Monday, April 22, 2013

Tim Johnson Summits Burnside Ave Bike to Work

*** Updated 4/23 with Burnside Ave info session details. ***

Ha!  Didn't think you'd read a post with such a purposefully confusing run-on title.  But it looks like you're doing it anyway.

I'm going to start in the middle.  Burnside Avenue.  It's crummy for riding on and deadly too.  After 3 cyclists died within 18 months, combined with several pedestrian deaths the CT DOT is proposing to drop the state highway down to one lane each way with bike lanes.  A road diet!  The first one the DOT has attempted.  Burnside Avenue is ripe for a road diet.  The dense neighborhoods, small local stores, and high percentage of non-vehicular traffic are a good fit.  The road was designed to carry much more traffic than it actually sees, and the DOT's traffic counts identified it as fitting for one lane each way.

Here's where it gets important.  You can't stop now.   There is a public info session on April 30th.  These are important.  The CT DOT and East Hartford officials need to hear why its important to you and the City of East Hartford to make Burnside Avenue a Complete Street.  A street designed for people, not just cars.  If you ride on Burnside, we need your voice.  If you live in East Hartford, we need your voice. If you would like to see the DOT look at road diets on other harrowing state highways, we need your voice.  This is the first domino.

Here's how you can be heard:

  1. Show up at the public info session on April 30th.  The Connecticut Department of Transportation will conduct a public informational meeting concerning State Project 42-315, bicycle and pedestrian improvements on Route 44, Tuesday, April 30, 2013, at the East Hartford Town Hall in the Council Chambers (2nd floor), 740 Main Street, East Hartford, Connecticut.  Department personnel will be available at 6:30 p.m. to answer questions prior to formal presentation at 7:00 p.m.  For more information, please visit the ConnDOT website.
  2. Send a note to the CT DOT's Bike Ped Coordinator Kate Rattan ( and the Mayor of East Hartford, Marcia Leclerc ( Let them know you support the project and what it means to you.
  3. Do both!

And then I'll go back to the beginning.  Tim Johnson swoops through Hartford on Wednesday of this week (4/24).  He'll be traveling with a speedy group from Boston to Washington DC to reinforce the messages of the recent National Bike Summit. You might want to ride him (and his merry band of bike advocates) into Hartford or back out on Thursday.  There will also be a reception on Wednesday night at the Hartford Bike Studio, starting at 7:00PM.  Beer sponsor is Harpoon!

The Bike Summit.  Don't forget the Bike Summit.  That's this Saturday, April 27th in New Haven.  A responsible alternative to the DeTour de Connecticut sufferfest.

I'm on a roll planning a Bike to Work breakfast in East Hartford on May 23rd (a Thursday).  The downtown Hartford Bike to Work is on Friday May 17th.  Bike Walk CT is asking folks to register online, and it will put you in the running for a raffle of donated swag from local bike shops.  You can also sign up with the National Bike Challenge.  Last year Pratt & Whitney absolutely stomped Travelers in the National Bike Challenge.  Wonder if we'll do it again, or if Travelers and other Hartford employers might give us some competition this year.  P&W is looking strong.  12 bikes on the racks by engineering building this morning, in April.  Not something I would have seen a couple of years ago.  

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