Connecticut's US Senator Chris Murphy wants to "bring a human face to the debate over transportation funding and fight for investments that are smart and driven by you."
Please send the message that creating safe, connected networks for biking and walking is an extremely cost-efficient way to give people real options for getting around without relying on a car for every errand, every outing, and every commute.
To join this conversation, visit www.murphy.senate.gov/fedup and share your perspective.
Here's Senator Murphy's message:
As I travel across Connecticut, I’ve heard countless stories from people about how our transportation system has failed them. A barber commuting from Waterbury to Bridgeport has to choose between serving customers from the after-work rush and making it home for dinner because there is a four-hour wait between trains. A working mom in Norwalk can almost never make her son’s baseball games because of traffic on I-95. A Milford businessman routinely has to budget two hours to travel fewer than twenty-five miles.
People are fed up. Connecticut has some of the worst traffic and the oldest infrastructure in the nation. Traffic, congestion, and delays are more than abstract concepts that affect commerce or productivity. Traffic means stress. Congestion means being late for work. Delays mean missing dinner with your kids night after night.
That’s why I'm reaching out to you. I want to hear your story. How long is your commute? What would a shorter, more reliable commute mean to you and your family? Why you are fed up?
To join this conversation, I encourage you to visit www.murphy.senate.gov/fedup and share your perspective.
I will take your stories to Washington to bring a human face to the debate over transportation funding and fight for investments that are smart and driven by you. Because it’s about time we fix this.
All my best,
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy
Washington: 136 Hart Senate Office Bldg. , Washington, DC 20510 (202) 224-4041
Hartford: One Constitution Plaza, 7th Fl., Hartford, Connecticut 06103 (860) 549-8463
The state Bond Commission meets on Sept. 29 to approve bonding to finance a number of projects, including $8.3 Million for "Urban bikeway, pedestrian connectivity, trails and alternative mobility programs." This is what our advocacy does: it gets bike ped projects on the front burner.
Assuming it gets approved, the $8.3 million bond request will break out this way:
Bike Walk CT's advocacy work will continue to focus on those things, including how the bike ped safety planning grants will be awarded.
Read more here and on CT News Junkie.
Speak up to make sure active transportation and complete streets are fully integrated into the I-84 project!
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.
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.
If you think Congress and advocacy are irrelevant, think again. This July has become a high stakes, action-packed transportation month in Congress.
Transportation funding accounts are running out of money and need to be renewed. There's a funding and policy deadline at the end of the month, and now the Senate wants to turn the federal TIGER* program into a freight program instead of a multi-modal transportation funding program. This could all happen before Congress goes on August recess. Senator Blumenthal is on the Senate Commerce Committee, which may vote on a key bill tomorrow, Wednesday morning.
What to do:
Contact Senator Richard Blumenthal TODAY at 202-224-2823 or https://www.blumenthal.senate.gov/contact/ (choose "Transportation" as your topic).
What to Say:
Use this as a starting point but please personalize it:
Dear Senator Blumenthal:
As a member of Bike Walk Connecticut, I am writing to ask for your strong support to continue federal programs that fund biking and walking as active transportation options.
We understand that the Commerce Committee is now considering TIGER funding, complete streets, and roll-on service for bikes on Amtrak. Accordingly, we ask that you please:
*Background: What's the TIGER Program?
TIGER stands for "Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery." TIGER grants have helped fund innovative, multi-modal transportation projects for freight, ports, road, transit, and walking and biking since 2009. The TIGER program helps cut through red tape and provide funding directly to local areas for transportation projects that cut congestion, improve safety, promote economic development, or improve access to jobs and opportunities through smarter transportation investments. The TIGER program remains critical for local trails and bicycle and pedestrian projects.
Thanks for speaking up for biking and walking!
Thanks to WNPR's Patrick Skahill for covering the new bike laws that took effect July 1. The story aired during morning drive time.
Missed it? Listen here.
Our colleague Joe Cutrufo at Tri State sums up all the recent progress that's come about in Connecticut transportation:
How Connecticut’s Transportation Outlook Has Changed in Just Six Months
POSTED BY: JOSEPH CUTRUFO JULY 6, 2015
It’s been said that life moves pretty fast, and if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
With the progress we’ve seen in the Nutmeg State during the last several months, the same could be said for transportation policy change in Connecticut.
At the outset of 2015, highway tolls were considered taboo, nobody knew what was on the governor’s long-term transportation agenda, there was no lockbox to stop raids on transportation funds, two-way and parking-protected bike lanes were illegal, and CTfastrak service still hadn’t launched. In six short months, however, all of that has changed. Read the full story here.
Thanks to the New Britain Herald for helping to get the word out on CT's important new bike laws. Read the full story here: http://bit.ly/1M1dh1K
Bicyclists have more freedom to determine how to safely ride on Connecticut roads, and motorists have more room to pass them as a result of changes to Connecticut’s laws for cyclists, which took effect July 1.
Public Act 15-41 was passed in May with broad bipartisan support and was signed June 1 by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
The new law eliminates the rule requiring cyclists to always ride as far to the right edge of the road as possible, but also gives motorists permission to cross double-yellow lines when passing slower-moving cyclists.
The law allows cyclists to determine how close to the curb to ride in certain circumstances, rather than always as close as possible. Bike Walk Connecticut specifically advocated for the new language, which is modeled on best practice in Colorado and endorsed by the League of American Bicyclists.
The new law allows for the designation of two-way bicycle lanes, buffered bike lanes and cycle tracks.
Cyclists are not required to ride as close to the right side of the road as possible in the following instances:
∎ Overtaking or passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction;
∎ Preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway;
∎ Avoiding fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards or lanes that are too narrow for a bicycle and a motor vehicle to travel safely side-by-side;
∎ Approaching an intersection where right turns are permitted and there is a dedicated right turn lane, in which case a bicyclist may ride on the left hand side of the lane;
∎ Riding on a roadway designated for one-way traffic, when the bicyclist may ride as near to the left hand curb as is judged safe;
∎ Riding in designated bicycle lanes.
For more information visit bikewalkct.org.
For Immediate Release
July 1, 2015 (Hartford, CT) -- Important changes to Connecticut's laws for cyclists take effect July 1, 2015. The Bicycle Safety bill, Senate Bill 502 and now Public Act 15-41, was passed in May with broad bipartisan support. The Governor signed the bill into law on June 1.
The new law eliminates the confusing--and often unsafe--rule requiring cyclists to ride as far to the right as practicable.
Instead, the law now requires cyclists to ride as close to the right side of the road as is safe, as judged by the cyclist. Bike Walk Connecticut specifically advocated for that language, which is modeled on a best practice from Colorado as identified by the League of American Bicyclists.
As of July 1, cyclists don't have to ride as close to the right side of the road when:
The new law also allows two-way bicycle lanes, buffered bike lanes, and cycle tracks to be designed in Connecticut and allows drivers to cross the double yellow line to pass slower-moving cyclists and other road users when it's safe to do so.
Watch for more information from Bike Walk CT this summer about Sharing the Road.
For more information, contact Bike Walk CT Exec. Dir. Kelly Kennedy at 860.578.5925.
Bike Walk Connecticut
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