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Simsbury Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee
Simsbury.bike News - November 2020
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Simsbury Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee
Thurs., November 19, 2020, 10 - 11 AM  

Zoom Meeting  - see agenda for link
AGENDA
Our November online meeting will focus on reviewing 2020 accomplishments and formulating 2021 goals. We're looking for new volunteers. Join us!

Help Make Walking & Biking Better
As we plan for 2020, we're looking for new people to get involved. Join us!  For more information come to a meeting or contact challenge@simsbury.bike.
Simsbury Parks and Open Space Master Plan
Simsbury has completed the Parks & Open Space Master Plan. The snapshot of the plan presented to the Board of Selectmen on Oct. 26 primarily focused on the planning process, recommendations for town parks, and overall goals. The full report addresses key issues, recommendations and an action plan covering recreational programming, facilities, and open space.  A comprehensive inventory of town open spaces is included. The presentationslides, and plan are available online.  The plan's goals and recommendations related to biking include:
Goal 1. Continue to Improve Organizational Efficiencies:  Develop & implement maintenance standards. Increase funding for parks, open space and facility maintenance/ acquisition. Explore alternate funding sources. (Moderate)
Goal 3. Continue to Improve Programs and Services:  Expand recreational activity offerings including biking and hiking. (Moderate)
Goal 4:  Continue to Improve and Enhance Multi-use Trail System.  Create connections to existing trail systems by implementing Bicycle/Pedestrian Master Plan and expanding accessible multi-use trails. Evaluate underutilized neighborhood trail connections and remove inefficient/ underutilized trail connections.  Assess current vegetation management practices along trails. (Moderate) Assess/repair surface conditions and areas of erosion (High).  Assess/repair fencing along trails (Moderate).
Goal 5. Maintain and Improve Facilities and Amenities: Improve/upgrade restroom facilities (High). Provide improved signage Town-wide for paths, trails, parks and open spaces. Develop consistent wayfinding. (Moderate).  Improve/replace park amenities including bike racks, fencing, benches and water fountains( (Moderate). Develop off-road bicycling park/playground and off-road cycling trails where appropriate (LOW). 
Goal 8: Expand Open Space Opportunities/Offerings: Improve/upgrade signage and maps.
Local Walk/Bike Hero
The Simsbury, CT Police Department's crossing guard Michele Abbott was recognized by Channel 3 for spreading joy and care while helping Squadron Line School children get to and from school safely.  I bet Michele’s connection with the kids makes more families choose a healthy walk/bike to school. Thank you, Michele!
2021 Legislative Priorities:
Bike Walk CT Seeking Input 
Through December, Bike Walk CT is seeking input on 2021 legislative priorities. The priorities in 2020, stalled due to COVID, included pedestrian safety in crosswalks, local speed limits, distracted driving, traffic impact studies, a greenways account, trail bonding, and others.  Email your ideas to bikewalkct@bikewalkct.org.
Simsbury Infrastructure Grants  
10/14/20 BOS Meeting Minutes:  Simsbury will be applying for a 2020 Community Connectivity Grant that would help fund the construction for a sidewalk extension along Firetown Road between Plank Hill Rd. and West Street. This is a high propriety in the Pedestrian Bicycle Master Plan and allows connectivity from community development along West Street to the Middle School and Belden Court to Main Street. The total cost of this project would be approximately $600,000.

11/9/20 Town Manager's Report: Simsbury has been awarded a $128,000 STEAP grant by the state of Connecticut to assist with and accessibility improvements to the parking lot, walkway, and seating areas at Simsbury Meadows and lightning protection at the PAC.
Farmington Valley Trails Council Update
The Farmington Valley Trails Council held  its Annual Meeting on Friday, November 13 with invited speaker Dennis Markatos-Soriano, Executive Director of the East Coast Greenway (ECG).  A recording of the virtual meeting should be available online shortly.  R. Bruce Donald, ECG Tri-State Coordinator and CT Greenways Council Chair, gave an update of CT trail projects along the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail (FCHT) and ECG including:
  • Tariffville Connector, Phase 1 (Tariffville Main St. to Bloomfield trail terminus) - The project has been delayed due to the design of a barrier along Rte. 189. The project is going to bid this winter and anticipated construction will be in 2021.
  • Southington,  Phase 3 (Lazy Lane to Town Line Rd., Plainville) - anticipated completion late 2021 to 2022
  • Plainville, Phase 1 (Town Line Rd. to Norton Park) - 1.3 miles, estimated completion 2023
  • Estimated completion of FCHT - 2025-2026
Tu. 11/17 - Walk/Bike Audit Training  (online)
Sat. 11/21 - Tactical Urbanism Bike Tour (New Haven)
Mon.11/23 - Summit event (online)
Check out this safety resource from IAmTraffic.org and Cycling Savvy focusing on the dangers of large vehicles (e.g., trucks, buses) at intersections & driveways, basically anywhere the large vehicle may turn right.
- Do not stop at an intersection on the right side of a truck. 
- Do not linger next to a truck on any side, in any lane.
- If a truck passes you, slow down and let it get ahead of you ASAP. 
- Do not pass a truck in a line of stopped traffic unless you can be clear of it before approaching any intersections or driveways and before traffic begins moving again.
Easiest to Remember: Don’t pass a truck/large vehicle on the right. 
(Image/content credit IAmTraffic.org/CyclingSavvy.org 

Online Cycling Savvy - American Bicycling Education Association.  NEW COVID-19 discounts (50% off)   (ONLINE)
Online Traffic Skills 101 - League of American Bicyclists,  FREE

Bike Safety Resources - www.simsbury.bike
Join our Strava Club Simsbury.Bike
Connect with other local riders for motivation, encouragement and ideas on where to ride.
Send your photos, content and ideas to challenge@simsbury.bike.
Looking Ahead:

See our complete calendar at  
www.simsbury.bike

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