Nearly a year and a half after it was signed into law by Governor M. Jodi Rell, Connecticut’s Complete Streets Law goes into full effect today. The law, the first of its kind at the State level in the tri-state region, mandates that “the construction, restoration, rehabilitation or relocation of highways, roads or streets, a reasonable amount shall be expended to provide facilities for all users.”
Since its signing last July, the law has gradually been implemented, starting with the creation of a bicycle and pedestrian advisory board that will help ConnDOT set statewide bicycle and pedestrian priorities. Beginning today, the law will mandate that at least 1% of transportation funding go to bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure (the law applies to all federal, state, and local funding sources “available for the construction, maintenance and repair of roads in this state”). ConnDOT must issue a list of state projects which improve bike and pedestrian access today, as well as an annual report on the progress of projects meant to increase bicycle, pedestrian and transit access.
The legislation was passed with bipartisan support in the State Senate, although most Republicans voted against it in the House. State Sen. Donald Defronzo and Rep. Thomas Kehoe proved themselves strong advocates for pedestrian and cycling safety by sponsoring and pushing hard for the bill. With the law now being fully implemented, MTR will be sure to watchdog whether ConnDOT is abiding by the letter and the spirit of the legislation.