The Low Road

“Hey, take my dirty hakama!” (revised)


Part VII: Sharing the Road

“The cyclist is dodging potholes, dodging glass, trying to stay safe, trying to stay out of the way of car doors and parked cars,” says Jeremy Burcham, owner of Breaking Away Bicycles in Fairfield and president of the Connecticut Bicycle and Pedestrian Coalition.

“When you’re riding in the city, you’ve got to pay attention to every parked car. You’ve got to pay attention to every car that’s behind you. You’ve got to pay attention to red lights and green lights.”

To highlight safety issues, Burcham’s organization is putting together an educational video aimed at motorists and cyclists alike. But cycling advocates say that creating a safe environment for cyclists demands proactive measures as well.

Burcham says one of the coalition’s goals is to convince the Connecticut Department of Transportation to include representatives of the cycling community in the planning phases of all projects such as new bridges or roadways.

“One of the things that I think people don’t realize is that the majority of roads that I’ll call ‘commutable’ are very narrow,” Burcham says.

“Connecticut is an obviously an older state; the roads were engineered at a time when people weren’t driving as fast and as big vehicles as they have now. There’s always been trucks on the road, but we’re in a slightly different time when there isn’t necessarily a lot of room to share the road.”

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Learn more about New Haven’s cyclists: “A Cycling Community is Born


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