- At the meeting yesterday at City Hall, New Haven's city planners told us
their plan for the year:
- Design & construct phase II of the Farmington Canal. That's the section
north of what's already there, connecting up to the Hamden & Cheshire parts
of the trail.
- Choose & construct the next on-street bike lane, probably from West Rock
or Fair Haven to the center of town, because (after East Rock) those are
the places where most people bike anyway, according to the 2000 census. Any
ideas for routes? This is one of the opportunities for us to contribute our
- Plan phase III of the Farmington Canal, south to the harbor. This is a
multi-year task, but they're moving forward, which is nice.
- Design a comprehensive identification system for existing bike routes and
trails. For all of you who have asked me to tell you how to follow the
harborside trail, this is what I think we really need: signs, a green
stripe on the road, a free bike-map of New Haven, a way for everyone to see
what we already have, as well as what we're hoping to construct. Too many
bikers don't know how to get to Ridge Road, or the Vision Trail, or even
the beaches. We need to figure out how to fix that.
- Advocate for the West River bike path by the I-95 Kimberly-Ave off-ramp.
This is another place we on this list can really help. The state DOT is
planning a construction project by that off-ramp. Next to the ramp is a
dirt path that bicyclists use to get safely from Sea Street to Water
Street. If you went on the Harbor Trail Ride, you know what I'm talking
about. If you ever bike to the beaches in West Haven, you've also seen
this. It's a great path. It will eventually be part of the East Coast
Greenways, a bike path stretching from Maine to Florida, I believe. It
would not be hard to pave this, since the DOT is doing construction there
anyway. But they're recalcitrant. So we're going to have to get creative:
contact our state legislators, maybe organize a bike-ride up to Hartford.
Any other ideas? If you haven't yet emailed the DOT your public comments
(october 31st is the deadline, roxane.fromson@... is the
address), please do that, as a start.
- Next on our City Planner's to-do list is working on Fair Haven issues,
like talking to the Providence & Worcester Railroad about their land, and
working with the National Park Service on a Mill River project.
- Finally is Quinnipiac and Ferry Street designs.
- Others at the meeting added bike racks to this list. Did you all know
that a simple u-shaped bike rack costs only $59.99 if you buy more than 25
of them at once? (Matt Feiner and the CBC gave me the wholesale price
list.) I'd love to see our city buy a bunch of bike-racks to provide to
businesses that want them.
I think the places we all can help are selecting the next on-road bike
lane, lobbying the DOT for that crucial little stretch of trail by Kimberly
Ave, and helping figure out how to clearly publicize the trails and routes
that we already have. The group that met yesterday included lots of people
from this list (Bruce Crowder, Vic Edgerton, Sara Ohly, Heather Hendry,
Melinda Tuhus-Dubrow, Ben Caldwell, Alex Marathas, Vincent Giroud, Peter
Chapman...). We named ourselves the GO-alition. We're meeting again
Wednesday, Oct 15th, at 6 pm at 433 Chapel, to review the city's draft plan
for greenways. And again Thursday, Nov 6th, at 6 pm at City Hall to figure
out a structure for this group of citizens working with our government to
make this a truly bike-friendly city. We decided that one of our goals is
as few meetings as possible, while also keeping everyone informed about
what's going on. And there's a lot going on, which is wonderful.