The registration deadline for hosting a Connecticut Trails Day Weekend event is coming up on Monday, February 3rd.
In 2013, Connecticut hosted the largest celebration of trails in the nation with a new record of 267 registered events in 153 towns. Don't let your community miss out on the fun! Plan an event or encourage your town leaders and organizations to host one. Connecticut Trails Day Weekend is always held during the first weekend in June which this year is June 7th and 8th.
Taking part in this nationally recognized celebration is a great way to showcase your trails, organization, staff, programs, and volunteers. Hikes, walks, trail runs, bike rides, equestrian rides, paddles, letterboxing, geocaching, and trail work parties are welcome.
Visit http://www.ctwoodlands.org/CT for more information and to ensure your event is included in the Connecticut Trails Weekend booklet.
Join the fun and register today!
The State of Connecticut granted $1.5 million in funding to support the Riverwalk South and Gateway project in Hartford. This is the last piece of a three-mile loop of fully accessible riverwalks between the Founders and Charter Oak Bridges.
According to a news release from Governor Malloy's Office, the funds will allow for improvements to be made to Riverfront’s existing gravel walkway. Ultimately, the project will include a new entrance to the Riverfront linking the historic Coltsville and Sheldon Charter Oak neighborhoods to the Riverfront parks.
“This project will help revitalize Hartford and East Hartford along the Connecticut River, creating a vision that will spur activity along the riverfront while highlighting some of the region’s most charming assets,” said Governor Dannel P. Malloy. “The funding will help the project accomplish important design goals as well as create up to five short-term jobs.”
“This exciting project also benefits hundreds of children who attend one of five schools in the Sheldon Charter Oak neighborhoods,” said Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman. “These students will now have direct access to the Riverfront. In addition, this project will create jobs and reconnect Hartford with the Connecticut River.”
Some cities' policy and planning efforts are making walking an everyday means of commuting. That's the case in Cambridge, MA, where nearly a quarter of residents walk to work, far more than any other larger U.S. city.
“Everything that we’ve done in terms of streets and public infrastructure has been making it a place where people want to walk and bike,” said Cara Seiderman, a transportation program manager for Cambridge, MA. Census data shows that the
city's focus has paid off:
New Haven comes in at a very respectable 8th place, with 11.2% of its residents walking to work.
Governing.com's Walkable Cities Map shows US cities where the most residents walk to work, with detailed data for 300 jurisdictions. Connecticut comes in with New Haven at 11.2%, Hartford at 7.9%, Bridgeport at 4.3%, and Waterbury at 2.6% of commuters walking to work.
Sources: Governing.com and the Census Bureau: 2010-2012 American Communities Survey 3-year estimates
The City of New Haven plans to replace many of the city's pedestrian and street signs in 2014.
According to the Yale Daily News, many of the signs have grown out of date. The city will use a $670,000 grant it won in 2011 to renew its signage system.
Many of the signs are over 20 years old. They are being replaced because they contain out-of-date information or appear decrepit. Many are worn or pealing or are leaning over.
City officials also hope to add signs that will market destinations throughout the city.
Additionally, the project will add pedestrian signs in the downtown area, and other areas in the city with high pedestrian traffic.
Fieldwork on the project will begin in 2014, and the signs will be place in 2015.
Read the full article here.
The town of Fairfield received a $1.2 million grant for improvements to the Kings Highway East and Commerce Drive area.
The federally funded grant, which was recently approved by town bodies, was received from the Connecticut Department of Transportation through the Federal Transportation Alternatives Program and will enable the town to make improvements along Kings Highway East from Chambers Street to Brentwood Avenue.
The funding will be used to construct new sidewalks and curbs along both north and south sides, with median improvements for improved pedestrian access and aesthetics. There will also be ADA compliant handicap ramps installed at intersections. Bicycle amenities, such as bike racks, signs and bike parking will also be included, as well as possible bike routes, according to First Selectman Mike Tetreau.
The town applied for the grant following a public informational meeting held last June where requests were made to improve and encourage more walking and biking in this area.
Design for this project is expected to start Spring 2014 and be completed around October 2014. Construction should begin April 2015 with project completion around December 2015, according to Tetreau.
New research from the National Center for Safe Routes to School—based on parent survey data collected by nearly 4,700 U.S. schools from 2007 to 2012—shows that more K-8 students are walking to and from school across the country.
According to the data, the percentage of K-8 children who walked to school in the morning increased from 12.4 percent to 15.7 percent (representing a 27 percent increase). Similarly, the percentage of K-8 children who walked from school in the afternoon increased from 15.8 percent to 19.7 percent (representing a 24 percent increase).
Another significant finding of this research was that the percentage of parents who reported that their child’s school supporting walking and bicycling for the school commute rose from 24.9 percent to 33 percent.
Although walking increased among students who attended low-, medium- and high-income schools, walking increased especially among students who attended low-income schools (schools where at least 75 percent of students were eligible to receive free or reduced price meals).
There was a small but statistically significant decrease in bicycling to school between 2007 and 2012, from 2.6 percent to 2.2 percent in both the morning and afternoon. And using the bus decreased significantly between 2007 and 2012. Within one mile of school, the largest shift between travel modes occurred between busing and walking, with busing decreasing significantly and walking increasing significantly.
The full report, Trends in Walking and Bicycling to School from 2007 to 2012, analyzed parent survey data collected by nearly 4,700 schools located in all states and DC from 2007 through 2012. The surveys represent more than 525,000 K-8 school children across the country.
Stamford city leaders announced the completion of the Hope Street project. The project, which started in April, widened a a stretch of Hope Street, which added pedestrian signaling and other safety and cosmetic improvements that are geared to improve traffic flow.
The project that was just completed includes new concrete sidewalks with a buffer of ornamental brick pavers between the sidewalk and curb line, which will improve the street's appearance. Existing crosswalks were improved with new striping and curb cut ramps that meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The improved crosswalks also included pedestrian signaling to improve safety,
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.
The National Center for Safe Routes to School announced that a record number of schools participated in the 2013 Walk to School Day. Schools from all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico took part, with a total of 4,447 schools pledging to walk to school on October 9th.
According to the National Center for Safe Routes to School, this year’s registration topped 2012’s record total of 4,281. Many more communities celebrated Walk to School Day, but didn’t register their event.
Other interesting registration facts:
Check out which schools in Connecticut took part in the event here.
CTfastrak has issued a construction bulletin.
In Hartford, the current pedestrian/cyclist crossing at the Flower Street Amtrak rail line will be permanently closed as of November 11, 2013. A temporary pedestrian walkway will be installed prior to the closure. The temporary pedestrian walkway is located below the I-84 viaduct, just north of the existing Amtrak rail crossing on Flower Street. It will run parallel to the rail line between Flower Street and Broad Street. This walkway has been established to provide connectivity with Capitol Avenue. View Temporary Pedestrian Walkway map here.
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