OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 502

AN ACT CONCERNING BICYCLE SAFETY.

SUMMARY:

This bill makes several changes in laws pertaining to bicycle operation and bikeways. It expands the circumstances when a bicyclist is not required to ride as close to the right side of the road as practical.

The bill allows motorists to cross the centerline of a highway in a marked no-passing zone in order to overtake and pass a pedestrian, bicyclist, moped, or scooter located on the right side of the road. They may cross the centerline only if they can do so safely, with adequate sight distance, and without interfering with oncoming traffic or endangering other vehicles and pedestrians.

Under current law, motorists parking on curbed highways must park their vehicles so that their right-hand wheels are 12 inches or less from the curb. On highways with a bikeway or a buffer area for a bikeway between the parking lane and the curb, the bill requires a motorist to park so that the vehicle's right-hand wheels are 12 inches or less from the edge of the bikeway or buffer area.

Finally, the bill requires the Department of Transportation, when updating design standards for roads in the state, to include, where appropriate, standards from the National Association of City Transportation Officials Urban Bikeway and Urban Street design guides.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2015

OPERATING BICYCLES ON ROADWAYS

Currently, bicyclists must ride as close to the right side of the road as practical, except when making a left turn; avoiding areas closed to traffic; or overtaking or passing moving or parked vehicles, pedestrians, animals, or obstructions on the right side of the highway.

The bill instead requires a bicyclist traveling slower than traffic to ride as close to the right side as he or she determines to be safe, except when:

1. overtaking or passing a vehicle traveling in the same direction;

2. preparing for a left turn;

3. reasonably necessary to avoid conditions, including fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or lanes too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side;

4. approaching an intersection with a dedicated right turn lane, in which case a bicyclist may ride on the left side of the dedicated lane, even if the bicyclist does not intend to turn right;

5. riding on a one-way road, in which case a bicyclist may ride as close to the left side of the road as he or she determines to be safe; or

6. riding on parts of roadways dedicated exclusively for use by bicycles.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Transportation Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

31

Nay

0

(03/18/2015)