Thursday, November 17, 2011

Action Needed Now For Proposed Middletown Bikeway

The Jonah Center for Earth and Art invites the public – especially those who ride bicycles and are interested in making our city more “bicycle-friendly” – to attend 2 important meetings. The reason: Middletown has an excellent chance to receive $800,000 in U.S. Dep’t of Transportation funds for infrastructure to make urban areas more bicycle-friendly. But we must act quickly, since the window of opportunity is very brief.

On Tuesday, November 29, at 5:30 p.m. in Room 208 of City Hall, Middletown’s Director of Planning, Conservation and Development, Bill Warner, will present a bicycling “master plan” developed by city engineer Tom Nigosanti, followed by a proposal to construct one section of that plan: a bikeway connecting downtown Middletown, Wesleyan University, and the Wesleyan Hills residential community close to the borders of Middlefield and Durham. The proposed bikeway would include mostly “off road” trails, with helpful signage, curb cuts, street crossings, and bike storage lockers at Spear Park at the corner of Main and Williams St.

Public input on the details of the plan and support for the project in general is being sought. The Jonah Center for Earth and Art is a “project advocate” on the grant application and wants to engage all interested parties and partners to make the most of this opportunity and contribute to the bikeway’s design. Many details need to be decided: the exact route; which trees need to be removed; and where the trail should be a painted lane on the street and where it should be a separate paved path. This is our chance to evolve toward a less “car-centered” culture and make it easier and safer for people to use bicycles not just for recreation but for transportation.

To meet the grant application deadline of December 21, this matter needs to come before the Common Council at the Dec. 5, 7 p.m. meeting in the Council Chambers. On the agenda, we anticipate a resolution stating Common Council support and pledging appropriation of matching funds as needed at a later date. A public demonstration of support by large attendance and some spoken testimony at the beginning of this meeting is needed. We hope Middletown will take advantage of this exciting opportunity to join sustainability-minded communities around the nation and become more bicycle-friendly.


joseph getter said...

A bikeway along this route would be terrific! I've often thought about how it would be relatively simple to create a bikeway here, given the locations and quantities of wooded areas along this corridor.

I can't attend the meeting on Tue Nov 29. As an alternate way to submit ideas, or letters of support, would it be best to email Bill Warner, with a copy to Jonah Center, or do you have another suggestion? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Emails would be great. We can post draft application and map of route on website.

Bill Warner

Jon said...

yes this is great! Middletown definitely needs better bike infrastructure, and is a town that I can really see using it! I've visited towns with dedicated bike paths and they can be so lovely and bring so much life to a town.

Anonymous said...

The more bikes off the roads the better. Many I observe have no clue that they are supposed to follow the same rules of the road as motorists. That would include stopping for red lights and stop signs,not passing on the right and, my favorite, not pressing the walk button at intersections and then riding in the crosswalk.

Anonymous said...

Likely another example of reckless spending, which not only may waste federal (taxpayer's) money, but mandates local funding in the future in matching.

Is there a study which shows how many people would actually use this? Is this a million dollar project being promoted, so that Wesleyan people have their own little pathway?

Show us the real need for this, Mr. Warner... then maybe I'll support it.

Anonymous said...

Yes bikes tick me off when they go and cross the street when the walk light isn't on. Bikers should find a more courteous form of transportation like the automobile whose only faults are destroying the environment of the world and being a leading cause of death and injury.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Annynous 2:04

Let me clarify. The third item is that riders DO press the walk button. Then when all traffic is stopped and idling and spewing the noxious fumes into the atmosphere, the rider then RIDES the bike across the street in the pedestrian crosswalk. I'm guessing you're one of those because you thought I was complaining that they didn't use the walk light implying that you think riding in the pedestrian crosswalk is ok. Same rules for cars and bikes.

joseph getter said...

Here's the link to the City plan and map:

Under "Announcements" click on "Wesleyan Hills - Wesleyan Univ - Downtown Connector Project- Enhancement Application" and "Map of Proposed Bike Path" for PDF files.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:40AM

I am appaled that you think I have to follow the same rules as an inconsequential 'bike rider'.

Are you saying that when I drive down the street in my Humvee (or my back up SUV..the Escalade)I have to share the road with those pesky bicylist?

If they want to share the road why don't they purchase a real six (or eight) cylinder vehcile instead of something that is propelled by leg muscles.

Anonymous said...

the real issue here is not for or against bikes but that it will cost tax payers $200,000. The project may receive $800,000 from the Feds but alas we know how that goes...

Anonymous said...


There are many better things we could do with the the one time expenditure of money:

1) Pave 1/10th of a mile of road
2) Create a job for a city counsel person's relative..for one year.

It doesn't make sense to capture the 80% federal dollars to create a more livable, sustainable and healthy environment.