'Bike Bill' to Pave the Way for 21st Century Bike Infrastructure in Connecticut
Connecticut's statewide complete streets policy often encounters an obstacle when local jurisdictions act to implement protected bike lanes, contra-flow lanes, or bike lanes on the left side of one-way streets. The problem is the precedent set by a state statute, Section 14-286b, which states: "Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable." According to Joseph Cutrufo, " The wording of Section 14-286b has stymied efforts to bring 21st century transportation infrastructure to cities and towns across Connecticut, including plans to install a two-way cycle track in New Haven."
So state legislators have responded to local concerns by authoring Bill No. 502, also known as "the bike bill." According to Cutrufo the bike bill "creates new exceptions to the state’s ride-to-the-right regulation: one which says people on bikes may 'ride as near to the left-hand curb or edge of' one way streets, and another which permits '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.'
The article includes more details about the bike bill, including a detail about its advocacy for the Connecticut Department of Transportation to officially recognize the National Association of City Transportation Officials' Urban Street Design Guide and Urban Bikeway Design Guide.