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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

"Bike Stonington Wants its Own Path"

Comment by me.... Being an avid bike rider myself I thought I would publish this article I read the other day..It seems no one is thinking about making safer it for the kids who want to ride their bikes to school. Maybe some older folks would like to exercise during the summer by riding their bike downtown or from one town to another...At the speeds some people go on Stonington's narrow shoulderless roads these days a special roadway is only fair.. In Suffield, E. Granby and Simsbury Connecticut they have paved over the old railroad tracks and repaired the bridges over rivers to make bike trails..I've ridden most of these trials and the silence, peace and serenity is truly amazing...There are miles and miles of these paved trails starting in Massachusetts across the State all way to the shoreline.. Why not a few trials here..I know this would be asking too much but with a little foresight and planing it just might be possible to connect them all.

Note.... The bike trail In Greenfield Mass that has a repaired single track bridge (pictured above) that goes over the Connecticut river so don't tell me it cant be done...    

The link below are the trails in Connecticut. Call me a dreamer but wouldn't it be nice if they were all connected..


The article below was written by Westerly R.I. Sun Staff Writer LESLIE ROVETTI
Published: April 3, 2013

STONINGTON Connecticut - "Bike Stonington, a small, grass-roots organization, is looking for a little pavement. Its goal is to improve access and safety for bicyclists in and around Stonington. The group is small, but it's pushing an idea that is catching on nationwide.
Jennifer Lacker, a Stonington resident and avid bicyclist, was at one time on the board of Mystic Community Bikes, which provides free bike rentals in downtown Mystic for visitors. At that time, she learned that the town of Groton had a bike plan, but Stonington did not. She spoke with some officials in Stonington Town Hall, but found little interest in starting one...."There just isn't anyone in Town Hall who bikes," she said.
Her next attempt was to start a municipal bicycle board, perhaps as a subcommittee of the Planning and Zoning Commission. That didn't work out either, but Lacker persevered, and with a handful of other devoted bicyclists, finally found some tread in forming a citizens group to promote biking.
Their work is kicking into high gear with the knowledge that the state plans to repave Route 27 in Mystic in October.
Route 27 can be bumper-to-bumper with tourists in the summer, and Lacker said that could be alleviated if more people were encouraged to use bicycles. She envisions bike racks at local hotels, where tourists could park their cars and travel to the Mystic attractions by bicycle. As it is now, Route 27 is not particularly bicycle-friendly, she said.
"We have bikes going on the sidewalk, because no one wants to
ride there (on the road)," said Lacker, adding that biking from downtown to the aquarium is "hairy and scary."
A bicycle lane on Route 27 could also connect with bike trails planned for the Coogan property, she said, and could benefit local businesses. When the road is painted after the repaving, car lanes could be reduced by a foot to allow room for bike lanes, she said.
The need for more bike paths was noted in the Mystic Mobility study conducted a few years ago by the late William Haase, who was the town's planning director.
The group is also looking ahead to the 49 roads that Stonington plans to pave over the next three years. They would like to see some safe areas for bicyclists there as well.
"It should be safe for our kids to bike to school," she said.
In the future, the group would like to develop maps of area bike trails, and provide education for drivers as well as bicyclists.
"Bicyclists need to obey the law as well," she said.
The group is soliciting new members, and will have a table set up at the Mystic Cycle Centre on Route 1 on Saturday, April 6. They also have a Facebook page under the name Bike Stonington.
The group will consult with a Planning and Zoning Commission subcommittee that is working on the town's Plan of Conservation and Development.
The subcommittee asked for their help after a survey indicated that residents were looking for more bicycling opportunities. When they're done with that, the goal is to design and implement a bike plan for Stonington.
"We've got to ask for what we want here," said Lacker".


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