Bicyclists get free roadside assistance in Connecticut city

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HARTFORD — The city is offering free roadside assistance to bicyclists when they suffer a flat tire or other minor mechanical problems.

The program in Hartford is run by the city’s business improvement district and is touted as the first of its kind in the nation. It is designed to encourage bicycle commuting.

Six district employees have been trained to fix flats, repair broken chains, adjust brakes and do other minor bicycle repairs. They patrol the streets on bikes and have responded to more than 40 calls from stranded bicyclists since launching the initiative in May.

The city’s bicycle and pedestrian coordinator says Hartford also recently adopted a “complete streets” initiative, which will require all new road improvement projects to include bicycle lanes.