Bike Walk CT and the Rails to Trails Conservancy team up to advocate for putting trails funding on the January 2016 Bond Commission agenda. click for pdf
Dear Governor Malloy:
We commend you for the leadership you’ve shown with Let’s Go CT and for seeing to it that active transportation is part of our short- and long-term transportation vision.
We think you agree: Connecticut’s longtime lack of investment in multi-modal transportation networks is a competitive disadvantage.
With that in mind, Bike Walk Connecticut and the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy write jointly to ask you to ensure that the January 2016 Bond Commission Agenda include $7 million in funding for the Recreational Trails Program of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
With 88% of Connecticut’s workers driving to work alone by car, it’s no wonder that our roads are congested, costing us some $1.3 billion annually in lost time and wasted fuel, according to DOT. Nor should we overlook the fact that transportation is the single biggest source of Connecticut’s greenhouse gas pollution. According to DEEP, that’s mostly from passenger cars.
We believe that multiuse trails should no longer be considered as “nice to have” amenities. For reasons of economic competitiveness, climate and health, Connecticut should view multiuse trails as critical components of our active transportation infrastructure. We would we like to see Connecticut take a holistic view of complete streets and multiuse trails as complementary parts of an overall active transportation network. We need to connect Connecticut.
Moreover, we believe Connecticut must go beyond accommodating cyclist and pedestrian travel to actually promoting it, so that we can simultaneously relieve congestion, address climate change, and attract and retain the millennials and knowledge workers that will give Connecticut's innovation economy a true competitive advantage.
We agree with other advocates that it is urgent to include trails funding on the January bond commission agenda so that work on trail projects can start as soon as possible when the field season begins in Spring 2016. More than $6 million in trails projects are reported to be shovel ready.
Thank you for considering our views.
Kelly Kennedy, Esq., Executive Director, Bike Walk Connecticut
Andrew N. Dupuy, Manager of Policy Outreach, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
cc: Ben Barnes, Secretary of OPM
Garrett Eucalitto, Under Secretary, OPM Office of Transportation Policy
Today's CT Mirror features a very good story by Mark Pazniokas on a first step to better coordinate the bicycle and pedestrian work of DOT and DEEP.
With our focus on active transportation, Bike Walk Connecticut would like to see more comprehensive, deliberate, and strategic integration of multiuse greenways and complete streets efforts, connecting both to transit for a truly multimodal transportation system befitting the wealthiest, best educated state in the US.
With Cash for Bike Trail, New Era Begins at ConnDOT
By Mark Pazniokas, CT Mirror, Sept. 29, 2015
The Connecticut Department of Transportation will mark a milestone today when the state Bond Commission authorizes $5.1 million to construct a missing piece of the New Haven-to-Northampton, Mass., bicycle trail in Farmington.
For the first time, the DOT will wholly fund a section of a regional trail system that evolved from a series of municipal projects financed by a mix of federal dollars and local matching funds, a formula that long has frustrated advocates of mixed-use trails.
The funding signifies the start of the DOT delivering on a promise to play a stronger role with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection in the completion of Farmington Canal Heritage Trail and another major system, the East Coast Greenway. Read the full story here.
Related: CT's Transportation Bonds Attract Buyers
Whaaat?! Did we really get 153 people to submit testimony to the finance committee in support of funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects?! It sure looks that way! Very well done, advocates--let's keep it up! The Finance Committee voted in favor of the bill, 42-6. Click here for a summary of testimony. Track HB 6840, AN ACT CONCERNING INVESTMENTS IN CONNECTICUT'S TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE.
Thank you to all these supporters who told the Finance Committee how important it is to fund bike ped projects!
A. Sarah Hreha Alan Blasenstein Albert Nickel Albert Yu Alyssa L. Israel Amanda Amtmanis Anne Q. Indino Anthony Baldwin Barbara Malcolm Barbara Milton Barbara Yeager Ben Martin Beth Emery Bill Baker Bill O'Neill, CT Greenways Council Bill Penn Bob Herron Bob Worobel Brian A. Sheffer Brian Wallace Chris Schweitzer, Director, NHLSCP Chris Squires Christine Schilke Christopher D. Brown Christopher Gaunya Cindi Perugini Cosmo Quercia Craig Tedeschi Cristina Renn-Chillogalli Cynthia Barlow Dan Johnson Daniel Kelman Daniel S. Firestone Daniel W. O'Neill Dave Head Dave Mourad David Macbride David Ringquist David Yarbrough Debbie Livingston Debbie Lundgren, Chair, Bike & Pedestrian Alliance of Clinton Deborah Hoak Deborah Thibodeau Dgmar Noll Diana Moody Diane Robinson Dr. Jaen Andrews Edward Szkoda Emily Nissley Emily Provonsha Ernest Hutton Felicia White Gary Rogers Gary Scarcella Gerald Ledger Gian Morresi Gregg Dancho Hal Tzeutschler Holly Parker Howard Reed J. Kevin Farmer Jacob D. Robinson, Program Manager, Bikeport Co-op Jacques Coulon James Paxton James Scherl Jeffrey King Jennerifer Kertanis, Director, Farmington Valley Health District Jennifer C. Kertanis, Director, Farmington Valley Health District Jerome F Lusa Jerry Silber Jim Adams Jim Nally Jim Platts Joan Skelley Joanne Orme Joe Fox John Gale John Leonard John P. Swift Joseph D. Anastasio Josh Freeman Karen Mooney Kathleen Eldergill Kathleen Hartman Kathleen McGuinness Kathy Herron Katy Steudel Kelly Rago Kristina Kozak Larry Levesque Larry Rubin Laura Baum, President, Bike Walk CT Laurie Brooks Leah Varrell Liam Brennan Liam Fabian Linda Gilchrist, Barn Hill Studio Lisa Maloney Lisa McCabe Lorraine Donovan Lynn Ofori Margo Lynn Hablutzel Mary L Murphy MaryEllen Thibodeau Matt Hough Matt McCaffrey Meg Harvey Megan Bastian Michael Byron Nelson Michael Lemuel Michael R. Swift Michael V. Ignatowicz Mike Slattery Mike Stockman Naomi Senzer Neil Pade, Chair, CT Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Board Nicole DeLong Pat Ingellis Patricia Mahoney Paul Kudra Pete Salomone Phil Forzley Phil Guglielmo Phil Hoffman Ralph Farrah Ray Rauth Rebecca Sullivan Rich Allen Rick Thibodeau Rob Rocke Robyn Guimont Ronald Krom Sandra Andstrom Sara J. Frey Scott Gamester Seth Shaw Stephen King Steve Borla Steve DePaoli Stirling Danskin Stuart B. Popper Susan Llodra Susan West Sylvia Ounpuu Thomas Corell Tilly Hatcher Tim Bowman Tim Deschenes-Desmond Tim Nottoli Tom Keegan Tracy Yost Wally Squier William B. Upholt, Hartford City Advisory Commission on the Environment
Send Your Remarks to the Finance, Revenue Bonding Committee BEFORE 11 am Mon. April 27
Okay bike ped supporters--it's time to act! Everybody who wants Connecticut to be a great place to bike and walk needs to send that message loud and clear to the legislative Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee before 11 am on Monday. That's when the Finance Committee will hold a public hearing on the Governor's transportation funding proposal, HB 6840.
The Governor's proposal includes $101 million for bike ped funding for 2016 through 2020, which is the "five year ramp up" phase of the 30 year plan. HB 6840 includes a variety of bonding requests that will allow the state to fund improvements to our active transportation system, including bike lanes, greenways, multiuse paths, and pedestrian networks, along with improvements to bridges, transit, rail and roads.
Act Fast! Tell the Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committee you want funding for a first-rate bike and pedestrian transportation system!
Please email your support for bike & pedestrian funding and HB 6840 in Word or PDF format to FINtestimony@cga.ct.gov before 11 am on Monday, April 27. State your support for bike ped funding and HB 6840 in the subject line. Include your name and town in your message.
Subject: Please support HB 6840 and bike and pedestrian funding
Sample message (tailor these points to make the message your own!) Be sure to include your name and town of residence.
To the Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committee:
As a member of Bike Walk Connecticut, I support the Governor's proposals to develop and fund a first-rate active transportation network of bike lanes, greenways, multiuse paths, and pedestrian infrastructure in Connecticut. Please support HB 6840.
For so many reasons, it's time for Connecticut to become a great place to bike and walk. Please support HB 6840.
Fast forward to 10 minutes for the start of the Governor's address. And listen for what he has to say about biking and walking.
Governor Malloy's office has put out two primary documents on his transportation vision--there's a the 5 year ramp up plan (2015-2019), and there's the 30-year plan.
The 5 year ramp up plan includes $101MM for bike ped work. The 30 year plan includes $780MM of bike ped projects, including $250MM for the Merritt Parkway path. Now all we need is for everybody to agree to pay for it! Easy as pie?
The Merritt Parkway project, complete streets, and connecting gaps in the trail network are equally weighted in the proposal. $30MM is laid out for trail maintenance.
There will be much to discuss in the legislative session!
Links to Governor's Documents
Transforming Transportation – Let's Go CT
Governor Malloy's five-year proposal to ramp up CT's transportation system includes:
· $101 million for bicycle and pedestrian trails
· $1.7 billion for rail improvements, including bridge repairs, station improvements and capacity and speed upgrades
· $612.5 million for Interstate 84 in West Hartford; I-95 Baldwin Bridge to Gold Star Bridge; the I-91/I-691/Route 15 area; Route 9 in Middletown; I-84 between exits 3 and 8; reconfiguration of interchanges 29 on I-91, among others
· $281.3 million for the I-84 Aetna Viaduct redesign; the I-84/Route 8 "mixmaster" in Waterbury; the West Rock Tunnel rehabilitation and more
· $43 million in bus improvements
Send us your bike walk related news and time permitting, we'll do our best to post it.