The League of American Bicyclists reported this week the U.S. Senate
UPDATE THURSDAY 1:00 PM: TRANSPORTATION APPROPRIATIONS FAILS IN SENATE: In an almost party-line vote, the Senate blocked the THUD bill. The Senate scheduled a vote today for cloture on the Transporation, HUD Appropriations, which would have ended debate and brought a vote on the substance of the bill. For a cloture vote to pass it must get 60 votes. The cloture vote on THUD failed to do so with a final vote of 54-43.
The bill had been hailed as bi-partisan and passed the Appropriations Committee with strong support from both sides of the aisle. However, this week, Republican leadership in the Senate argued against the bill because, they said, the funding level was too high.
This means now that both chambers have failed to pass a Transportation and Housing budget. Congress will need to pass a continuing resolution by the end of September in order to keep U.S. Department of Transportation open and transportation dollars flowing.
The League of American Bicyclists reported earlier today that the U.S. House leadership pulled the Transportation Appropriations Bill from the floor. Debate and voting on the Bill are postponed until September. If passed, the Bill would include cuts to the Community Development Fund Grant, which funds many programs in local cities, which are used for infrastructure development.
In the Senate however, Senate Majority Leader Reid filed for cloture on the Senate Transportation Appropriations, which means the Senate will vote on Thursday (August 1) to end debate on the Bill and move on to voting.
Additionally, on Tuesday, July 30, Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) introduced Amendment 1798 to the Transportation Appropriations Bill to take all the funds from the Transportation Alternatives Program.
Bike Walk Connecticut will keep you posted on the Senate vote this week.
To thank individuals that participated in the 2013 Bike to Work day on May 17, 2013, Bike Walk Connecticut held a drawing for prizes generously donated by area bike shops. A total of 687 people pledged to bike to work in Bike Walk Connecticut's Bike to Work Day.
Of the 687 individuals the following were selected (at random) as prize winners:
• Annamarie Beaulieu — Connecticut Children's Medical Center, Hartford, CT
• David Blatt — CT DOT, Hartford, CT
• Joanne Casavant — CT Dept. of Children & Families, Waterbury, CT
• Oddler Fils — CT DOT, Newington, CT
• Cynthia LaFave — Travelers, Hartford, CT
• Victoria Roland — CT Dept. of Children & Families, Waterbury, CT
• Milton Soriano — CT Dept. of Children & Families, Milford, CT
Thank you to business that donated prizes. Prizes included:
• A Novarra ETA Backpack — donated by REI
• Tune Up Certificate — donated by Suburban Sports, Berlin
• PlanetBike superflash blaze lightest — donated by Berlin Bicycle
• Specialized Speed zone sport wireless — donated by Berlin Bicycle
• Helmet Hoodie Helmet Halos Light System — donated by Helmet Hoodie
• Morning rush coffee holders for bike & water bottles — donated by Bicycles East
The July 2013 edition of DEEP's newsletter for Connecticut's Businesses & Municipalities reports this news on greenways and Bike to Work Day:
This spring the Governor's Greenways Council designated three new Greenways and recognized seven individuals who have made significant contributions to the promotion, development and enhancement of Greenways at a ceremony at the historic Chelsea Harbor Marina in Norwich.
Greenways have been designated since 2001 and Connecticut now has a total of 70 across the state. Many of the Greenways designated recently are near communities that attract people who want to shop, exercise, and enjoy recreation from their bicycle or by walking -- which helps to boost the economy of their neighborhoods. Awards were presented to: Senator Richard Blumenthal; Mayor Pedro Segarra, Hartford; Martin Michalec, Stafford Springs; Will Britnell, Newington; First Selectman Bob Burbank, Andover; Chris Ozyck, East Coast Greenway; and to Diane Ciano, Plymouth.
The new officially designated Greenways are Ellington's Hockanum River Linear Park; Ellington, East Hartford, Manchester and Vernon; the Mad River Greenway, Wolcott; and the Yantic River Greenway, Norwich.
Bike to Work Day
This year's annual Bike to Work Day, sponsored by Bike Walk Connecticut, was held on May 17th. The event showcases that bicycling is not only fun, healthy, and good for the environment, but that it's also a viable means of alternative transportation. Twenty-five Connecticut cities, towns and businesses took part, including Bethel, Bridgeport, Bloomfield, East Hartford, Fairfield, Farmington, Hartford, Manchester, New Britain, New Haven, Newington, Norwalk, Norwich, Stamford, Simsbury, South Windsor, Waterbury, Wethersfield, West Hartford and Windsor Locks. DEEP Commissioner Dan Esty actively promoted greater participation from Connecticut's state agencies and rode his bike along with DOT Commissioner Jim Redeker and DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith. CT Rides also helped promote the event with more than 700 people participating state-wide this year.
You can subscribe to the DEEP newsletter here.
The City of Hartford is developing Parks and Open Space System Plan that will guide the way our parks are improved and used in the future.
As part of the process, the City conducted the first of three public forums with the goal to solicit feedback from a wide array of Hartford residents and stakeholders.
Building on the captured feedback to date, the city has also developed a web site and brief survey that will help them gain additional insights into your park use and preferences.
The City is looking for residents and stakeholders to fill out the survey. The results from the survey will help the city shape a comprehensive and fully functional Capital City Parks System.
Click here to fill out the survey.
Today cyclists will join together to cycle to three blood drives thanking the donors that save lives during the Cycle of Life event.
The event is organized by Colleen Kelly, a cyclist and Bike Walk Connecticut member that experienced a significant trauma while cycling home from work on October 8, 2012. She said her heart depended on over 100 donors to beat again.
To thank all those donors, the Cycle of Life event will start by cycling from Mitchell Automotive in Simsbury, where the first blood drive will be held starting at 7:30 a.m. The cyclists then will head to Gaylord Hospital in Wallingford where Colleen spent over two months of inpatient rehab learning to walk again. And from there to Madison, where Colleen had her accident.
Click here for more.
Since Yale University launched its bike share program in April, 246 staff and faculty members and students have borrowed bicycles 1,546 times around campus.
According to Holly Parker, director of Sustainable Transportation at Yale, "Within its' first nine weeks, we surpassed 1,000 rentals."
Zagster, a Cambridge, MA based company, provides 50 share-use bicycles for individuals who register online with a yale e-mail address and credit card ($20). Once a membership is established, members can reserve bikes online or by texting the bike's location. They then return the bike to the same location it was picked up, and text the word "end" to close their reservations.
All members of the share program receive a reimbursement of the membership fee as long as they take a free Bike Safety course that is offered by the Yale Environmental Health and Safety department. At the course participants also receive a free bike helmet.
Read more about the Yale Bike Share program here.
The New Haven Register reports that sidewalks throughout the city of Milford are being replaced this summer as part of the city's Walkable City Initiative.
According to the article, Mayor Benjamin G. Blake said the focus of the initiative is the make safe pathways throughout the city, specifically around schools, pathways to downtown and the areas near parks and beaches.
To date, work has been done in the Gulf Beach area, Fort Trumbull Beach, Rogers Ave. and Lafayette St., the entrance to Silver Sands State Park on Meadowside Rd. and a section of New Haven Ave. toward downtown Milford.
Mayor Blake said the project that will start in August is Seaside Ave., which will connect the sidewalks from Milford Hospital to Fort Trumbull Beach.
As part of the partnership Bike Walk CT has with CTrides, you can get rewards for any green trips you take. Whether you walk, take the bus or bike, carpool or vanpool, you can log your trips and earn discounts & coupons for your favorite shops, restaurants and places in Connecticut.
It’s the CT Department of Transportation’s way of saying “Thank You” for helping to clean up our air and reduce congestion on our roadways.
To register, just go to, CTrides.com and click on the “Rewards and Ridematch” button on our homepage.
Once you start recording your green trips, you can redeem points right away! Enter the “CTRIDES” promotion code and get 1,000 bonus points to get you off and running.
There are new rewards being added all the time – Find one that’s perfect for you!
Visit us online at www.CTrides.com, or call the number below.
Carolina U. Stopkoski and Pamela Hypolite
Regional Outreach Coordinators
With 215 employees participating in Bike to Work Day and more than any other CT state agency, the Department of Children & Families (DCF) won the first (and hopefully annual) Commissioners Cup for Bike to Work Day.
DEEP Commissioner Dan Esty presents the award to DCF Commissioner Joette Katz. Along with DOT Commissioner Jim Redeker (not pictured below), DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith promoted Bike to Work Day in state government too.
Total Pledges: 687 Individuals at 176 different employers
Total Miles Ridden One Way, by all pledgers: 4,949. That's a whole lot of savings on emissions and gas!
Longest Commute Award: Chris Adams, 65 miles one way from Old Saybrook to Hartford!
Based on the results of a study by an engineering firm, it was found that Burnham and Scoville roads in Avon would be the most suitable roads for a marked bicycle path.
According to an article in the Hartford Courant, the study results were presented at an Avon town council meeting on July 11. Based on interest from Avon residents, town officials have been looking to establish a bicycle route through town that would have sharrows to alert motorists to watch for cyclists.
Avon Town Manager Brandon Robertson said that after reviewing the report, the council decided to focus its efforts on Scoville Road.
The Courant article notes that the town allocated $2,500 for the bike route project for this fiscal year, but it is not clear when the work on the project will begin.
Bike Walk Connecticut
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