Meeting Summary, November 10, 2022
Attending: Palmer, Weinland, Hultgren, Manville, Clark
The meeting began at approximately 7:05 pm in the lobby of the Transportation Center. The status of the BFC renewal for the Town and UConn’s application to be a BFU were discussed. Clark reported that UConn’s application was successful and it had obtained the bronze status of a Bicycle Friendly University. Clark was congratulated for her work in leading UConn’s bicycle working group and for her work in completing the application. Members felt that with this designation and the soon to be finished Active Transportation Plan for the campus, bicycle transportation at UConn should improve significantly over the next couple of years.
Hultgren reported that the Town’s BFC renewal application was filed prior to the deadline this fall, but the results won’t be known until sometime in December. Discussion ensured on the Town’s seemingly relaxed effort on being bicycle friendly, with the current efforts somewhat less than they were in 2017. Hultgren said, however, that the Town had grants for bicycle friendly projects on Maple Road, Hunting Lodge Road Ext, and South Eagleville Road and that the draft of the Bicycle/Pedestrian Master Plan had been recently revised, so the effort was still allive. All agreed that the Town needs to be reminded frequently of the importance of considering active transportation (including cyclists and pedestrians) in its transportation-related activities (examples: paving, curbing, painting sharrows/symbols, installing guardrails with enough clearance so that pedestrians can still use the shoulders, etc, etc,).
A newly revised map #4 from the Bicycle/Pedestrian Master Plan showing the proposed bicycle and pedestrian improvements in the plan was viewed and the projects and priorities explained/discussed. With the now planned increase in new housing near UConn which will result in increased traffic on Route 195, it was felt that the multi-use path from 4 corners to the campus on 195 should be a very high priority. Manville reported that in some parts of the country bike lanes were placed along the uphill sections of roads and sharrows painted in the downhill travel lanes so that hilly roads could accommodate bicycles without having to widen them for bike lanes in both directions. (This could work on parts of Gurleyville Road, Clover Mill Road, Mansfield City Road and even possibly on South Eagleville Road from Separatist to Route 32,) The draft Master Plan in its entirety is available on the Public Works section of the Town’s web page, and comments can be sent to DPW@MansfieldCT.org or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hultgren explained he had sent two emails about budgeting for the 4th grade bicycle education program to the Mansfield Elementary School Principal, but he had not heard back from her yet. As the school administrators are very busy getting ready to populate the new school building, alternative strategies for getting the project funded (through the school budget and grants) were discussed. Per the suggestions discussed, the Principal will be called to see if we should contact the Superintendent of Schools directly to get the program included in the 23-24 school year’s budget so that additional fundraising could begin. Fundraising for this program can also be mentioned in our membership solicitations for the 2023 year.
2023 memberships in Bike Mansfield were then discussed noting that due to COVID, memberships were down in the last several years. Hultgren will draft a 2023 membership/fundraising letter to be sent to both individuals and businesses and Clark, Weinland and Palmer will edit it prior to having it sent out. Manville said he would staff a membership table at the Town’s Farmers Market, and Hultgren will get him materials for that.
Hultgren said that he was now able to post to Bike Mansfield’s social media pages on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and asked members to send him pictures and news so that the posts are frequent and up to date. He said that Maggie Quirk had also said she would help with this effort, and Manville said Laurel Manville would be a good resource as well. It was suggested that a link to the proposed projects in the Bike/Ped plan (and where to email comments) be posted also.
The meeting concluded at 8:20pm.
Lon Hultgren, Secretary Treasurer