Transportation Committee members, Representative Laura Devlin (R-Fairfield, Trumbull), and Representative Cristin McCarthy Vahey (D-Fairfield) along with Main Street Caucus Co-Chair, Representative Jennifer Leeper (D-Fairfield, Southport) seek the public’s support and input at the Wednesday, January 27th Transportation Committee hearing on HB 5429, the Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety bill.
The bill proposes pedestrian right of way in crosswalks for pedestrians who affirmatively indicate their intent to cross, increases fines for distracted driving, allows municipalities to determine speed limits and create pedestrian safety zones, creates a pilot program for the use of camera enforcement in school zones and establishes a Vision Zero Council for the state.
Representative Devlin said, “This year we have seen a significant increase in pedestrian and bike traffic on our local roads as people seek fresh air during COVID. This bill, while addressing a broad array of issues, does include important provisions that would add greater safety for pedestrians and bicyclists. After the tragic accidents across our state and in our own community, greater awareness of pedestrians, bikers, automobiles, and others to share our roadways is critical. I understand this importance first hand, as my own son was hit by a car while doing a training ride on his bike in a nearby town.”
“I am thrilled that the Transportation Committee is prioritizing pedestrian safety this session,” said Rep. McCarthy Vahey. “HB 5429 provides municipalities and our state as a whole the opportunity to keep our neighbors and visitors safe as they walk and bike for recreation, travel to work, and shop. Walkable, bikeable communities are important to attracting and keeping young people, seniors and businesses in our state.”
“As Co-Chair of the Main Street Caucus and member of the Commerce Committee, I know that ensuring the safety of pedestrians in CT’s main streets and business districts is essential for the well-being and growth of our local businesses. This bill is an excellent step to improve pedestrian safety as well as the management of traffic flow and therefore, the overall health of Fairfield’s Post Rd, Blackrock Turnpike, and Southport’s Pequot Ave,” said Representative Leeper.
Keith Gallinelli, Chair of the Town of Fairfield Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee said, “I have served as the Chair of the committee for the past 6 years. Our group has been working to encourage walking and biking in our community through infrastructure improvements, education and outreach, and policy implementation. Fairfield has adopted the committee’s Complete Streets Policy which aims to make our roads more accessible and safer for all users of the roads. I am in support of this bill [HB 5429] as it provides legislation and enforcement actions that will make our roads safer for all.”
Newly appointed Bike and Pedestrian Committee member and neighborhood activist Sarah Roy said, “In my road safety advocacy, the top concern I hear from residents is vehicles traveling at excessive speeds, and for good reason: speeding is the leading cause of fatal crashes in the US. Allowing municipal leaders to make local decisions about speed limits is vital to the health, safety and welfare of their communities. House Bill 5429 will enable municipalities to create safer roadways.”
The public hearing can be viewed via YouTube. In addition, the public hearing will be recorded and broadcasted live on CT-N. People who wish to testify via Zoom must register here. Registration will close on January 26, 2021 at 5:00 P.M. If you do not have internet access, you may provide testimony via telephone. To register to testify by phone, call the Phone Registrant Line at 240-860-0590 to leave your contact information. Please email written testimony in PDF format to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To get involved in the Fairfield Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee’s local efforts, contact Keith Gallinelli at email@example.com.