Bike Bill On A Roll

New bill gaining momentum could force towns and the state to focus on sharing the road

Pedal power is gaining momentum at the State Capitol. Legislators are a step closer to passing a law that cycling advocates believe would force municipalities and the state Department of Transportation to focus more on non-motorized travel.

The bill would require cities and towns to set aside 1 percent of any state or federal road funds to improve bike and pedestrian access.

It also would establish a new "Share the Road" commemorative license plate, similar to the "Save the Sound" plates, that would raise funds to promote biking and it would create an 11 member Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board reporting to lawmakers and the DOT.

The legislation passed through the Transportation, Planning and Government Administration committees and is likely headed to the full General Assembly for a final vote, then to the governor.

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities earlier this year submitted testimony in opposition to the one percent requirement, saying municipalities should be able to use road funds any way they deem appropriate.

The Department of Motor Vehicles said it would need to hire two new staffers at $50,000 a piece to administer the "Share the Road" license plate program.

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