EPA invites communities to apply for technical assistance to implement smart growth development approaches.
EPA is offering this technical assistance through the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program to help communities across the country--including underserved communities, coastal communities, small cities and rural areas--adopt sustainable growth strategies. The program aims to increase resilience to natural disasters and strengthen the economy while protecting human health and the environment. Building Blocks provides quick, targeted technical assistance to communities using tools with demonstrated results and widespread application.
Communities may apply for assistance on one or more of the following topics:
If selected, a community will work with an EPA-supported team of experts during a one-to-two-day workshop, where participants will learn about relevant strategies, policies, and practices.
EPA will select up to 25 communities through a competitive process. [So think big, aim high, and have a rock solid plan!] Selections will be made in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Transportation through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. This interagency collaboration coordinates federal investments in infrastructure, facilities, and services to get better results for communities and use taxpayer money more efficiently.
Applications will be accepted between October 23 and November 20, 2014. EPA will host a webinar to discuss the program and the application process on Thursday, October 30, 2014, from 3 to 4 p.m. EDT.
The Greater Hartford Transit District and the Capitol Region Council of Governments have been working with a group of agencies to look into the feasibility of implementing a bike share in the Hartford region, which would include locations outside of Hartford, including Waterbury. Foursquare Integrated Transportation Planning was hired to assist the group with a study on implementing Bike Share in this region.
The plan, which is outlined in the study, proposes a regional bike share system that would include bike share stations in Hartford, West Hartford, East Hartford, Newington, New Britain and Waterbury. The first phase of the project will begin with 10 stations over a one-year period. After that the system would expand with 24 stations.
Read the full study report and plan outline here.
The Essex Police Union will be collecting unused or unwatched bicycles for the non-profit organization Bikes for Kids on Saturday, November 2. The event will take place from Noon-6 p.m. at Scoops, 55 Main Street in Centerbrook. Those who donate bikes will receive a gift certificate for a Scoops ice cream with every donated bicycle.
Bikes for Kids will fix up the bicycles and donate them to children and families in need.
For more information, contact Police CPL Russ Gingras at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-767-1054.
With the opening of the San Francisco Bay Area bikeshare program last week (August 28), the fleet of shared bikes in the U.S. more than doubled since the start of 2013 and is now above 18,000.
According to an article on grist, with all the programs that are in the works, the U.S. fleet of shared bikes will double again by the end of 2014, and will reach nearly 37,000 shared bicycles.
The new San Francisco Bay Area bikeshare is starting off with 700 bicycles split between San Francisco and other cities on a 50-mile rail line south to San Jose. Planners note the share program could eventually grow to 10,000 bicycles.
According to the article, other share programs in the works for the near future include:
Miami, FL; St. Petersburg, FL; Tampa, FL; Phoenix; Los Angeles; San Diego; Portland, OR; Pittsburgh; Philadelphia and Seattle.
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.
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