Walk to School Day is October 8th
Save the date—International Walk to School Day is October 8th this year. Learn how you can get your school to participate at http://walkbiketoschool.org.
Walk to School Day started in the U.S. in 1997 as a one-day event to build awareness of the need for walkable communities. It turned into an international event in 2000.
Connecticut News 12 reports that Stamford police and city officials met on Wednesday to discuss how to make the city safer for pedestrians.
Ideas that were discussed during the meeting included promoting pedestrian safety education in Stamford schools and increasing tickets for drivers who do not give pedestrians the right of way and jaywalkers.
Read the full story here.
Norwalk Mayor Forms Bike/Walk Task Force
The Norwalk Bike/Walk Task Force will be working to make streets in sidewalks safer throughout the city.
According to The Hour, Norwalk Mayor Harry W. Rilling announced the formation of the task force last week.
The task force will look into creating safer routes for citizens to get to school, work and shopping places. The group will also work to implement plans and studies that are already in place in Norwalk.
Read the full article here.
The Middletown Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously last week to adopt the Complete Streets Master Plan as part of the city's Plan of Conservation and Development.
According to an article in the Hartford Courant, recommendations in the plan including the addition of bicycle lanes, developing trails and making areas near schools safer for pedestrians.
Read the full article in the Courant here.
Hamlethub reports that the City of Norwalk has proposed a project that will add ADA compliant sidewalks and curb ramps on Highland Ave. from Witch Ln. to Knollwood Rd. Additionally, pedestrian crossing beacons will be installed on Highland Ave. at Roton Middle School and at Knollwood Rd.
The city will hold an informational meeting on the project on March 26, 2014 at 7 p.m. at the Roton Middle School, 201 Highland Ave., Norwalk.
Click here to read the full article in the HamletHub.
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!
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 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,
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