At the LOB
- Bill 720, Vulnerable Users Bill passed favorably in a 41 to 4 vote in the Judiciary Committee last week and we have high hopes that this is the year for the bill to finally become law. CTLCV supports this bill as a smart growth bill that makes our roads safer and encourages non-motorized transportation by imposing penalties on drivers that “fail to use due care”.
A special thanks to Senator Beth Bye who championed this bill, even donning her bike helmet during the Judiciary meeting to reinforce her support. Thanks also to Judiciary Chairs, Senator Coleman and Rep. Fox for amending the agenda on the final day to place the bill first on the agenda, allowing it to come for a vote before the clock ran out. Kudos to Bike Walk CT and Tri-State Transportation Campaign for tirelessly working this bill!
- A ‘Vulnerable User’ is a pedestrian, highway worker, person riding or driving an animal, riding a bike, using a wheelchair, skateboard, skates, or riding a farm tractor
- ConnDOT 2010 pedestrian accident reports highest number of ped. accidents were in the cities Bridgeport (128) Hartford (127) Waterbury (105) Stamford (81) New Haven (75).
This bill does not automatically assume the driver is at fault and does not remove responsibility from the vulnerable user. State law already has provisions that subject bicyclists and pedestrians to safe use of roads.
- Bill 6200, Tolls to build new highways or highway extensions was amended to add “for the purpose of new expansion of Rte 11 from Salem to I-95” and approved in the Finance committee this week in a 37 to 15 vote primarily on party lines with the D’s unanimously in favor of it. There is a need for new sources of revenue dedicated to transportation infrastructure repair and mass transit projects and tolls need to be considered. Projects that involve building new roads or bridges need to be carefully evaluated through a smart growth prism to assess the net environmental benefit. Both sides of the ‘completing Rte 11’ environmental debate need to be heard and CTLCV will work to get that information to you over the next few weeks.
- Office of Fiscal Analysis projects the CT Special Transportation Fund will have a cumulative deficit of $35.1 million by FY 14. Yikes!
- Transportation for America (www.t4america.org) reports that there is reason for alarm among transportation advocates as the House approved FY12 GOP budget calls for cuts of $633 billion for transportation over the next ten years. Read the article “Path to Prosperity or Road to Ruin? Either Way, the House Says Yes” on Streets Blog Capitol Hill here.
- In CT those cuts could be bad news for the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield rail line project which is waiting for an additional $227 million in federal funding. The federal New Starts funding for the New Britain-Hartford Bus Rapid Transit project however looks to be intact and especially promising as this project is considered shovel-ready for late spring or early summer this year. The busway is a win for the environment with an expected daily ridership of 16,000 people and decreasing road congestion and a win for the economy with an expected creation of 12,000 construction related jobs.