Two upcoming programs offered by The Jonah Center will explain new plans to increase the walkability and bikeability of Middletown and Portland.
These events include:
Bringing the Air Line Trail to Portland
When: Tuesday, November 26 from 7-8:30 p.m.
Where: Portland Library, Mary Flood Room, 20 Freestone Ave., Portland
What: John Shafer, President of the Jonah Center for Earth and Art, and Deanna Rhodes, Planning and Zoning Administrator for the Town of Portland, will describe a proposed extension of the Air Line Trail from East Hampton to Portland. The discussion will include maps, ground level and aerial photographs, cost estimates, potential funding sources, and consideration of the planning and community organizing tasks that will be required to realize this vision.
Middletown Street, Sidewalk & Trail Improvements for Walking and Bicycling
When: Tuesday, December 3 from 7-8:30 p.m.
Where: Russell Library, Hubbard Room, 123 Broad Street, Middletown
What: Middletown’s Complete Streets Committee will present specific plans to make city streets and intersections safer and more inviting for bicyclists and pedestrians.
This program will include priority areas of Middletown identified by the Master Plan; proposed routes to connect residential neighborhoods to the downtown area, parks, and schools; a new sidewalk along Saybrook Road near the Stop & Shop; proposed improvements in the area of Veterans Park and West Street; Safe Routes to School programs; results of a recent bike-pedestrian traffic count; and state-wide advocacy for biking and walking.
Both of these programs are free, open to the public, and no advance registration is necessary. For more contact John Hall at 860-398-3771.
On October 16, Simsbury's Elementary Physical Education Department hosted a bike safety education workshop for other physical education teachers throughout Connecticut. Approximately 12 teachers attended an interactive workshop to learn how to implement a bike safety unit within their schools.
The all-day workshop was offered through a cooperative effort with the Simsbury Public Schools, Bike Walk Connecticut and Simsbury Free Bike.
Bike safety education, including etiquette, will be incorporated into the fourth-grade physical education curriculum at all five elementary schools. Two schools, Tootin’ Hills and Latimer Lane, piloted the program last spring. Tariffville will implement the curriculum this month, while Central and Squadron Line will be rounding out the effort this spring.
The Bike Walk Connecticut program began with the town of Berlin’s physical education teacher, Jim Arnold, who took his love for biking to the next level by designing and advocating for this “train the trainer” format.
The Madison Police Department will hold a bicycle safety awareness ride on Saturday, Oct. 26. The 10.5 mile, moderately paced, police-escorted group ride is being organized to promote bicycle rights and bicycle safety. It will begin and end at the Memorial Town Hall at the Green. Registration is at 10:30 a.m. The ride begins at 11 a.m.
The fee to ride will be a non-perishable food item; a new, unwrapped toy; or a cash donation to benefit the department's annual Holiday Food & Toy Drive. For more information, contact Officer Joe Race at 203-245-2721 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Results from a nationwide survey show that 79% of individuals surveyed know they should be walking more. Additionally, 94% of survey respondents know walking is good for their health.
The 2013 Walking Survey also found that 73% of respondents think their children should be walking more.
According to the survey, 30% of Americans said they walk more than they did five years ago, 35% are walking less and 32% are walking about the same amount. One third of those surveyed said they don’t walk for 10 minutes at a time over the course of a week. In addition, 31% of those who walk do so for less than 150 minutes per week, which is the minimal threshold for physical activity established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
These are the findings from a survey conducted by GfK on behalf of Kaiser Permanente from Aug. 5 to 13, 2013. Conducted in English and Spanish among 1,224 adults nationwide, the survey sought to take the public’s pulse on walking and the walkability of neighborhoods and communities.
“These survey results show that walkable environments are key to encouraging people to walk more,” said Raymond J. Baxter, Ph.D., Kaiser Permanente’s senior vice president for Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy. “The results also reveal the tremendous opportunity we have to build a broad walking movement. By doing so, we will improve the country’s overall health and also forge a deeper connection to the communities where we live, work, learn and play.”
According to the survey, the biggest neighborhood barriers to walking include a lack of sidewalks, drivers who speed and drivers who talk on their phones or text. Crime ranks eighth overall out of 15 items, as a neighborhood barrier to walking, but it ranks 5th among both African Americans and Hispanic respondents compared to 12th among white respondents.
The importance of neighborhood walkability
While six in 10 Americans describe their neighborhood as “walkable,” a majority of Americans do not choose their neighborhood based on its perceived walkability. However, individuals who live in more walkable neighborhoods (with places where it is convenient to walk to services, shopping, schools and jobs) do, in fact, walk more.
The Universal Surveillance Systems Foundation (USSF) announced the 25 semi-finalist schools competing to receive free bicycles through their Adopt-a-Bike program. New Haven's Timothy Dwight School is one of these semi-finalists.
The finalist schools will be selected by the public according to quantity, humor and creativity of video and message posts and likes on USSF's Facebook page. Five to 10 schools will be selected to receive the bikes.
Adopt-a-Bike donates bicycles to help students in their commute to school in order to alleviate the lack of bus transportation due to school budget cuts. Individual bike recipients will be selected by their school based on academics, attendance and good behavior. The USSF raises all program funds.
To help Timothy Dwight School in their quest for bicycles, visit the USSF Facebook Page here. Winners will be announced before the holiday school break in December.
Several schools throughout Connecticut took part in Walk to School Day on October 9.
Here are some of the latest headlines and links to stories throughout the state that cover International Walk to School Day.
In Winsted students at Pearson Middle School and Hinsdale Elementary schools, in conjunction with the Winsted Branch of the YMCA too part in Walk to School Day. The students started their days off at the opposite school and walked a half-mile to their respective schools. The students were accompanied by teachers, school staff, YMCA staff and community leaders. Click here to view the article in the Register Citizen.
Latimer Land School in Simsbury celebrated Walk to School Day a week early this year. On October 2 hundreds of students, parents, teachers and community leaders came out to walk. According to Simsbury Patch, parent chaperones led walk and bike groups to the school from 11 different neighborhoods. The Simsbury Police Department also provided safety support at multiple locations. Click here to view the article in the Simsbury Patch.
Fox Run Elementary School in Norwalk took part in the festivities. Check out the video on the Norwalk version of It's Relevant.
In Clinton an estimated 275 students from Abraham Pierson School, Jared Eliot Middle School and Levin G. Joel, Jr. School walked in the town’s fourth annual Walk to School Day event. Parents, teachers, volunteers and Clinton’s State Representative Tom Vicino also took part in the festivities.
Safe Kids Greater Naugatuck Valley and FedEx teamed up with the Griffin Hospital Valley Parish Nurse Program, the Ansonia Fire Dept., the Ansonia Police Dept. and John G. Prendergast School to promote safe walking on International Walk to School Day.
Wethersfield schools had a great turnout for Walk to School Day.
Check out the photos from the Hartford Courant's photo gallery on Wethersfield's Walk to School Day.
WFSB 3 featured Vernon’s Center Road School. View the video here. And Vernon Patch posted videos from the Vernon event here.
WTNH ran a news piece on the advantages of kids walking to school. View it here.
If you have photos from your school’s Walk to School Day, e-mail them to us at email@example.com and we will post them on our site!
The League of American Bicyclists will hold a free webcast tomorrow—Women Mean Business: Trends and Opportunities in the Women's Specific Bike Business.
According to the League web site, women control a majority of buying
decisions in the U.S. and consistently show high interest and participation levels in cycling. Can bike manufacturers and retailers do more to serve this important market? Join the webcast for a compelling webinar on the important topic of women’s-specific bike business in the U.S.
The webcast is at 3 p.m. EST. Register here.
American Trails will hold a webinar tomorrow (September 25) titled "Introduction to Trail Maintenance Management. This is Part 1 of a 3 part series of webinars on Trail Maintenance.
The webinar will present ideas on how to improve your trail management plan (if you already have one in place), or if you are considering developing one, you will get the information you need to make good decisions on how to move forward with your plan.
The additional webinars of this series includes:
• Natural Surface Trail Tread Maintenance - October 24.
• User Conflict - February 2014.
Each webinar is $45 for American Trail members and $75 for non-membres.
Click here for more information and to register.
Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center's Violence and Injury Prevention Program received a $25,000 grant from the SBM Charitable Foundation (“SBMCF”).
Part of the grant funds will be used to conduct bike rodeos for children living east of the Connecticut River. During the "rodeos" children will learn the safety rules of the road and how to properly wear a helmet.
Last year the program received a similar grant that allowed it to provide more than 450 multi-sport helmets to children.
For more information about the program, call (860) 714-5477.
Bike Walk Connecticut will be exhibiting at the Live Green Connecticut! event Saturday, September 14 and Sunday, September 15. Come by and say hello!
The green-living and family festival will promote living green with a focus on education, sustainability, caring for the environment and our natural resources. Admission is free.
The event takes place at Taylor Farm Park at 45 Calf Pasture Beach Road in Norwalk on Saturday, September 14 from 10 a.m-4 p.m. and Sunday, September 15 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
In addition to learning more about green businesses and organization, there will be plenty of opportunities to you to learn during educational events too. Some highlights include a presentation on Saving Money and Saving Energy; a panel discussion on Food for Thought. Fuel For Change; as well as several performances.
Click here for more information.
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