Meeting Summary, November 18, 2021

Attending: Clark, Hultgren, Waldburger, Weinland, Houle, Manizza, Gosselin

The meeting began at 7:05 pm and introductions were made. The minutes of the October 14th meeting were approved.

Hultgren and Waldburger updated members in attendance on the status of getting a bike education program established in the Mansfield 4th grades. They said that in addition to the $1,000 grant obtained a couple of years ago from the Mansfield Lions, the Eastern Highlands Health District said that they would also contribute $1,000 to help get this program started. BikeWalkCT has the bikes and trailer and instructors to put on the program for $1500 per day, but so far they have said this would be for 4 days. Since at this point only 2 of the Mansfield Schools are interested (this Spring, at least), we are asking BWCT if they could do the program in 3 days, not 4, which would bring the cost down to approximately $5,000 ($1500 per day plus $500 for take-home helmets and supplies. With another $500 from the schools or other fundraising events $2500 could be available this Spring and supposedly Sustainable CT has matching grants for this type of activity which could make up the full $5,000. Hultgren said he was pursuing BWCT about the 3-day program and he and other Bike Mansfield members will see how to apply for matching grants from SustainableCT.

Clark updated members on the status of the UConn Bicycle Working Group. She said she had written a letter to UConn’s interim President asking for the status of the Transportation Advisory Board which hadn’t met at all during the pandemic. (She has since heard that the TAB would be meeting in November, but this is apparently still not scheduled.) She said she did get invited to a Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Committee meeting next week and she hoped to make some connections there to further the BWG’s effort to get UConn to apply to be a Bicycle Friendly University. She also said the BWG was planning to make a BFU application in 2022 (due in the Fall) at the same time the Town will be applying for its BFC renewal. She also reported that the Engineering and Construction Office has funded and has or is hiring a consultant to study Active Transportation on the campus, and she had been contacted for information on the bike rack study that was done by the BWG last year. Some discussion followed with members hopeful that this study will help UConn get going on its bicycle facility planning.

Hultgren said he would be mailing out membership renewal requests to the Bike Mansfield Business Members very soon. He said that it will be mailed to them along with one copy of the Bike Routes and Points of Interest folding map. It was suggested that to save printing costs the renewal letters to individual members could be emailed instead of mailed.

Hultgren updated members on his participation as part of a CRCOG steering committee for the updating of the Bike Share study done for the greater Hartford area a few years ago. He said that the technology of shared bikes, e-bikes and e-scooters is changing rapidly, and hoped that whatever program the study recommends will be expandable to the UConn/Storrs Mansfield area.

Ron Manizza presented Bike Mansfield with a check for $300 from the proceeds of the 2021 Cyclocross race that he coordinates in Mansfield Hollow State Park. This will bring the unobligated funds in the checking account to approximately $900 (along with the $1,000 in grant funds from the Mansfield Lions that are obligated to be spent only on bicycle education).

It was decided to skip the December meeting, so the next meeting is scheduled for Thursday January 6, 2022.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:45 PM.

Lon Hultgren, Secretary Treasurer