Getting Around On Two Wheels: Projects Around State Support Burgeoning Biking Culture
Connecticut has seen a growing biking culture over the last decade. The trend followed biking enthusiasts to people who wanted to be “green” and give up their gas guzzling cars, and now for those who wish to adopt a European-style bike culture where getting to work on two wheels is just as common as four.
Many of the towns and cities of Connecticut have been making huge gains in accommodating these residents who want to see better, safer biking infrastructure. According to People for Bikes, Norwalk ranks among the top 5 small cities for biking. This includes traffic easements and bike lanes, but there is still room for improvement: the best cities according People for Bikes don’t even rate four out of five stars.
Up in Wethersfield, they unveiled a new bicycle repair station as part of their Bicycle and Pedestrian plan. These useful stations have all the necessary tools for a bicyclist to make repairs on the go: you could adjust your brakes or change a flat, with an integrated lift to make it easier to access the bike without having to bend over to make the repairs. The town obtained the funds through a grant, handled by the Central CT Health District, and three repair stations were installed in the district towns.
Repair station back to top
The unveiling of the repair station, the likes of which have been popping up in bike friendly towns and cities across the state, is just one part of their larger plan, which has over 80 points that they hope to manage in the coming years. They include things like more signage for motorists to give ample space to pedalers, youth biking programs, and installing more bike and pedestrian lanes so that those wishing to bike to work or just around town will have safe passage no matter where they need to go.
Down in New Haven, they are making gains on the final connections in the Farmington Canal Trail when they formally acquired area in the Audubon section of town. According to the New Haven Independent, the city of New Haven has acquired 1,175 sq. ft. behind the building known as the Foundry, which is a critical link in the Canal Trail that goes from New Haven all the way to Springfield, Mass. despite a few gaps. The closing of this gap represents Phase IV of New Haven’s plan.
The City did promise repairs to the nearly 200 year old building. As reported by the Independent, they include work “on the buildling’s fire escape, façade, and roof drainage system, and includes re-plumbing the two southern existing roof leaders into two new area drains, waterproofing the existing south façade wall, and replacing the overflow outlet for the existing drywell system.”
The last piece of the puzzle exists under a building owned by Konover Commercial Corporation, and that link might be solved by the end of 2018. Until then, there are many ways to be safe on the roads of Connecticut, and much our towns and cities are doing to foster a healthy and safe riding environment.