Active Transportation is featured in the current issue of the CT Green Guide, a publication of the Hartford Business Journal. See why Connecticut needs more of it! CT Green Guide.
NEW BRITAIN - Wheels were turning in New Britain Sunday for the 'Discover Connecticut' bicycle tour.
The group's 'Bike Walk Connecticut' and 'Bike New Britain' hosted a bicycle tour at Walnut Hill Park and through the different New Britain neighborhoods to show bikers why the city is one of seven official bicycle friendly communities.
The tour also included a brunch at the New Britain Museum of American Art.
All proceeds benefit Bike Walk Connecticut , Bike New Britain and the New Britain Police Athletic League. Full Fox CT story here.
Online registration for the Discover New Britain Bicycle Tour closed at midnight on Sept. 23. But you can still be part of the fun! Arrive early on Sunday and register then! (Please bring exact change, check made out to Bike Walk CT, or credit card.)
By Don Stacom
Volunteers from Bike Walk Connecticut are offering a fresh way to see the city on Sunday: the "Discover New Britain" bike tour.
Novice riders, veteran cyclists and all those in between can participate in the ride. Each participant can choose to do a 10-, 25- or 50-mile route.
The trips will highlight the city's parks and many of its neighborhoods. The routes will incorporate bike trails as well as city streets.
Depending on their route, riders may be on the CTfastrak, Hanover Pond, Quinnipiac River Gorge and Farmington Canal bikeways. Some groups will visit Batterson Park, Willow Brook Park and the Shuttle Meadow, Wassel, Kenmere and Hallmare reservoirs; others will see Hubbard Park, Merimere Reservoir, Hanover Pond and the Quinnipiac Gorge. Read the full article.
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.
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.
Susan Tuz, reporter for the Danbury-based News-Times, asks:
Can bikes and cars coexist?
Fatal accidents demonstrate need for increased awareness, separate lanes
By Susan Tuz, Sun. June 28, 2015
The negligent homicide charge filed last week against a New Milford man in the 2014 death of a bicyclist highlighted the growing potential for collisions between motor vehicles and increasingly numerous two-wheelers.
Although bicycle commuting in Greater Danbury is still uncommon, recreational use is on the rise, and a 2014 state law requires that the needs of cyclists — including, for example, the provision of designated bike lanes — be taken into account in planning for new transportation projects.
Advocates for motorists and cyclists agree that both groups must better learn the rules of the road in order to avoid accidents like the one that killed Dwight Hipp, 57, while he was riding one morning last August on Route 109
— the fourth such fatality in the region since 2010. John Kimberley, 23, is scheduled to appear in court Monday in Bantam to face charges that could put him in jail up to six months.
From 2008 to 2012, 11 other cyclists were left incapacitated after collisions with motor vehicles, according to a study for the Housatonic Valley Council of Elected Officials.
Kelly Kennedy, executive director of Bike Walk CT, said the state “is approaching a tipping point.”
“A Share the Road campaign is something Connecticut needs to work on,” Kennedy said. “Courtesy and awareness on the roadway goes both ways. Cyclists need to be predictable, and drivers have to be aware of cyclists.”
While both groups need to be aware of each other, the state recognizes that a person on a bicycle is at a definite disadvantage in a standoff with a car or truck. A recent Vulnerable Road User law prohibits motorists from impeding cyclists when making a right turn, gives cyclists the right of way in intersections and requires drivers to maintain three feet of clearance when passing a bike.
“Drivers have to get used to cyclists being on the roads,” said Tom O’Brien, president of the New Milford River Trails Association. “We all need to drive slower when in a car or truck and use more caution when there are pedestrians or cyclists on the road.”
But cyclists, too, have their responsibilities. In Connecticut, the same traffic laws that apply to motorists apply to cyclists: Stop signs and traffic lights must be obeyed, hand signals must be used to indicate stops and turns, and cyclists generally must ride as close as possible to the right side of the roadway [*but see important note below], traveling in the same direction as motorists.
Read the full story here
* Bike Walk CT Note: The 2015 Bike Safety Bill (Public Act 2015-41, effective July 1, 2015) makes important changes to the old rule to ride "as far to the right as is practicable."
The new rule, effective July 1, 2015, is that "Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic shall ride as close to the right side of the roadway as is safe, as judged by the bicyclist."
Under the new law, there are six situations when bicyclists do not have to ride to the right of the road:
(1) When overtaking or passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction;
(2) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway;
(3) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions, including, but not limited to, 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 within such lanes;
(4) When 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 such dedicated lane, even if the bicyclist does not intend to turn right;
(5) When riding on a roadway designated for one-way traffic, when the bicyclist may ride as near to the left-hand curb or edge of such roadway as judged safe by the bicyclist; or
(6) When riding on parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles, including, but not limited to, counter-flow bicycle lanes, left-handed cycle tracks on one-way streets and two-way cycle tracks.
Kelly Kennedy of Bike Walk Connecticut was quoted in WNPR's June 1 2015 story by Ryan Caron King.
Kelly Kennedy, director of the non-profit Bike Walk Connecticut, said investing in making streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians shouldn’t be viewed as just a recreational add-on.
The passage of the Vulnerable User bill continues to get press coverage since the law took effect on October 1, 2014. Bike Walk CT and its members endorsed the VU bill far more assertively this year to ensure its passage after being raised for the previous four years. Thank you to all those media outlets that have been bringing the new law to the attention of the public.
The long overdue passage of the Vulnerable User law and Bike Walk CT are getting press coverage. Student reporter DANIELA BRIGHENTI wrote a particularly good story for the Yale Daily News.
The Plainville Greenway Alliance and the Bike/Walk Friendly Alliance of Plainville is seeking volunteers to help get the nine-mile gap in the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail.
Volunteers are needed to work with other advocates to work with local, state and federal officials and agencies to plan, finance and extend the trail through Plainville from Southington to Farmington.
Read the full article in the Hartford Courant here.
Bike Walk Connecticut
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