Transportation Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

SB-502

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING BICYCLE SAFETY.

Vote Date:

3/18/2015

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

2/11/2015

File No.:

334

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Transportation Committee

Sen. Beth Bye, 5th Dist.

Rep. Roland J. Lemar, 96th Dist.

Rep. Cristin McCarthy Vahey, 133rd Dist.

Rep. Aundré Bumgardner, 41st Dist.

Rep. Gail Lavielle, 143rd Dist.

Rep. Patricia A. Dillon, 92nd Dist.

Rep. Christopher Rosario, 128th Dist.

Rep. Matthew Ritter, 1st Dist.

Rep. Bill Simanski, 62nd Dist.

Sen. John A. Kissel, 7th Dist.

REASONS FOR BILL:

This bill would make the road safer for bicyclists.

Substitute Language allows for a motorist to cross the center line on a highways no-passive zone if he or she is passing a pedestrian, bicyclist, moped or scooter, as long as they are passing safely.

Substitute Language requires that a car park 12 inches from the bikeway, if the bikeway is between the curb and a parking lane.

Substitute Language would clarify and add to current law.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Julia Evans Starr, Executive Director, Connecticut's Legislative Commission on Aging- Supports this bill because it helps increase the choice and safety those using other means of transportation such as older adults, persons with disabilities and children, as those who cannot operate or do not own a vehicle.

“Between 2010 and 2014 Connecticut's population of adults over 65 will increase by 57%, older adults suffer disproportionately from pedestrian deaths in the U.S.”

Providing for better infrastructure will ensure that residents can stay in their homes as they grow older. Better infrastructure also allows for a healthier and more active community as well as better economic opportunities.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Abigail Roth, Alder, Ward 7, City of New Haven- Strongly Supports this bill because it would allow municipalities to design roads that makes roads safer for bicyclists and other users, helps reduce pollution, encourages exercising and improves commerce.

Al Horila, Member, Farmington Valley Trails Council- Supports the bill because it makes roads safer and allows for infrastructure changes. Right now the current infrastructure doesn't have the ability to support 2way bike lanes because the shoulders are too narrow. He recommends secondary roads should have painted crosswalks with signage stating to stop for oncoming bicyclists based on traffic count.

“Rail trails have intersecting roads and these areas need to be made as safe as possible.

With more people using multi use trails, criminal activity seems to be picking up, people are getting robbed and some women getting accosted. Recommend that police patrol the trails on bikes.”

Arthur Selkowitz, People Friendly Stanford- Supports this bill because it would allow for the improvement of infrastructure for biking and walking, making roads safer for all who use them.

Beth Bye, State Senator, 5th District- Supports this bill because it expands transportation infrastructure to include cycling, which can provide economic development and keep young people in the state as young people are opting not to drive. It would fix confusion about the term “as far right as practicable”, allowing bicyclists to ride to the right that is safe.

“Connecticut Statutes need to be amended to state that when passing a vulnerable user, the operator of a vehicle may drive on the left side of the center of a roadway in a no-passing zone when such movement can be made in safety and without interfering with or endangering other traffic on the highway”, because current “state Law enforcing the passing of a motor vehicle three feet around a slow moving vehicle, creating a dilemma for some drivers who are confused as to whether they may cross the double yellow lines when traveling behind a bicycle.”

The Department of Transportation needs to update its design manual for Connecticut's Complete Streets by 2016.

Birger Nilsem- Supports this bill for the reasons stated above.

Brian Sheffer- Supports this bill because it would make infrastructures improvements, and make roads safer for bicyclists.

Cody Zelfman-Supports this bill because it would put money that people are using on their cars into the local economy and it would help alleviate traffic congestion.

David Fine- Supports this bill because it makes roads safer.

David Kweskin- Supports this bill because it would allow for the improvement of infrastructure for biking and walking, making roads safer for all who use them.

Debbie Brydon- Supports this bill because it would improve infrastructure and make roads safer.

Deborah Thibodeau- Supports this bill because it would help clarify current legislation, make roads safer and provide for better infrastructure.

Debra Dauphinais- Supports this bill for reasons stated above.

Doug Hausladen, Director of Transportation Traffic and Parking, City of New Haven- Supports this bill because it would make roads safer as well as allow for the ability to provide for better infrastructure. There are two projects that are being worked on that have been hampered by current law, which substitute language addresses.

Ed Johnson- Supports this bill because it provides for safer roads, reduces pollution and encourages healthier living.

Elizabeth Emery- Supports this bill because it is important to clarify “as far right as practicable” so people know what their rights are and to protect the bicyclist. “The lane may be wide enough to share, but it is not always safe to share side by side”

Should not change the language on passing slow moving vehicles because while “it is easy to see a car in the opposite direction, it's not always easy to see a bicyclist and could cause an accident.”

It is important to “update the CTDOT highway design manual to incorporate CT's complete streets statutory requirements.

Suggests that it is important to provide funding and the State should have a list of “shovel ready projects” to update infrastructure when Federal funds are available.

Eric Schonenberg- Supports this bill because it would make roads safer, clarify language and provide for better infrastructure to allow for safe bike paths. Currently there are no shoulders, dangerously beat up road surface, and lots of cars going fast on Route 37. Better infrastructure would allow for healthier and happier people, would be more environmentally friendly, and a better community.

Holly Parker- Supports this bill because roads aren't safe. Currently planning prioritizes access by cars and not by bike. This bill would allow for better bike infrastructure when planning roads and paths. This would reduce traffic, provide for a healthier community and a healthier environment.

Howard Pfrommer- Supports this bill because he rides to work and has been pulled over in his velomobile (covered bike) for riding in the lane, although he rides as far to the right of the lane that is safe in the velombile. “The term “practicable” is too ambiguous in practice.”

J. Scott Gamester- Supports this bill because it clarifies the law, allows for better infrastructure and when a motorist can pass a slower vehicle.

James P. Cassidy, The League of American Bicyclists- Supports this bill because it would make roads safer by allowing for better cycling infrastructure.

James Santi- Supports this bill because his family relies on other means of transportation after an accident that caused his mother to be terrified of highways and bridges. He won't stay in Connecticut unless there is better infrastructure for other means of transportation.

Jerry Silber- Supports this bill because it would encourage other modes of transportation and encourage young people to stay in the state. It would clarify current law in regards to “riding as far to the right as practicable”, permit better infrastructure, and clarify when a motorist can pass a slower moving vehicle.

John Cole- Supports this bill because it would allow for the improvement of infrastructure for biking and walking, making roads safer for all who use them.

John Follis- supports this bill for reasons stated above.

Joseph Cutrufo, Connecticut Advocate, Tri-State Transportation Campaign- Supports this bill for reasons stated above.

Julius Drizon- Supports this bill because it would allow for the improvement of infrastructure for biking and walking, making roads safer for all who use them.

Kathy Neckerman- Supports this bill because it would allow for the improvement of infrastructure for biking and walking, making roads safer for all who use them.

Kelley Kennedy Esq., Executive Director, Bike Walk Connecticut- Supports this bill because it would allow for the improvement of infrastructure for biking and walking, making roads safer for all who use them. It would also reduce the cost of road building and maintenance if more people rode bikes instead of motor vehicles. It provides for a healthier environment and community. The younger generation does not like to drive and providing for better infrastructure would keep them in the state as well as provide for a better tourism economy.

Kim Johnson-huse- Supports this bill because it would allow for the improvement of infrastructure for biking and walking, making roads safer for all who use them.

Kirsten Bechtel, M.D.- Supports this bill because it would allow for the improvement of infrastructure for biking and walking, making roads safer for all who use them.

Laura Baum- Supports this bill for reasons stated above.

Laura Doig- Supports this bill for reasons stated above.

Laurie H. Ongley- Supports this bill for reasons stated above.

Len Mark- Supports this bill because it would allow for the improvement of infrastructure for biking and walking, making roads safer for all who use them.

Lisa Fernandez, The Farmington Canal Rail-to-Trail Association- Supports this bill because it would allow for better infrastructure which would allow Connecticut to become a bicycling destination.

Lyndsey Broderick- Supports this bill because it would allow for the improvement of infrastructure for biking and walking, making roads safer for all who use them.

Mike Norris, Emily Provonsha and Jerry Silber, People Friendly Stamford- Supports this bill because it would allow for the improvement of infrastructure for biking and walking, making roads safer for all who use them.

Mike Papa- Supports this bill because it would allow for the improvement of infrastructure for biking and walking, making roads safer for all who use them.

Nancy Decrisantis- Supports this bill for reasons stated above.

Patricia Kane- Supports this bill because it would allow for the improvement of infrastructure for biking and walking, making roads safer for all who use them.

R. Bruce Donald, President, Farming Valley Trails Council- Supports this bill for reasons stated above.

Rich Coffey- Supports this bill for reasons stated above

Ronald W. DeGray- Supports this bill for reasons stated above.

Sandy Fry- Supports this bill for reasons stated above.

Terry Blank- Supports this bill for reasons stated above.

Tony Cherolis- Supports this bill for reasons stated above.

Virginia de Lima- Supports this bill for reasons stated above.

William Kurtz, Director, Elm City Cycling- Supports this bill because riding bikes on roads can be very challenging and that creating better infrastructure so that bicyclists can have their own lane will make the roads safer for them. Clarifying the word “practicable” in regards to the term “as far to the right as practicable” will help to with confusion on where a bicyclist is allowed to ride.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

None

Reported by: Tristan Stanziale

Date: March 24, 2015