The final phase of New Haven's portion of the Farmington Canal Heritage Greenway Trail has received its final approval.
According to the New Haven Independent, New Haven's City Plan Commission unanimously approved the final phase’s plan on July 31.
From an entry plaza at Grove Street the trail will continue at street level via Grove, Olive, Water, Brewery and Sargent. Pedestrians will use new city sidewalks marked by embossed canal pavers, and bicyclists will follow “sharrow” marked bike lanes. At Water Street pedestrians will take the north side on new sidewalks, while bicyclists will be able to use a dedicated bike track on the south side. The latter will be built in sections a block at a time down to the new boathouse.
The federal government will pay for most of the $7 million final phase, officials said. The 20 percent portion the City of New Haven is responsible for is largely being underwritten by Yale.
Last Chance Until August of Next Year
Is your university taking steps to make biking better? Now is the time to apply for Bicycle Friendly University status! To be considered in the next round of awards, applications are due by August 13! This is the last chance to apply before August 2014! Click here to learn more and apply.
Interested in becoming a League Certified Instructor (LCI)? The League of American Bicyclists has three new seminars coming up in:
Bike Walk Connecticut would love to see our LCI ranks expand. Click here for details!
Pedestrians in Connecticut, 60 years and older are disproportionately at risk of being killed in collisions with vehicles while walking, reports a new study by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign.
From 2009 through 2011, 30 pedestrians aged 60 years and older were killed on Connecticut roads, Tri-State’s annual report, "Older Pedestrians at Risk And How States Can Make it Safer and Easier for Older Residents to Walk" found.
This age group accounted for 30% of the state's total pedestrian fatalities during the three-year period. The pedestrian fatality rate for Connecticut residents 60 and older is 1.72 times higher than that of residents under 60. For residents 75 and older, the pedestrian fatality rate is nearly two times that of those under 60.
Since Tri-State Transportation Campaign’s previous Older Pedestrians at Risk report, the pedestrian fatality rates decreased for pedestrians aged 60 years and older as well as for pedestrians 75 years and older.
“As our population ages, it is critical that we continue to invest in making our roadways safer for older residents and all users,” said Jennifer Millea, associate state director of communications for AARP Connecticut.
Tri-State's research showed that Litchfield County had the highest average older pedestrian fatality rate of any county in Connecticut and the 12th highest of the 41 counties in the tri-state region (Connecticut, New Jersey and downstate New York counties).
Click here to view the full report.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced on August 1 that 17 small towns throughout Connecticut are being awarded grants under the state’s Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) to be utilized for certain capital improvement projects, such as road maintenance, public works upgrades, public safety improvements and other municipal service projects.
The towns to receive the grants include: Bethel, Canaan, Canterbury, Clinton, Colebrook, Darien, Deep River, Ellington, Glastonbury, Litchfield, Montville, North Canaan, Salisbury, Seymour, Sherman, Wallingford and Westbrook.
“STEAP grants give us the opportunity to invest in quality of life improvements in small towns across our state. Projects like road and bridge enhancements and improvements to public spaces and historic places make our small towns better places to live and work,” Governor Malloy said. “These STEAP grants will assist small towns in completing important capital projects that otherwise may never get financed.”
This set of grants are the second round this year of STEAP grants, a previous round of grants was announced in July.
The grant highlights that include funds for safer walking and cycling include:
Bethel will receive $250,000 for a sidewalk project that includes the replacement of stairs at several entrances to the CJ Hurgin Municipal Center and sidewalk replacement/construction in three locations: the Municipal Center; the intersection of Main Street, Maple Avenue and Chestnut Street; and the Bethel Police Department.
Clinton will receive $500,000 for streetscape improvements including sidewalks, signage, lighting, landscaping for the downtown business district area and the burial of some utility lines. The project will benefit 25 local businesses by making the area, which has not been upgraded in three decades, more attractive and pedestrian friendly.
Deep River will receive $400,000 for improvements to Plattwood Park, the town’s major recreation center. The project includes an ADA-compliant pavilion, bathrooms and associated facilities; ADA-compliant recreation areas for the handicapped; sports fields and a walking trail.
Glastonbury will receive $250,000 for public access and parking to four open space parcels (the former Arbor Acres, Grayledge, Longo Farm and Slocumb properties) that were recently acquired by the town. The project provides greater access for passive recreation including hiking, walking and cross-country skiing, and expands the inventory of trails available for public use. Two additional parking and access points will be added to the Shenipsit Trail; public access points will be added to the Flat Brook Open Space Acquisition (part of the Arbor Acres parcel), which was acquired with state assistance; and access will be provided to the state-stocked Roaring Brook for fishing. The project supports and furthers several of the priorities identified in the State Conservation and Development Plan.
Montville will receive $250,000 for sidewalks along Chesterfield Road. The project will include a new sidewalk and amenities to provide safe pedestrian connections between Montville High School and Leonard J. Tyl Middle School. In addition, the project will provide connections by crosswalks and trails to the Fair Oaks Community Center and the Montville Conservation Center.
Seymour will receive $168,000 for phase III of the town sidewalk replacement for various town roads to improve pedestrian safety.
Wallingford will receive $181,000 for the design and construction of roadway and parking improvements to Veterans Memorial Park. The project will reconfigure the roadway and create additional parking while improving vehicular and pedestrian safety. The project also includes related site work and landscaping.
Westbrook will receive $500,000 for phase II of the Town Center Enhancement Project, which includes the design and construction of a municipal parking lot and relocating Knothe Road. This is the final phase of the project and is a part of a comprehensive plan to enhance the economic and social value of the town center by creating a compact, walkable, transit-oriented village center. The phase II improvements will enable implementation of shared parking to the rear of existing buildings to more effectively serve local businesses, improve overall circulation within the town center and create development opportunities through efficiencies gained by reconfigured, multi-use parking.
The Bike Walk CT Outreach committee is lining up many opportunities to get the word out that biking and walking are essential elements of livable, healthy communities.
Most of the outreach events are on weekends over the next couple of months and are located in many regions of the state.
Please let us know if you can help us to spread the word! Please click here to register your interest in being a Bike Walk Ambassador. Outreach Committee Chair Sandy Fry will follow up with you. Thanks!
The American League of Bicyclists reported the U.S. Senate blocked the Transportation, HUD Appropriations bill, which would have ended debate and brought a vote on the substance of the bill.
The final vote was 54-43. To end debate on a bill there needs to be at least 60 votes in favor to pass.
The Transportation HUD Appropriations bill had passed the Appropriations Committee with strong support from both sides. However, earlier this week, Republican leadership of the Senate argued against the bill, stating the funding level for it was too high.
What does this mean? Both the House and Senate have failed to pass a Transportation and Housing budget. In order to keep the U.S. Department of Transportation open, Congress will need to pass a continuing resolution by the end of September.
We will keep you posted on further updates as they become available.
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