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How bicycle safety audits improve public safety

It was recently announced that 81 Connecticut communities are set to receive road safety audits designed to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety this year and next. Connecticut towns that are being audited for road safety include Colchester, Griswold, Norwich, Sprague, and Montville. Yet even if your town is not on this list, you may still reap the benefits of these bicycle safety audits.

DOT Road Audits: What to Expect

As part of the governor's Let's GO CT initiative, the Department of Transportation will be auditing roads for transportation needs as they related to public safety. Each of the 81 communities in the program were chosen for their feasibility as walk/bike towns.

In the road safety audits, a safety team will be checking the safety at pre-selected intersections and along roadways. Workers will then make short-, medium-, and long-term recommendations via report, which will improve the safety for all users of the road. This includes trucks, cars, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians. Audit teams will be in place for a full day.

Safety teams will begin conducting audits this spring and continue through 2017. The teams are made up of individuals from local public agencies, and will be independent in nature to avoid any conflicts of interest.

Example improvements that may be made as a result of the study include minor improvements like brush-cutting along roadways, or major infrastructure investments such as roadway realignment.

As a result of the audits, road condition will be improved for all, while road safety for vulnerable bicyclists will be protected. These audits send a valuable message to cyclists and walkers that their lives do matter.

How Bicycle Safety Audits Benefit Public Safety Across Connecticut

Even if your town is not among those receiving a road audit, the results of road audits may benefit your town too. The audits may reveal similar data in towns of similar sizes. By reviewing with a keen eye the data uncovered in these audits, city and towns officials can implement suggestions that can benefit public safety on congested roadways.

If a small city in Eastern Connecticut decides to add bike lanes, for example, a small South Connecticut city could be inspired to create bike lanes. If brush along roadways is a common safety hazard, the Department of Transportation across the state may set aside more funds for brush clearing.

These audits send a clear message that the State of Connecticut cares about making its communities friendly for walkers and bicyclists, and avoiding personal injuries. As a New Haven personal injury law firm, we congratulate the governor on his commitment to public safety and we anticipate infrastructure improvements made as a result of these audits.

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