By Mike Clifford, Public News Service - CT
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June 10, 2014 HARTFORD, Conn. - A survey is underway to make Connecticut streets more friendly for pedestrians and bicycles, and survey organizers say the results should eventually result in positive impacts for health, air quality and even the economy.
As day-to-day work grows more computer-based, employees often wind up spending too much time sitting. Kelly Kennedy, the executive director of Bike Walk Connecticut, says that sedentary work environment is taking a big hit on workers' health. In fact, Kennedy says public health is the primary reason her group is conducting this first of its kind survey, called Complete Streets, in an effort to make roads originally designed for cars more user-friendly for those on foot and riding bicycles.
"If it were easier and safer to get around and to make at least short trips by bike or by foot that would improve our health," says Kennedy. "It would also improve air quality."
Kennedy says her organization's survey is also questioning city planners to get a sense of what towns and municipalities are doing proactively to create more bicycle and pedestrian-friendly routes. She says they also want to know if it is easy for you to get around your town by bike or on foot, and what it's like walking or biking to places like schools, parks, senior centers and shopping centers.
The survey is accessible from the Bike Walk Connecticut website.
"If it's not generally easy to get around, then we ask for specifics; what's the problem, are there not enough sidewalks, do the sidewalks stop and start suddenly," says Kennedy. "Those are the kinds of things that we are getting at."
She says the money saved by greater numbers of people walking and biking can add up to big benefits for local economies.
"Gas prices are only going up, and the more money we spend on gas and on cars the less money we have for other things," explains Kennedy. "If we can re-purpose some of that spending, we can help other sectors of the economy like the mom-and-pop stores that keep the economy moving."
The Complete Streets survey is funded through a federal cooperative agreement administered by the Connecticut Department of Public Health. The results will be released early this summer.
While the bad weather and worse forecast did make a dent on Bike to Work Day pledges - bringing in 619 total this year compared to 687 last year - our estimates point to a lot more than that this year with some riders braving the rain and others changing their minds the day of and putting on a bike helmet.
What's more, the love of biking to work expanded into more organizations: while 2013 had more pledges who hailed from 176 employers, 2014 boasted fewer pledges from 207 employers, showing just how much strength is coming from small businesses in the state!
Very special thanks to Kathryn Hauser of News 12 Connecticut, Gil Simmons and Teresa Dufour of WTNH 8 for mentioning Bike to Work Day on Twitter, during their live early morning television appearances, or both. Also kudos to Itsrelevant.com for covering Stamford's phenomenal Bike to Work Day Event (which featured Congressman Jim Himes as a speaker and mayor David Martin receiving a bike from the Stamford Downtown Special Services District), which is only one example of the great coverage of Bike to Work Day 2014 in Connecticut.
Total Pledges: 619 Individuals at 207 different employers
Prize Drawing Winners: Kevin Sullivan of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and Brenda Holloway, both of Hartford, were the Bike Walk CT members who came out victorious in our prize drawing of beautiful Patagonia jackets. Non-member winners were Kathy Manizza of Willimantic - who brightened Eastern Connecticut State University with her two-wheeled presence - and Paul Taino of East Haven, who freed up a parking spot at Stop & Shop by biking to work. Congratulations to all winners!
Events: The weather did not curb the events planned this year as 25 were registered with Bike Walk Connecticut for 2014 - just as many as last year's sun-filled Bike to Work Day.
Total Towns Represented: 146 towns were represented on the Bike Walk Connecticut Bike to Work Day Pledge - that's 86% of all Connecticut communities!
Men and Women: 58% of pledges were men while 42% were women.
Most Pledges: The Department of Children and Families again shows the most bicycle commuters pledging, with 146 participants collectively riding 424 miles.
Walkers: Tracked primarily for state agencies, 108 adults pledged to walk to work on May 16.
Longest Commute by a Newcomer: This year, one in five pledges were taking their first ride to work ever. While we congratulate every Connecticut resident trying bike commuting for the first time, we have to give special props to the pledge who had the longest trip: Dave McNeil, who pledged to ride 35 miles one way from Cheshire to Stratford!
Longest Commute Overall: The one way trip of Chris Adams, who has a 60 mile trip from Old Saybrook to Hartford.
Total miles ridden/gas money saved: Among all 619 pledgers: 4,257 miles. When one considers that the average car/light truck gets 23.6 miles per gallon, over 180.4 gallons of gasoline were saved on Bike to Work Day, which, assuming that bicycle commuters left their cars at home and by an estimated price of gas at $3.90 a gallon, means about $703.56 in gas savings for just one day - a lot of money that can be spent on other things.
Top 20 Organizations - Ranked by BTW Day Pledges
1. Department of Children & Families: 146 pledges, 468 miles
2. Pratt & Whitney: 43 pledges, 306 miles
3. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection: 33 pledges, 313 miles
4. Department of Correction: 22 pledges, 340 miles
5. Trinity College: 17 pledges, 83 miles
6. Travelers Insurance: 16 pledges, 140 miles
7. Yale University: 15 pledges, 91.5 miles
8. Uconn Health: 11 pledges, 106 miles
9. Department of Public Health: 10 pledges, 76 miles
10. Department of Transportation: 9 pledges, 50 miles
11.(tie)United Technologies Corporation: 8 pledges, 126 miles
11. (tie) Department of Education: 8 pledges, 76 miles
13. Aetna: 7 pledges, 78.5 miles
14. Prudential Financial: 6 pledges, 72.4 miles
15. Department of Motor Vehicles: 5 pledges, 20 miles
16. UnitedHealth Group: 4 pledges, 28 miles
17. (tie) Department of Economic & Community Development: 3 pledges, 48 miles
17. (tie) Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Co.: 3 pledges, 25.2 miles
17. (tie) City of Hartford: 3 pledges, 22.8 miles
17. (tie) Department of Administrative Services: 3 pledges, 12 miles
17. (tie) City of New London: 3 pledges, 22.8 miles
Top Ten Organizations By MILES (one way)
1. Children & Families.Dept Of: 146 pledges, 468 miles
2. Correction, Dept Of: 22 pledges, 340 miles
3. DEEP: 33 pledges, 313 miles
4. Pratt & Whitney: 43 pledges, 306 miles
5. Travelers: 16 pledges, 140 miles
6. UConn Health: 11 pledges, 106 miles
7. Connecticut General Assembly: 2 pledges, 103 miles
8. Yale University: 15 pledges, 91 miles
9. Trinity College: 17 pledges, 83 miles
10. Aetna: 7 pledges, 78 miles
Participating Organizations (No. of employees who took the pledge to ride to work/Total miles ridden/walked)
3M: 2 pledges, 35 miles
4Health Group - Varibike North America: 1 pledge, 20 miles
AAA Metals: 1 pledge, 0 miles
Aetna: 7 pledges, 78.5 miles
AHCC: 1 pledge, 3.5 miles
Alstom Power Inc.: 1 pledge, 8 miles
AOX - Northrop Grumman: 1 pledge, 5.5 miles
ATT: 1 pledge, 13 miles
Avon Middle School: 1 pledge, 4 miles
Bank of America: 2 pledges, 18 miles
Bausch Abdurahman Thampan Medd, LLC: 1 pledge, 7.5 miles
Benidorm Bikes: 2 pledges, 21 miles
Berlin Bicycle: 1 pledge, 16 miles
Berlin High School: 1 pledge, 12 miles
Bicycles East: 1 pledge, 13 miles
Big Sky: 1 pledge, 8 miles
Bike New London: 1 pledge, 13 miles
Bike Walk CT: 3 pledges, 10.1 miels
BlackBerry: 1 pledge, 3.5 miles
Bloomfield's High School Harris Ag Ctr: 1 pledge, 11 miles
Burns and McDonnell: 1 pledge, 21 miles
Canberra Industries Inc.1 pledge, 12 miles
Capital Community College: 1 pledge, 3 miles
Capital Region Education Council: 1 pledge, 5 miles
Capitol Region Council of Governments1 pledge, 12 miles
CCMC: 1 pledge, 10 miles
Cd3 Inc,.: 1 pledge, 30 miles
CDC, Inc.: 1 pledge, 11.5 miles
CDM Smith: 1 pledge, 12 miles
CED Services: 1 pledge, 17 miles
Center for Alternative Medicine, PC: 1 pledge, 13 miles
Centerbrook Architects: 1 pledge, 8 miles
Central Connecticut Regional Planning Agency: 1 pledge, 9 miles
Charlotte Hungerford Hospital: 1 pledge, 14 miles
Child Care Services: 1 pledge, 9 miles
Cigna: 3 pledges, 20.5 miles
Citi Group: 1 pledge, 1.4 miles
Citibank: 1 pledge, 5 miles
City of Bridgeport: 1 pledge, 5 miles
CIty of Hartford: 3 pledges, 26.8 miles
City of New Britain: 1 pledge, 4.9 miles
City of New Haven: 2 pledges, 3.2 miles
City of New London: 3 pledges, 3.3 miles
City of Norwich Ct: 1 pledge, 4 miles
CLARCOR EMS: 1 pledge, 5 miles
Coherent, Inc.: 1 pledge 14 miles
Conair Corporation: 1 pledge, 3.5 miles
Connecticut Judicial Branch/Client Security Fund: 1 pledge, 5 miles
Connecticut Science Center: 1 pledge, 2.5 miles
Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo: 1 pledge, 3.5 miles
Consolidated School District of New Britain, SMS: 1 pledge, 10 miles
Cornelio R. Hong MD: 1 pledge, 5 miles
Corporate Translation Inc.: 1 pledge, 3.5 miles
CRCOG: 2 pledges, 13 miles
Creative Change Inc.: 1 pledge, 9 miles
CT Children's Medical Center: 1 pledge, 5 miles
CT DPH: 1 pledge, 7 miles
CT Early Childhood Alliance: 1 pledge, 11 miles
Cycling Sports Group: 2 pledges, 18 miles
CyclingSavvy.org / Iamtraffic.org: 1 pledge, 6 miles
Danny's Cycles: 1 pledge, 25 miles
Darien Library: 1 pledge, 4.5 miles
Dassault Systems: 1 pledge, 14 miles
Daymon Worldwide: 1 pledge 3.5 miles
DCF: 1 pledge, 0 miles
DIYBIKING.COM: 1 pledge, 2 miles
DSSD: 1 pledge, 0 miles
EB: 1 pledge, 7.1 miles
Electric Boat: 1 pledge, 5 miles
ESPN: 2 pledges, 23.5 miles
exellentes llc dba rivard opticians:1 pledge, 5 miles
Fairfield Health Dept./Public Health Nursing: 1 pledge 1.5 miles
Fairfield Ludlowe High School: 1 pledge, 3 miles
Finalsite: 1 pledge, 4.5 miles
First Class Properties Group: 1 pledge, 20 miles
Frog Hollow Consulting: 1 pledge, 1.5 miles
Fuss & O'Neill: 2 pledges, 25 miles
Gen Re NEAM: 1 pledge, 24 miles
General Dynamics Electric Boat: 1 pledge, 1 mile
General Electric: 2 pledges, 35 miles
George Weiss Associates: 2 pledges, 70 miles
Gilead Sciences: 1 pledge, 5.5 miles
Glastonbury Auto: 1 pledge, 0 miles
Global Projects Consulting, LLC: 1 pledge, 10 miles
Global-Spectrum CT: 1 pledge, 4 miles
Greater Hartford Transit District: 1 pledge, 4 miles
Habasit: 1 pledge, 2 miles
Hamilton Sundstrand (UTAS): 1 pledge, 0 miles
Hartford Hopital: 1 pledge, 18 miles
Hartford Public Library: 1 pledge, 2.7 miles
Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection & Insurance Co.: 4 pledges, 45.2 miles
Healthtrax Fitness and Wellness: 1 pledge, 1.8 miles
Healthy People & Places Consulting: 1 pledge, 1 mile
HEI Hotels & Resorts: 1 pledge, 23 miles
Holyoke YMCA: 1 pledge, 4 miles
Horst Engineering: 2 pledges, 29 miles
ING: 1 pledge, 11 miles
INNCOM by Honeywell: 1 pledge, 17 miles
IRIS: 1 pledge, 5 miles
jaystar group: 1 pledge, 15 miles
Karelia Health: 1 pledge, 11 miles
Kents Hill School: 1 pledge, 0 miles
Legrand | Wiremold: 1 pledge, 20 miles
liberty collision: 1 pledge, 5.4 miles
Lorca: 1 pledge, 1.5 miles
Louis Berger Group, Inc.: 1 pledge, 14 miles
Manchester BOE: 1 pledge, 15 miles
Marion Manufacturing Company, Inc.: 1 pledge, 2 miles
McElroy Deutsch: 1 pledge, 6 miles
Mercer: 1 pledge, 20 miles
MetLife: 1 pledge, 5 miles
Michael J. Federico, CFP,EA: 1 pledge, 12.5 miles
mikro: 1 pledge, 8.5 miles
Milford, ECC /MBA&CJV/ Urban Roots Bridgeport: 1 pledge, 1.6 miles
Mitchell Auto Group: 1 pledge, 5 miles
Myst Wealth Advisors: 1 pledge, 10 miles
Natura Medica: 1 pledge, 3 miles
NHLSCP: 1 pledge, 2 miles
NINA: 1 pledge, 5 miles
Northeast Utilities: 2 pledges, 22 miles
Norwich Community Development Corporation: 1 pledge, 3 miles
not provided: 1 pledge, 2 miles
Optum: 1 pledge, 15 miles
Oracle Corporation: 1 pledge, 10 miles
Orafol Americas Inc.: 1 pledge, 13 miles
Patagonia Westport: 1 pledge, 5 miles
PCX Aerostructures: 1 pledge, 5 miles
Peru Opportunity Fund: 1 pledge, 2 miles
Phoenix: 1 pledge, 8 miles
planning, Conservation, and Development Dept. of: 1 pledge, 12 miles
PQ Controls: 1 pledge, 4 miles
Pratt & Whitney: 43 pledges, 306 miles
Price Chopper: 1 pledge, 0 miles
Prudential Financial: 7 pledges, 72.4 miles
R. C. BIGELOW, INC.: 1 pledge, 0 miles
Real Hartford, LLC: 1 pledge, 0 miles
Regional Plan Association: 1 pledge, 2 miles
REI: 2 pledges, 8 miles
retired: 3 pledges, 17 miles
Rogers Benefit Group: 1 pledge, 4 miles
Ron Manizza Sales / Bianchi Bicycles: 1 pledge, 50 miles
Rosebud Development: 1 pledge, 10 miles
Scott Franklin & Associates: 1 pledge, 2 miles
self employed: 7 pledges, 32 miles
She3 Barre well-fitness Boutique: 1 pledge, 8 miles
Sheldon Oak: 1 pledge, 2 miles
Simsbury Bicycle Ped. Advisory Committee: 1 pledge, 5 miles
SMC Partners: 1 pledge, 14 miles
soci: 1 pledge, 0 miles
Sodexo: 1 pledge, 0 miles
St. Vincent de Paul Middletown: 1 pledge, 1 mile
Stamford Downtown Special Services District: 1 pledge, 2 miles
Stamford Insurance Group Inc: 1 pledge, 3 miles
Stop & Shop: 1 pledge, 2.5 miles
STRU: 1 pledge, 0 miles
Subase Fire Department: 1 pledge, 0 miles
SWRPA: 1 pledge, 2 miles
The Bananaland: 1 pledge, 0 miles
The Hartford: 1 pledge, 8.2 miles
The Language Exchange: 1 pledge, 5 miles
the lawn police: 1 pledge, 4 miles
Thomas Hooker Brewery: 1 pledge, 7 miles
Thomson Reuters: 1 pledge, 24 miles
Thrivent Finacil: 1 pledge, 2.5 miles
TO Design: 1 pledge, 4 miles
Tolland Middle School: 1 pledge, 15 miles
Tony's Bikes: 1 pledge, 13.5 miles
Town of West Hartford: 1 pledge, 1.5 miles
Town of Windsor: 2 pledges, 18 miles
Travelers: 16 pledges, 140.2 miles
Trident, an ITW Company: 1 pledge, 15.5 miles
Trinity College: 17 pledges, 82.8 miles
TTM Technology: 1 pledge, 2.5 miles
UBS: 1 pledge, 4 miles
UTC: 8 pledges, 126 miles
UnitedHealth Group: 4 pledges, 28 miles
University Of Hartford: 1 pledge, 1 mile
Urban Oaks Organic Farm: 1 pledge, 9 miles
UTRC: 1 pledge, 0 miles
Vliet & O'Neill: 1 pledge, 14 miles
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art: 1 pledge, 1 mile
Weekday Cyclists: 1 pledge, 0 miles
Weiss Multi-Strategy Advisers LLC: 1 pledge, 20 miles
Wesleyan University: 3 pledges, 3 miles
West Hartford Public Library: 1 pledge, 2 miles
West Hartford Public Schools: 1 pledge, 2 miles
West Haven VA: 1 pledge, 3 miles
Westinghouse Electric Co.: 1 pledge, 3 miles
WFSB-TV3: 1 pledge, 5.5 miles
Whittlesey & Hadley PC: 1 pledge, 7 miles
Whole Foods Market: 1 pledge, 4 miles
Willis: 1 pledge, 4 miles
Windham Region Council of Governments: 1 pledge, 8 miles
Xhale Assurance, Inc: 1 pledge, 10 miles
Yale University: 15 pledges, 91.45 miles
YWCA Hartford Region: 1 pledge, 3 miles
West Hartford, Trumbull, Weston Round Out Today's Top 3 in Statewide Walk Friendly, Bike Friendly Survey Participation
Top 10 Towns for Bike Walk Survey Participation - as of JUNE 6
1 West Hartford - still well out in front
2 Trumbull - coming from nowhere to surge to 2nd place--nice move!
6 New Haven
10 New London
Did you take the bike-friendly, walk-friendly town survey yet? The survey closes at midnight on June 15, so don't delay! Visit www.surveymonkey.com/s/bikewalkCT. Then pass it on!
Do you know anybody from these towns below? We're still waiting to hear from them, so spread the word.
This weekend is the 22nd annual Connecticut Trails Day Weekend. There will be 258 trail events throughout the state on June 7th and 8th. Events include hiking, horseback riding, running, trail maintenance, kayaking, educational walks, cycling, bird watching and more. These events are guided by knowledgeable volunteers from local hiking clubs, parks and recreation departments, state agencies, conservation organizations, historic groups, education programs, and land trusts.
Click here to view a booklet with all the events.
Join the cycling community for Dinner and Bikes on Saturday, June 7 at 6 p.m. at the Emanuel Lutheran Church in Hartford. The evening will include a vegan dinner, bicycle short films and Bikenomics.
Bikenomics by Elly Blue provides a surprising and compelling new perspective on the way we get around and how we spend our money as families and as a society.
Tickets are $20 for Bike Walk CT members and $25 for non-members.
More information and tickets here.
Design plans are almost complete for the new streetscape in Collinsville.
During a town meeting on Tuesday, an architect hired by the town said the design of the improvements is almost complete and a final version will be presented later this month.
According to an article in the Hartford Courant, the plans shown on Tuesday called for improvements to the intersection of Main and Bridge streets and an extension of Main Street to Front Street.
Read the full article here.
Cannondale Sports Unlimited opened their new 51,0000 square-foot global headquarters in Wilton with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on May 30.
The bicycle manufacturer relocated its headquarters from Bethel to this new space.
Read more about the new headquarters in an article in the Norwalk Hour here.
The next public informational meeting for the Merritt Parkway Trail Study is June 24 in Norwalk.
The presentation starts at 7 p.m. in the Community Room of Norwalk City Hall, 125 East Ave.
More information is available here.
Did you take the bike-friendly, walk-friendly town survey yet? The survey closes soon, so don't delay!
If you didn't take the survey yet, please do now! Visit www.surveymonkey.com/s/bikewalkCT
And keep spreading the word. Your help will get our responses into the thousands!
Top 10 Towns for Bike Walk Survey Participation - as of JUNE 4
1 West Hartford way out in front
Neck and neck for 2nd through 5th spots:
4 New Haven
8 New Canaan
9 NEW LONDON - welcome to the top 10!
Bike Walk Connecticut
Send us your bike walk related news and time permitting, we'll do our best to post it.