The Bike Walk CT Annual Dinner & Silent Auction sold out again this year--we're grateful so many of our bike ped friends from across the state could join us to support the organization at last week's benefit event. Click below for photos.
New this year were our People's Choice Awards--recognition of Connecticut's bike ped champions as seen by their peers. Winners of this year's People's Choice Awards included: Debbie Thibodeau and Ken Messier, both of Simsbury; Senator Beth Bye, Clare Kindall, Lene Bruun, Scott Franklin, Robert Dexter, all of West Hartford; Mayor Erin Stewart, New Britain; Anthony Cherolis and Yanil Teron, both of Hartford; and Dave Hildebrand, Ellington.
Featured speaker Colleen Kelly Alexander inspired us all with the story of her tragic accident, remarkable recovery, and determination to make Connecticut a better place to bike and walk.
Earlier this week the U.S. House of Representatives passed a long-awaited transportation bill.
Sometimes the hardest work results in nothing happening, and that can be the biggest victory of all. Through the advocacy efforts of groups like the League of American Bicyclists, Rails to Trails, the Alliance for Biking and Walking, Transportation for America, and grassroots advocates like us, we fended off attacks on core trails and active-transportation programs.
Bad proposals known as the Carter and Yoho amendments did not even make it to the floor for a vote. The Carter and Yoho amendments would have made biking and walking projects ineligible for certain types of transportation funding, compromised local small project funding often used for bicycling and walking projects, and made the Recreational Trails Program ineligible for any transportation funding. Bad ideas, all of them!
The underlying Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act rolls transportation alternatives into the surface transportation block grant while maintaining the local control aspects and competitive process that made transportation alternatives program effective at helping Mayors and communities fund their transportation priorities important to their communities.
The final bill includes flat funding of Transportation Alternatives at current levels. The bill also includes positive provisions that would make low-interest financing accessible to smaller projects, such as active-transportation networks. Next up is a conference committee, where the Senate and House will negotiate a final bill.
To learn more about what is in the bill, and how it compares to the Senate bill, sign up for the LAB webinar on Tuesday November 10, here.
Governing Magazine, widely read by the best thought leaders in government, ran a feature story recently noticing that the ‘complete streets’ movement is reshaping urban boulevards, small-town main streets and even rural highways and the "notion that roads should not be built just for cars and trucks is having profound effects on public spaces."
Read the full story, then share it with your town council, planning, public works and engineering staff to bolster your case for getting your town on board.
Roads Are Getting a Redesign
The first time Dean Ledbetter heard about “complete streets,” he thought it was a crazy idea. Ledbetter, a North Carolina traffic engineer, had devoted his career to creating roads that allowed cars to move faster. Complete streets would slow cars down, reworking roads to accommodate bicyclists, transit users and pedestrians, including people pushing baby strollers and riding in wheelchairs. Ledbetter’s first reaction, he says, was, “Why would you want to ruin a perfectly good road?” More.
Active Transportation is featured in the current issue of the CT Green Guide, a publication of the Hartford Business Journal. See why Connecticut needs more of it! CT Green Guide.
How do I get from home to the trail without using a car?
That's the theme of the Farmington Valley Trails Council Annual Meeting on Nov. 5--and we're pretty sure the answer will include "complete streets" and tips from our NACTO Bikeway Design Workshop! Dave shares the stage with noted international consultant Mary Embry Mobycon. Details below and at www.fvgreenway.org.
It's Election Day. Use this opportunity to elect the best champions for biking and walking in your town.
Don't think your vote won't make a difference! Connecticut's local elections are routinely won by miniscule margins. Some municipal races have been won by fewer than five votes.
For more information, such as whether you're registered to vote, where to register, or where to vote, go to the Secretary of the State's Voter Fact Sheet .
Walk there or bike there, but one way or another, go vote. It matters!
Bike Walk Connecticut
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