D E T A I L S . . .
Sunday, Sept. 27, 8:30 am, Walnut Hill Park, New Britain
Registration includes brunch from 10 am - 1 pm at the New Britain Museum of American Art
A hearty congratulations goes out to Suburban Sports for earning the Gold level Bicycle Friendly Business designation in the latest round of awards by the League of American Bicyclists! Suburban Sports' owner Keith Nappi is a member of Bike Walk Connecticut. Read more.
Connecticut's ranks of bike-friendly communities and businesses are growing, but there's room for plenty more. Connecticut has 7 bicycle friendly communities, 9 bicycle friendly businesses. We're still holding at just one bicycle friendly university (and that would be Yale).
This letter to the editor appears in the Hartford Courant at http://cour.at/1EkCa9x
Because so much of Metro Hartford -- where 81 percent of commuters drive alone -- is so car-oriented, getting to a bus rapid transit station any other way can be a challenge [Aug. 23, Connecticut, "Parking Near CTfastrak Stations Becoming Scarce"].
We've made driving a habit, even when we're not going that far. About half of the trips made in U.S. metro areas are under three miles -- a distance easily covered by bicycle. A quarter of trips are under one mile -- easy enough for most to cover on foot. But because so many streets in so many communities don't safely accommodate these "alternative" modes, 72 percent of trips under three miles are made by car.
If CTfastrak ridership is going to continue to grow, then the Department of Transportation, regional planners and towns must coordinate to make it easier to walk or bike to transit stations. One way to do this is to build housing and commercial space near the busway. Another is making stronger pedestrian and bicycle connections between the stations and the neighborhoods they already serve.
Make room for a few more cars at busway stations, and we'll see the same headline soon after. Make it safer and more convenient to walk or bike to CTfastrak, and soon the headlines will read "Bicycle Parking Near CTfastrak Stations Becoming Scarce."
Joseph Cutrufo, New York; and Kelly Kennedy, West Hartford
The writers are the Connecticut coordinator for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign and the executive director of Bike Walk Connecticut, respectively.
West Hartford To Host First U.S. Cycling Without Age Event
For bicycle enthusiasts, there's nothing like feeling the wind in your hair while pedaling down a street or trail.
But for many seniors with mobility constraints, that carefree feeling seems like a distant memory. Cycling Without Age is a movement founded in Denmark by Ole Kassow in 2012, dedicated to "the right to wind in your hair." Read the full Hartford Courant story
Startup company Lanemakers has created this bicycle safety device to help drivers give cyclists at least a three-feet safe passing zone. More info at www.lanemakers.com
Connecticut's 3-foot safe passing law was enacted in 2008 and is embodied in Conn. Gen. Stat. 14-232. DOT covered it here.
Congratulations go out to West Hartford for becoming Connecticut's latest municipality to adopt its own complete streets policy. The West Hartford Town Council voted unanimously on July 21, 2015 to adopt a “Complete Streets” policy to comprehensively address the town’s streets for all users.
Bike West Hartford prompted the town to adopt a complete streets policy, working with the Bicycle Advisory Committee and Town Council last fall to pass a resolution calling for a complete streets policy within 180 days. (See Thumbs Up Awards, Oct. 2014). Since then, members of Bike West Hartford and the Bicycle Advisory Committee collaborated with town staff and town councilors on initial drafts. Town staff sought comments from relevant stakeholders, including Bike Walk Connecticut.
Several drafts later, Town Council members Clare Kindall (and Bike Walk CT member) and Leon Davidoff, and Minority Leader Denise Hall, introduced the resolution to adopt the Complete Streets policy which they have been working on with Town Manager Ron Van Winkle and Community Services Director Mark McGovern since last summer. The policy was adopted unanimously.
All transportation projects going forward, with limited exceptions, will follow the Complete Streets policy, Kindall said.
The policy calls for a bicycle facilities plan to be developed by town staff with input from the Bicycle Advisory Committee,to be presented to the Council for adoption in the next nine months. The bicycle facilities plan will indicate the best routes for traveling through West Hartford by bicycle.
Significantly, the policy also lists performance measures to be included in the Annual Report from the Town Manager to the Town Council, including:
Read West Hartford's full Complete Streets Policy and the accompanying resolution here.
35 Bike/Ped Accidents Since 2009, Claiming 6 Lives
East Hartford (August 4, 2015) - At the urging of advocates and after three years of planning and feasibility analysis, construction on Connecticut's first ever "road diet" has started on Burnside Avenue in East Hartford. Construction began on July 27 with completion scheduled for July 2016.
At a press conference today, Governor Malloy, DOT Commissioner Jim Redeker and East Hartford Mayor Marcia LeClerc touted the project as a much-needed safety measure, and the first of more road diets to come. Redeker cited the project as an example of DOT's transition to a complete streets philosophy.
The four-lane section of Route 44 on Burnside Avenue has been no friend to pedestrians cyclists over the years, with 35 bike and pedestrian accidents since 2009, claiming six lives. Generally, four-lane, relatively wide roadways encourage drivers to speed up, and high speed accidents are more likely to result in significant injuries or death.
To make Burnside Avenue safer for pedestrians and cyclists, the road diet project will convert the existing four lane road to a two lane road with two 5 ft. bike lanes and two 7 ft. shoulders-- wide enough to preserve on-street parking. The road diet will cover the 2.76-mile stretch of Burnside Avenue between Main Street and Mary Street.
According to East Hartford's Plan of Conservation and Development, the road diet will improve connectivity to other paths for bicyclists including streets with wide shoulders (e.g. Mary Street) and trails such as the Charter Oak Greenway.
Planning for the road diet started in 2012 and included public meetings for DOT to share design concepts and hear from interested individuals. Construction was initially targeted for spring 2015 depending on funding availability. Ninety percent of the project is financed with federal funding, with the remaining 10% coming from the state.
More information at: DOT - Summary, Fact Sheet; East Hartford POCD; TSTC: “Groundbreaking” ConnDOT Road Diet Must Be First of Many.
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