Safety Matters: May is National Bicycle Safety Month


May is National Bicycle Safety Month

There are over 51 million people who ride bikes in the United States and they come in all shapes and sizes — from kids riding to school or out with friends to adults who cycle for exercise or as a means of transportation. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), 966 bicyclists were killed in traffic crashes in 2021 (the most recent year of complete data). In 2022, Connecticut had 446 crashes that involved a bicycle resulting in four fatalities and forty serious injuries. The month of May begins the most dangerous time of the year for cyclists, as crashes increase with the warmer weather and continue to remain high until the fall. As vulnerable road users, cyclists involved in a traffic crash are more likely to sustain injury than occupants of a vehicle.

Here in Connecticut, we are doing good work to increase awareness of bicycling safety and add cycling infrastructure to our roadways. The League of American Bicyclists ranks Connecticut as the #20 bike-friendly state and we are one of only four states that has taken all five of the League’s Bicycle Friendly Actions every year since they were identified in 2015.

So what else can we do to make sure all cyclists remain safe on our roadways? Both cyclists and drivers have a responsibility to engage in safe behavior at all times. Here are some tips to follow so that everyone can enjoy cycling and stay safe!


  • Follow the rules of the road just like motorized vehicles.
  • Make sure your bicycle is in good working order.
  • Wear a helmet correctly on every ride.
  • Be visible.
  • Do not ride distracted – never use your phone while cycling!
  • Be aware of possible changes in roadway conditions and weather.

  • Slow down – obey speed limits and slow your vehicle when approaching a cyclist.
  • Do not drive distracted or aggressively.
  • Respect that cyclists have the same rights to the roadway as you.
  • Be cautious at intersections.
  • Give cyclists 3 feet when passing – it’s the law!
  • Be aware of cyclists when you are parked and opening your vehicle door.

For more information and assistance with local road safety in your community, contact Melissa Evans, Safety Circuit Rider, at


NHTSA, Bicycle Safety: Bike Safety Tips for Kids and Adults | NHTSA

Watch For Me CT, BICYCLISTS :: Watch for Me CT

The League of American Bicyclists, connecticut.pdf (

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Safety Matters: May is National Bicycle Safety Month

Safety Matters: April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month


April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,522 people lost their lives to distracted driving in 2021. Here in Connecticut in 2022 there were 5,300 distracted driving crashes resulting in eight fatalities and sixty-four serious injuries. Although distracted driving can include activities such as adjusting the radio or GPS; eating or drinking, the most prevalent activity is cell phone use, whether it’s talking, texting or using social media. Forty-eight states, including Connecticut, have laws prohibiting hand-held cell phone use yet it continues.

Since 2010, April has been National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Connecticut has been measuring rates of distracted driving since 2015 and August 2021 saw the highest rate of drivers either texting or talking on a hand-held cell phone since the first round of observations in March 2015. Through social media messaging, commercials showing the dangers of distracted driving, and campaigns such as “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.”, CT DOT is making a concerted effort to reduce distracted driving crashes in the state.

In the words of CT DOT Commissioner Garrett Eucalitto, “We are counting on every single driver on our roadways to be a part of the solution by paying attention to avoid putting everyone on the road in danger.” We all have a responsibility every time we get in a vehicle to keep ourselves and others safe. Whether you are the driver or a passenger you can take steps to eliminate distractions and drive safely.


  • When driving, put your phone away. If you have difficulty ignoring your phone set it to “Do Not Disturb” or silence it and put it in the backset or trunk.
  • If you are expecting a text message or need to send one, pull over to a safe location, stop driving and then use your phone.
  • Give control of your phone to a passenger to answer calls and texts.
  • Never engage in social media activity of any kind while driving.

The CT DOT Highway Safety Office has developed a public service announcement that you can all share in your communities! Let’s all work on this together.

For more information and assistance with local road safety in your community, contact Melissa Evans, Safety Circuit Rider, at



CT DOT, Distracted Driving Continues to Be One of the Leading Causes of Vehicle Crashes

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Safety Matters: April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Safety Matters: Two Connecticut Municipalities Are Working Towards Vision Zero


Two Connecticut Municipalities Are Working Towards Vision Zero

Vision Zero has long been discussed in the transportation world, having been first implemented by Sweden in the 1990s. It centers around the idea of eliminating fatalities and serious injuries on our roadways while increasing safety and mobility for all users. Although Europe has embraced Vision Zero for decades, it wasn’t until 2012 that a US city made the commitment. Since then however, the idea that we can have a transportation network free from fatal and serious injury crashes has swept the nation.

Here in Connecticut, the General Assembly created a Vision Zero Council in 2021 to develop a policy and begin the work of eliminating fatalities and serious injury crashes on CT roadways. This is an important mission, as 2022 saw the highest number of pedestrian fatalities in our state in 34 years (75) and a total of 385 fatalities on our roadways. Many of these crashes occur on local roads, including over 50% of the pedestrian fatal crashes. In an effort to address this, two municipalities have taken the lead in adopting Vision Zero for their communities.

The City of Stamford was the first municipality in Connecticut to implement a Vision Zero Program, establishing theirs with an executive order from Mayor Simmons in September 2022. According to Frank Petise, the City’s Transportation Bureau Chief, “The Vision Zero executive order builds on our past successes and directs us to maximize safety for all users of the roadway. We strive to ensure people feel safe using all modes of our roadway network in Stamford and Vision Zero is a commitment from us to the people to accomplish our goal. Since launching the initiative, we have created a task force, issued an RFP for a Vision Zero Action Plan, and launched our Vision Zero webpage which includes an interactive crash dashboard.” Stamford’s goal is to eliminate fatalities from their streets by 2032 and information about their program can be found here.

In January of this year, the Town of West Hartford joined Stamford in the Vision Zero effort when the Town Council adopted a Vision Zero Initiative. West Hartford has also put together a Task Force of both staff and resident members and launched their new webpage which you can find here.

Every step we take towards eliminating transportation-related fatalities and serious injuries is a positive one. Every user of our transportation network deserves to make it to their destination safely. Congratulations to the City of Stamford and the Town of West Hartford for recognizing this and embracing Vision Zero!

For more information and assistance with local road safety in your community, including how to start a Vision Zero Program, contact Melissa Evans, Safety Circuit Rider, at


Vision Zero Network,

CT DOT Vision Zero Council, What Is The Vision Zero Council (

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Safety Matters: Two Connecticut Municipalities Are Working Towards Vision Zero

Safety Matters: Nighttime Visibility and Pedestrian/Bicyclist Safety


Nighttime Visibility and Pedestrian/Bicyclist Safety

As winter settles in and days get shorter, nighttime visibility becomes even more important than usual. Of course, it is important for pedestrians and cyclists to be visible year-round during dark conditions, but winter creates an additional challenge of less daylight hours and storms that can impact visibility any time of day. Unfortunately, the number of fatal pedestrian crashes in Connecticut has been on the rise, with 2022 shaping up to be the deadliest year in decades – a trend mirrored in national statistics as well. By the end of November, there were 59 pedestrian fatalities in our state; just two away from the record set in 2020. Eleven pedestrian fatalities occurred in the month of November alone. Additionally, there were two bicyclist fatalities.

Nighttime visibility has become such an important safety issue that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently included it in their Every Day Counts Round 7 (EDC-7) Innovations. The following excerpt is from the FHWA press release on the EDC Round 7 Innovations:

Nighttime Visibility for Safety: The nighttime crash fatality rate is three times the daytime rate. Enhancing visibility along corridors, intersections, and pedestrian crossings can help reduce fatalities. This initiative promotes traffic control devices and properly designed lighting to improve safety for all users, including pedestrians, cyclists, and people who use public transportation and passenger rail services.

Drivers have an enormous responsibility – operating a vehicle that weighs on average two tons requires attention and care. Add dark roadway conditions or inclement weather and the risk becomes even greater. Pedestrians and bicyclists also have a responsibility to follow the rules of the road and behave in a manner that aligns with driver expectations.

There are some simple measures that everyone can take to protect vulnerable roadway users.

Tips for Drivers

  • Avoid distractions.
  • Drive the speed limit and slow down near crosswalks and intersections.
  • Slow down and use caution in poor weather conditions.
  • Keep your vehicle in good operating condition, especially tires and brakes.
  • Be extra aware while driving in areas where children or the elderly may be present.

Tips for Bicyclists

  • Use the bike lane if one is available.
  • If no bike lane exists, ride in the travel lane.
  • Communicate your intended actions.
  • Wear a reflective article of clothing, including ankle and knee reflectors.

Tips for Pedestrians

  • Walk on the sidewalk if one is available.
  • If there is no sidewalk, walk facing oncoming traffic.
  • Cross at crosswalks if present.
  • If there is a pedestrian signal, use it correctly.
  • Make eye contact with drivers – do not assume they see you or that they will stop for you.
  • Wear a reflective article of clothing.
  • Carry a flashlight.

During this busy time of year, let’s all do our part to keep ourselves and others safe on our roadways.

For more information and assistance with local road safety in your community, contact Melissa Evans, Safety Circuit Rider, at


FHWA Announces Latest Round of Innovations Under Every Day Counts Program to Accelerate Innovation in Transportation Industry | FHWA (

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Safety Matters: Nighttime Visibility and Pedestrian/Bicyclist Safety

2022 Ceremony Honoring T2 Center Program Graduates

On November 17, 2022, the Training & Technical Assistance (T2) Center staff, guests and Connecticut’s top transportation leaders honored 103 professionals who completed one or more of nine different certificate programs in 2022.

Keynote Speakers – Amy Jackson-Grove, Sgt. Dustin Baldis, and Mark Rolfe

There were 47 Public Works Academy graduates, 16 Road Master graduates, 11 Road Scholar graduates, 7 Local Traffic Authority graduates, 4 Transportation Leadership graduates, 3 Safety Champion graduates, 1 Traffic Signal Champion graduate, 1 Traffic Signal Technician Certificate – Level I graduate and 12 Traffic Signal Technician Certificate – Level II graduates. It is important to note that 18 of our 2022 graduating class were members of the CT Department of Transportation.

CT Dept. of Transportation – Graduates from All Programs

The opening remarks of the ceremony were delivered by Assistant Dean Kylene Perras from the School of Engineering at the University of Connecticut. The keynote speakers for the event were Division Administrator Amy Jackson-Grove of the Federal Highway Administration, Deputy Commissioner Mark Rolfe of the CT Department of Transportation; and one of our 2022 graduates, Sgt. Dustin Baldis, Traffic Division for the City of Torrington Police Department.

The list of alumni for each graduating class from 1996 to present are are posted here.

To view the 2022 Graduation Guide, please click here.

Photo of our graduates are posted on the T2 Center’s Flickr account, here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2022 Ceremony Honoring T2 Center Program Graduates

Safety Matters: Pedestrian Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility


Pedestrian Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility

October is National Pedestrian Safety Month so what better time to remind ourselves that ensuring pedestrian safety on our roadways is everyone’s responsibility. At some point throughout your day you will be a pedestrian, even if it’s just during the short walk to your car from home or work. One of the principles of the Safe System Approach is “Responsibility is Shared” and everyone should be concerned with the number of pedestrians who are injured or killed on our roadways.

According to data from the Connecticut Crash Data Repository, in 2021 in Connecticut there were 1,163 pedestrian crashes resulting in 54 fatalities and 183 serious injuries. This number is slightly lower than in 2020, making CT one of only ten states to show a reduction in pedestrian fatalities from 2020 to 2021, as stated in the Governor’s Highway Safety Association “Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State: 2021 Preliminary Data.” Although that is a good trend, CT is still losing too many lives to pedestrian crashes.

So, what can we do to reduce pedestrian crashes and improve safety? It’s important to be aware and alert both as a driver and as a pedestrian. It is also important to remember that children and older adults are more at risk of dying when involved in a crash. Additionally, the majority of pedestrian crashes occur in dark conditions. Connecticut has enacted stronger pedestrian laws, but that is only part of the solution. Below are some tips on how you can help save lives and improve pedestrian safety.

As a pedestrian:

  • Use sidewalks when available or walk as far away from the road as possible, facing traffic
  • Use crosswalks when available or yield to traffic and cross only when traffic has cleared
  • Be visible, especially at night
  • Don’t walk distracted or under the influence

As a driver:

  • Obey speed limits and all traffic control signs and signals
  • Yield to pedestrians crossing the street and be patient – some may need extra time
  • Pay extra attention to areas where pedestrians may be difficult to see
  • Don’t drive distracted or under the influence

Working together, we can make an impact on pedestrian safety and reduce the number of crashes that occur on our roads in Connecticut.

For more information on the Safety Circuit Rider Program, contact Melissa at


GHSA, Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State: 2021 Preliminary Data, Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State: 2021 Preliminary Data | GHSA

Watch For Me CT,  Watch for Me CT

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Safety Matters: Pedestrian Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility

Safety Matters: Learn About the Safety Circuit Rider Team


Learn About the Safety Circuit Rider Team

On October 1, 2022, the Safety Circuit Rider (SCR) program will begin a five-year reauthorization. The T2 Center is very pleased to have this opportunity to continue our good work with local Connecticut agencies. Since we have many new members of our Public Works, Engineering and Local Traffic Authority community, we wanted to reintroduce you to our SCR Program and our terrific team of professionals!

Why Are We Doing This Work?

Of the 21,000 miles of roadway in Connecticut, 82% are maintained by local municipal agencies. Over 50% of the serious and fatal injury crashes that occur in the state happen on these local roadways. To make significant progress in reducing the number of crashes, serious injuries, and fatalities in Connecticut, the safety along local roadways needs to improve.

The SCR Team

The Safety Circuit Rider (SCR) team includes Melissa Evans, Safety Circuit Rider, Lisa Knight, Educational Program Coordinator and Donna Shea, Executive Program Coordinator.

Services We Provide

The (SCR) program is designed to provide safety-related information, training, and direct technical assistance to agencies responsible for local roadway safety.


The SCR program provides free roadway safety-related training to local agencies through our Safety Academy. Trainings cover many topics such as Sign Installation and Maintenance, Road Safety Assessments (RSAs), ADA, Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP), Speed Management, Roundabouts and more. Melissa teaches several of our courses, and Lisa and Melissa also partner with guest instructors. Participation in these trainings earns credit toward our Safety Champion Certificate program. Our SCR also partners with the T2 general training program to teach classes in the Local Traffic Authority certificate program.

Technical Assistance

The SCR program provides technical assistance and resources to CT municipalities on a wide range of road safety issues. Some recent topics include:

  • Crash data analysis
  • On Site Road Safety Assessments
  • Traffic Data Collection and Analysis
  • Identification of Low-Cost Safety Improvements

Local Road Safety Plans

A Local Road Safety Plan (LRSP) provides a framework for organizing stakeholders to identify, analyze, and prioritize roadway safety improvements on local roads. LRSP’s are very important, especially now with the funding opportunities coming over the next several years from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The process for developing an LRSP can be tailored to local protocols, needs and issues. Plans should be viewed as a living document that can be continually reviewed and updated.

Free Equipment Loan Program

Local agencies can borrow traffic counters, sign retroreflectometer and our newest addition, a pavement marking retroreflectometer. See our full list of available equipment at:

T2 Center Equipment Loan Program | T2 Center (

Providing Critical Equipment to our Cities and Towns

Over the past several years, the SCR program has been very fortunate to receive funding from CTDOT to provide critical equipment to our local agencies, including full work zone safety packages offered to all 169 towns and speed feedback signs for rural towns. In September, CTDOT is providing funding for our program to offer speed feedback signs to our Urban cities/towns. We are very grateful for these opportunities and will look forward to more in the future.

For more information on the Safety Circuit Rider Program contact Melissa at

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Safety Matters: Learn About the Safety Circuit Rider Team

Safety Matters: Speed Display Signs for Speed Management in Urban Communities


Safety Matters: Speed Display Signs for Speed Management in Urban Communities

Across the country, speeding remains a problem on every type of roadway and in every type of community. Speed-related crashes often result in serious injuries or fatalities. In 2020, to address speed-related crashes on Connecticut’s rural roads, the T2 Center’s Safety Circuit Rider program in coordination with the CT Department of Transportation launched a Rural Speed Display Sign Program. The program provided two signs, along with training on their use and benefit, to Connecticut towns with rural roads. Additionally, speed management training was offered throughout the program years to provide a broader speed management strategy.

Based on the success of the rural program, the CTDOT and the T2 Center are pleased to announce an Urban Speed Display Sign Program, which will commence on September 1, 2022. This will be a year-long program providing two free signs to those municipalities that were not eligible under the rural program. Training on the signs, the data they collect and related speed management classes with be offered as well.

Speed display signs are recognized by the Federal Highway Administration as an effective countermeasure to address speeding. They have been shown to reduce speeds by up to 5 mph and can be utilized in conjunction with other speed management tools to further reduce speeding. For more information, click her

These signs help remind the driving public of the posted speed limit and how fast they are driving in relation to that speed limit. They can be an important educational tool in getting the public to slow down on roads where speed can often end in a crash. Since the signs also collect data, municipalities can identify problem areas and the most effective times of day for speed enforcement.

There has been much positive response to the rural program, and data analysis has shown an average reduction in 85th percentile speed of 3-5 mph, which is consistent with the FHWA’s findings. One of the towns commented, “These signs have put many of our concerned citizens at ease,” and another said, “These signs have been getting a ton of positive feedback from our residents!”

Scheduling of delivery for the urban program will begin shortly, so be on the lookout for an email from me with additional information on how to receive your signs. I look forward to meeting with you soon as we work to manage speeds on our CT roadways!

For more information and assistance with local road safety in your community, contact Melissa Evans, Safety Circuit Rider, at


Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Safety Matters: Speed Display Signs for Speed Management in Urban Communities

Leaders to Watch: Garrett Bolella, City of Norwalk

Garrett Bolella, City of Norwalk

Garrett Bolella, P.E., P.T.O.E., Assistant Director of Transportation Services for the City of Norwalk, was named one of the 2022 40 Under 40 by the Fairfield County Business Journal. On June 16, 2022, Garrett was honored at a banquet where he was presented with the General Assembly Official Citation that Senator (Majority Leader) Bob Duff read as follows:

General Assembly Official Citation

Be it hereby known to all that the Connecticut General Assembly offers its sincerest congratulations to Garrett Bolella, P.E., PTOE, RSP1 in recognition of being named an awardee of the Fairfield County 40 Under 40 . We are thrilled of your special accomplishments and thank you for your steadfast work on behalf of the people of the City of Norwalk.

The entire membership extends its very best wishes on this memorable occasion and expresses the hope for continued success.

Garrett Bolella is 34 years old and a Connecticut native. He is a graduate of the University of Connecticut with a Bachelors in Civil Engineering and a Masters in Transportation and Urban Engineering. He is also the only licensed Professional Engineer in a Connecticut municipality with a PTOE certification and an RSP1 certification.

In 2017, Garrett applied to the City of Stamford for an opening as the  Lead Traffic Engineer under a recently created Transportation Bureau. The new Transportation Bureau’s focus on efficiency, mobility, sustainability, multi-modal transportation, safety, and engagement were all key components in filling this critical role. Garrett’s experience in consulting along with his research and studies in transportation planning, urban design, and regional planning made him an ideal candidate for the position.

Garrett entered that role and immediately became an integral part of the fabric of the Transportation Bureau for Stamford.  With only days of experience on the job, he became engrossed in the planning of new road designs and markings and with only weeks under his belt designed and installed the city’s first buffered bike lane.  As his oversight included management of the city’s Traffic Operations Department, Garrett established the city’s first design guide to standardize all the city’s signs, introduced more reflective pavement markings that increases the visibility of lines and markings, and helped formalize the city’s Complete Street design manual emphasizing the plan and purpose for improved multimodal safety.

Furthermore, Garrett oversaw several transportation and traffic projects.  Most notably is the design of the city’s first round-a-bout.  Through a series of community meetings, a design was finalized, and construction began in 2021.  With Garrett’s determination and commitment, the community with soon benefit from improved traffic flow in one of the most congested corridors in the City.  In Garrett’s relatively short time with the City of Stamford his accomplishments also include the construction and design of a traffic circle at Lione Park, the creation of Boxer Square Plaza, which won national recognition, and several traffic calming initiatives in the west side of the city, to name a few.

In February 2021, Garrett accepted a promotion to the role of Assistant Director of Transportation, Mobility and Parking for the City of Norwalk to formalize a department recently created by Mayor Rilling.  The Administration in Norwalk recognized Garrett’s many accomplishments and he now heads a team focused on traffic safety, sustainable economic growth, and community building.  In-fact, Garrett has hit the ground running yet again.   In his short time, he has partnered with the City’s Health Department and applied for and has been awarded a grant to plant street trees in an underserved neighborhood.  Garrett has also worked with neighbors to care for these newly planted street trees.

Additionally, he is now spearheading the design an estimated $12 Million Dollar investment to reclaim a busy commercial village district in what will be the model for the City’s Complete Streets vision moving forward.  There has been a desire for improvements to the Wall Street corridor for decades.  With Garrett’s vision and determination, the community’s desire for real change in the area will soon be realized.  With only a consultant selected and ideas in mind, he has already begun to secure funding to bring this vision to reality.

Garrett doesn’t accept limitations, he challenges them.  He looks to make something better, sets new boundaries, and never accepts something as simply good enough.  Stamford is a much better city with Garrett’s contributions, and Norwalk has already benefitted from his talent and expertise.  I am grateful to have him as an integral part of the team. When Garrett is not working, he can be found at his home in North Stamford with his wife Erica, their new daughter Leighton, and their two dogs – or also working as a personal trainer at CrossFit Stamford.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Leaders to Watch: Garrett Bolella, City of Norwalk

Safety Matters: New Equipment Available for Loan – Pavement Marking Retroreflectometer


New Equipment Available for Loan – Pavement Marking Retroreflectometer

Pavement marking visibility is an important safety measure for road users. When drivers can adequately see center lines, edge lines, crosswalks and other pavement markings, they can make safe and appropriate decisions. Faded, non-reflective markings can create a hazardous situation for all roadway users. The Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), Part 3A.02 requires that “Markings that must be visible at night shall be retroreflective unless ambient illumination assures that the markings are adequately visible.” It is likely that the next version of the MUTCD, which is in progress, will have more requirements for pavement marking minimum retroreflectivity as well.

In an effort to assist Connecticut municipalities with ensuring the reflectivity of their pavement markings, the T2 Center has purchased a StripeMaster 2 Touch Pavement Marking Retroreflectometer, which measures road marking retroreflection, visibility, and saves the data.

The unit can store more than 25,000 measurements and has a color touch screen, an internal GPS, Bluetooth and a printer. The saved data can be exported in multiple formats. Data that can be collected includes PASS/FAIL criteria, installation dates, thickness, bead types, material types, color, pavement types, and location. The nit can also measure flat or profiled markings up to 0.59 inches high. It also measures in both dry and wet weather conditions as well as during day or night.

Visit our website to fill out an equipment loan request if you’re interested in testing your pavement markings – T2 Center Equipment Loan Program | T2 Center (

Road Vista,

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Safety Matters: New Equipment Available for Loan – Pavement Marking Retroreflectometer