Meeting Notes: March 4, 2015

Attending: Hultgren, Palmer, Dean, Gosselin, Yakovleff (Guest)

The meeting was convened at approximately 6:35 PM.

Nord Yakovleff discussed his proposal to have the state set up bike lanes connecting Bigelow Hollow State Park to Mansfield Hollow State Park and asked for our endorsement and assistance. He said he had been working on this concept for some time and would appreciate any help we could give. Hultgren explained the process that has been followed by the Town to get bike and pedestrian projects into the Town’s priority project listing, and suggested he submit a summary of the project to the group so that we could endorse it and send it on to the Town’s Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC). Mr. Yakovleff said he would get something to us shortly, which we will comment on through email and then send it to the TAC for consideration at its April 9th meeting.

Hultgren summarized the suggested group names he had received and the comments on the various names he had received. After some discussion, a consensus was reached (by those present and by those expressing their opinion electronically) to name the group “Bike Mansfield”. Palmer will obtain the license for and set up a website and email address so that the group has a presence and can be contacted. Hultgren will draft a press release for email comments prior to release which will include mentioning the April bike workshops and our goal to have Mansfield achieve the “Bicycle Friendly Community” designation. Palmer suggested the structure of our Bike Mansfield group be put on a future meeting agenda for discussion (bylaws anyone?).

The three workshops coming in April were discussed. Hultgren will coordinate the April 8th workshop, Manizza was suggested as the logical coordinator for the April 22nd workshop and Dean will coordinate the April 29th workshop. Other logistics were discussed along with a flyer prepared by Gosselin and how it will be distributed.

Summer activities as mentioned by E. Randazzo of the Town Recreation Department in an email to the group were discussed. The group favored continuing the bike workshop series with two additional workshops in the early summer – one a repeat of the “how to ride safely” workshop (the first being scheduled for April 22nd) and a second session on bicycle maintenance, this time as a “hands-on”, bring your bike with you event. Additionally, the group thought we should begin once a month Sunday beginner and intermediate rides leaving from the Transportation Center. Hultgren will communicate with Dave Waldburger and Ron Manizza to discuss and schedule these rides, so they can also be listed in the Town’s Summer recreation brochure.

The USDOT’s Bike/Walk Challenge was discussed, noting that 6 Cities and Towns in CT have joined this Mayoral Challenge. Since Hultgren did not receive any feedback from the Town’s TAC members and since our group has several other activities scheduled this spring, we decided not to push this at this time, but to monitor the Challenge’s progress through the Bike/Walk CT communications for a possible push to join it later.

Hultgren said he received a new report from Bike/Walk CT citing the best “complete streets” policies recently adopted by communities in the US. This is something that needs to be adopted by the Town to help it qualify to be bicycle friendly. He will circulate the report for further review/action by the group.

The CT Bike/Walk Summit will be held on Friday April 24th. Hultgren encouraged Bike Mansfield members to become members of Bike/Walk CT, as they send out considerable information to members. The next Bike Mansfield meeting is scheduled for the 1st Wed in April, April Fool’s Day.