aesthetics and the fact that trees would need to be removed to build the trail.
The portion of the trail that would run through Fairfield would run along the Parkway's southern right-of-way. The trail would be 10' wide with 2' of shoulder on each side. There would also be fences on each side of the trail.
Read the full article in the CT Post here.
Dust off your messages to legislators from last year encouraging them to pass the Vulnerable User bill. As you might remember, last year the bill passed the Senate but was never brought to a vote in the House, so the bill was not adopted.
The Vulnerable User bill is back again in 2014, now that the Transportation Committee of the legislature has raised it as SB 336. This will be the fifth year that the bill has come before the legislature.
What is it? Similar to the compromise language passed by the committee last year, this year's bill:
What happens next?
The Transportation Committee will hold a public hearing on SB336 on Wednesday, March 5 at 10:30 am at the Legislative Office Building, Room 2E in Hartford.
What can YOU do?
Transportation Committee Members (alpha by last name)
Rep. David Alexander Dist. 58, Enfield: David.Alexander@cga.ct.gov, 860-240-8585
Rep. Whit Betts Dist. 78, Bristol: email@example.com, 860-240-8700
Sen. Toni Boucher Dist. 26, Wilton: Toni.Boucher@cga.ct.gov, 860-240-8800
Sen. Steve Cassano Dist. 4, Manchester: web form, 860-240-8600
Rep. Gerald Fox Dist. 146, Stamford: Gerald.Fox@cga.ct.gov, 860-240-0530
Sen. L. Scott Frantz Dist. 36, Riverside: Scott.Frantz@cga.ct.gov, 860-240-8800
Rep. Janice Giegler Dist. 138, Danbury: Janice.Giegler@housegop.ct.gov, 860-240-8700
Rep. Antonio Guerrera Dist. 29, Rocky Hill: Tony.Guerrera@cga.ct.gov, 860-240-8585
Sen. Joan Hartley Dist. 15, Waterbury: Hartley@senatedems.ct.gov, 860-240-0006
Rep. DebraLee Hovey Dist. 112, Monroe: DebraLee.Hovey@housegop.ct.gov, 860-240-8700
Rep. Claire Janowski Dist. 56, Hartford: Claire.Janowski@cga.ct.gov, 860-240-0452
Rep. Ed Jutila Dist. 37, Niantic: Ed.Jutila@cga.ct.gov, 860-240-8585
Rep. David Labriola Dist. 131, Oxford: David.Labriola@housegop.ct.gov, 860-240-8700
Rep. Timothy Larson Dist. 11, East Hartford: Timothy.Larson@cga.ct.gov, 860-240-8585
Rep. Roland Lemar Dist. 96, New Haven: firstname.lastname@example.org, 860-240-8585
Sen. Carlo Leone Dist. 27, Stamford: web form, 860-240-8600
Rep. Rick Lopes Dist. 24, New Britain: Rick.Lopes@cga.ct.gov, 860-240-8500
Sen. Andrew Maynard Dist. 18, Stonington: web form, 860-240-0591
Sen. Michael McLachlan Dist. 24, Danbury: Michael.McLachlan@cga.ct.gov, 860-240-0068
Rep. Steven Mikutel Dist. 45, Griswold: Steve.Mikutel@cga.ct.gov, 860-240-8585
Rep. Michael Molgano Dist. 144, Stamford: email@example.com, 860-240-8700
Rep. Russell Morin Dist. 28, Wethersfield: Russell.Morin@cga.ct.gov, 860-240-8500
Rep. Tom O'Dea Dist. 125, New Canaan: Tom.ODea@housegop.ct.gov, 860-240-8700
Rep. Jason Perillo Dist. 113, Shelton: firstname.lastname@example.org, 800-842-1423
Rep. Ezequiel Santiago Dist. 130, Bridgeport: Ezequiel.Santiago@cga.ct.gov, 860-240-8585
Rep. Pamela Sawyer Dist. 55, Bolton: Pamela.Sawyer@housegop.ct.gov, 860-240-8700
Rep. Peggy Sayers Dist. 60, Windsor Locks: Peggy.Sayers@cga.ct.gov, 860-240-8585
Rep. David Scribner Dist. 107, Brookfield: David.Scribner@housegop.ct.gov, 860-240-8700
Rep. Joseph Serra Dist. 33, Middletown: Joseph.Serra@cga.ct.gov, 860-240-8585
Rep. Bill Simanski Dist. 62, Granby: email@example.com, 860-240-8700
Rep. Jonathan Steinberg Dist. 136, Westport: Jonathan.Steinberg@cga.ct.gov, 860-240-8588
Sen. Andrea Stillman Dist. 20, Waterford: web form, 860-240-0425
Rep. Joe Verrengia Dist. 20, West Hartford: Joe.Verrengia@cga.ct.gov, 860-240-8585
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