Section 2. The commissioner shall promulgate such rules, regulations, plans, proposals, and procedures as are necessary and appropriate to the construction and maintenance of bikeways and bicycle parking facilities.
Such rules, regulations, plans, proposals and procedures shall take into consideration potential users in high density employment areas, bicycle accident locations, connections to other modes of transportation, special signs, markings necessary for the benefit of cyclists and motorists, bicycle parking facilities at points of public interest and provisions to insure safe, smooth, direct continuous bikeways.
The commissioner shall designate the bureau of transportation planning and development in the department as the principal source for the planning of bikeways in the commonwealth.
The commissioner shall establish, with the advice and assistance of the bicycle advisory board, established by section eleven A of chapter twenty-one A, a bikeways program which shall include, but not be limited to: surveys, safety measures, demonstration projects, research, education, utilization of existing streets and walkways, provisions of bikeways to and from schools affording a minimum of hazard from automobiles, provision of comfort stations and weather shelters, provision of facilities in connection with commuter railroads to facilitate the use of bicycles by commuters in traveling to and from the railroad stations, the use of abandoned rights of way for bicycle paths; the development of commuter and recreational trails; provision of bicycle transportation facilities roadways, bridges and airports; the development of a coordinated program for bicycles and motor vehicles; the development of bicycle amenities such as assigned parking facilities; bicycle routes, paths and trails; bicycle sensitive traffic light actuation; and bicycle transportation as a commuter activity and promulgation of standards, security measures and regulations for the registration and use of bicycles.
The commissioner shall promulgate such rules, regulations and procedures, including public hearings, as are necessary and appropriate to provide the following parties the timely opportunity to participate in the development of bikeway proposals, plans, programs and projects of the department, as defined by the commissioner, and to review and comment thereon:
(a) state, regional and local agencies and authorities, including without limitation, regional planning agencies, affected by said proposals, plans, programs and projects;
(b) elected officials from cities and towns affected by said proposals, plans, programs and projects;
(c) other public and private organizations, groups and persons who are affected by, and who have provided the commissioner with reasonable notice in writing of their desire to participate in the development of said proposals, plans, programs and projects.
In this section, the words “timely opportunity” shall mean sufficiently early in the planning process to permit comments to be considered prior to the final development of or commitment to any such proposal, plan, program or project, at each stage of development.