Meeting Summary, October 14, 2021

Attending:  Clark, Hultgren, Waldburger, Weinland, Houle, Serazo (Eastern Highlands Health District)

The meeting began at 7:06 pm and introductions were made. The minutes of the Sept 2nd meeting were approved.

Clark, Hultgren and Weinland reported on the Mansfield Festival booth. Attendance seemed to be down a little at this “post pandemic” event, but many interested people stopped in to participate in the contest and find out more about Bike Mansfield. The winner of the bike part identification contest/drawing was contacted by phone and mailed the $40 bike shop gift certificate.

Limited distribution of the 2nd (corrected) printing of the folding map was discussed. The consensus was to send a couple out to each Bike Mansfield business member along with the request for their 2022 membership renewal. Hultgren will begin getting these renewal letters out prior to the end of 2021 along with letters to individual members. It was also suggested that business membership solicitations be sent to local realtors, along with a copy of the folding map.

Possible fundraising ideas were discussed for the 4th grade bike education effort in the Mansfield schools. The organization BikeWalkCT will come in and run a 4-day program complete with bikes and some instructors (to be augmented by the PE teachers –trained last June – and other volunteers) for $1500 per day. Since Bike Mansfield has the $1000 grant for Bike Ed in the schools from the Mansfield Lions (which could be used for this), this leaves about $5000 needed to run the program. Matching grants are available through Sustainable CT, and some funds may be available from the schools and the health district (supporting the safe roads to school (SRTS) program). Several ideas were discussed including involving the PTOs, applying for additional funds from the Lions Club, and setting up a musical evening fundraiser, but since the cost of BikeWalkCT’s program was not known at the time of the meeting and more discussion/research was needed, nothing was decided.

Clark gave an update on the Bicycle Working Group’s (BWG) progress towards making UConn a Bicycle Friendly University (BFU). She explained that the working group had a connection to UConn’s Transportation Advisory Board (TAB), but the TAB hadn’t met since the beginning of the pandemic. She was now following up with a letter to the interim President regarding these efforts and the status of the TAB. She was aware that a campus-wide study/plan for bicycles and other active transportation modes was being formulated, but an RFP to hire a consultant to do this had to take place first. She said that the BWG may go ahead and submit a BFU application next year just to consolidate their efforts and gain feedback from the League of American Bicyclists on the strengths and deficiencies of UConn’s bicycle programs. She noted that especially in the UConn Recreation Department, many bicycle-related programs and activities are already underway, but the administration’s support is needed to coordinate all campus bicycle-related efforts.

Since this meeting was towards the middle of October, it was decided to hold the next Bike Mansfield meeting on November 18th (instead of the regular meeting on Nov 4th). Whether or not to meet in December will be discussed then.

The meeting adjourned at 8:05pm.

Lon Hultgren, Secretary Treasurer