Controversy over sidewalk biking in New Haven

Via Bike New Haven: There’s been a huge controversy swirling around the New Haven cycling community lately. It has to do with Lt. Ray Hassett’s personal campaign to ticket cyclists who violate traffic laws, particularly the ban on sidewalk riding. The municipal code can be found here (Article I. Sec. 29-10). The issue has been at the top of the discussion list on the Elm City Cycling listserv for several months.

Lt. Hassett boasts that in just a few weeks his campaign has led to almost 300 tickets being issued, most for sidewalk riding, which carries with it a $75 fine. Wouldn’t an educational campaign have been more effective?

The City Plan Department admits New Haven’s streets aren’t always favorable for cyclists. Luckily, more trails and paths are being developed. But unless conditions improve, riding on the sidewalk will continue.

From the city’s Comprehensive Plan: In spite of the city’s highways, commuter rail and public bus systems, there is a sense of congestion, lack of connectivity and incomplete bicycle and pedestrian access. This belies the proximity between residential areas and destinations.

Trail development alone will not satisfy the demand for bicycle access and safety. As part of ongoing street improvements, the Commission encourages the appropriate placement of bicycle facilities, including  edicated bike racks, bike lanes and signage. Supporting educational programs are likewise encouraged.

More resources (including a bike map) from the City Plan Department here.

Posted by Chris


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