You win some, you lose some.
Many thanks to all of you who participated in the democratic process this spring to try to get the Vulnerable User bill (SB 191) passed. Despite passing unanimously in the Senate, the House again failed to bring the bill to vote.
Bike Walk Connecticut testified on a number of cycling and pedestrian-related bills during this year's legislative session. Wins in our column include the defeat of two bills that would have required single file riding for cyclists (SB 103 and HB 5246).
We supported the Comprehensive Energy Strategy Bill (HB 6360) for its inclusion of a transportation section that addressed bikeable, walkable communities and transit-oriented development.
We also supported distracted driving enforcement bills, one of which passed (HB 6033). That bill, enacted as Public Act No. 13-271, increases the fines for violating the ban on driving while operating a cell phone, texting, or engaging in any activity that interferes with a vehicle's safe operation. Fines are now $150 for a first offense, $300 for a second offense, and $500 for third and subsequent offenses.
Additionally, Public Act 13-271 makes those violations part of the driver's motor vehicle record and be available to insurers. The new law also requires the DMV commissioner to assess at least one point on the record of a driver who violates the law banning drivers from using a cell phone, texting, or engaging in any activity that interferes with a vehicle's safe operation.
Finally, the new law creates a task force to: evaluate the effectiveness of existing distracted driving laws; examine their enforcement; and make recommendations, including legislation, to prevent distracted driving in the state. The task force must report to the Transportation Committee by January 1, 2014 and terminates when it submits its report.
For the full list of bills on Bike Walk Connecticut's watchlist, see www.bikewalkct.org/advocacy or click here.
CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Dan Esty will join bicyclists from the East Coast Greenway, Farmington Valley Trails Council and the Farmington Canal Rail-to-Trail Association on Saturday, June 29 for a 56-mile bike ride from New Haven, CT to Southwick, MA ---- most of which is on an extensive trail system with only a few sections on local roads.
The bike ride will begin at 8:00 am -- at the southwest corner of New Haven Green near the bicycle inventor Pierre Allemande’s commemorative plaque at Chapel & Church Streets. The projected end time for the ride will be 2:00 pm in Southwick, MA. Click here for route stops and projected timeline.
Press conferences will take place along the way:
Want to ride the complete 56 miles? Space is limited on the return bus to New Haven. Sign-up now by contacting Pete Salomone at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information about Commissioner Esty's participation please contact Cyndy Chanaca, DEEP Office of Communications at: email@example.com .
On June 25, Governor Dannel P. Malloy and DOT Commissioner Jim Redeker will unveil the start of an interactive, strategic transportation planning process that will support state’s overall economic growth, high quality of life, and a more sustainable environment.
At the Quarterly “All Commissioner’s Meeting” on June 25th at 11AM in the Old Appropriations Room at the State Capitol, Commissioner Redeker will officially unveil the “Transform CT” initiative, in which the Governor’s Office and DOT will engage with the public through an interactive website and meetings across the state to lead to a shared vision and sound investment strategy as it deals with our transportation policies. The overall mission of the Governor and his agencies is to make government more efficient and effective, and that means engaging with the greater public on issues that will have short term and long term affects.
We would like for you to join the Governor or watch live on CT-N as the Commissioner provides an in-depth overview of this process that will occur over the next few months and years.
If you decide to attend, please note that space is limited due to the configuration of the room, and we ask for you to stand in the back during the presentation.
Bike Walk Connecticut
Send us your bike walk related news and time permitting, we'll do our best to post it.