Monday, December 8, 2014

Just 1% Please

Interested in making a formal comment to Planning & Zoning Commission? Email Lynda Crepo at and voice your support for a bike parking requirement 1%, 2% whatever you like. Make sure to include your full name and your address.

Want to bike from home or work to the new baseball stadium being built just north of Downtown Hartford?  Sorry.  There won't be adequate bike parking.  You can find a light post or some railing.  There was much debate at the Planning and Zoning Commission over requiring a measly 1% of the stadium parking to be bicycle parking, and it looks like they are going to make even that "optional" for the developer. You know what optional means, right?

Unless they hear from Hartford residents that bike parking is key to this development and the future of Hartford, don't expect convenient bike parking at the stadium.  Leaving out bike parking at a fair weather outdoor event venue would be the height of stupidity. Bike and pedestrian improvements were a cornerstone of the Downtown North plan and are important for a city that is trying to double its number of downtown residents. With all the UCONN Hartford campus students coming downtown, they'll be wondering where all the bike parking is.

Important meeting tomorrow night:

  • What: Hartford's Planning and Zoning Commission
  • When: Tuesday, December 9th @ 5:00 p.m.
  • Where: 260 Constitution Plaza, Plaza Level Conference Room
Bike and pedestrian infrastructure brings economic benefit and it is more sustainable and healthy for our residents.  Bike commuters shop and dine locally.  Downtown Hartford is doubling its apartment and condo units in the next couple of years.  We want those units to fill up and demand to be strong for more downtown residents that are excited about biking and walking to nearby urban cultural and sporting events.

Don't forget the social and economic justice issues of designing only for car travel.  This stadium is built for the community, but only if you're ready to pony up for the cost of parking on top of the ticket price.  That could put a family ball game outing beyond the reach for someone living paycheck to paycheck.  And how about the minimum wage earning part time employees at the ball park working the games and the concession stands?  You don't expect them to make enough to own and maintain a personal car on that income.

You can fit a lot of bikes into the footprint of two car parking spots
REMINDER - Don't forget about IceBike to Work on Thursday, December 18th in East Hartford.

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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Ice Bike (or Walk) to Work

Don't put your bikes away yet.  Ride them all year long.  It's just a question of appropriate outerwear and lights.  It blows my mind that folks think I'm daft for riding my bike the short 3 1/2 miles to work through the winter.  The same folks that can't understand winter cycling will drive two hours each way to go skiing in exactly the same (or colder) conditions for hours.  Who's daft now?

A couple years ago I started organizing a monthly informal breakfast meetup for winter bike commuters in East Hartford.  We invite everyone, but usually only get Pratt & Whitney folks.  I can't figure out why no one from Goodwin College rides to work or comes to the Bike to Work events.  Goodwin even has free loaner bikes for faculty and staff to get from one to another campus building without driving.

Bike commuters typically love all the sustainable travel modes. If you walk to work, take the bus, carpool, or vanpool we'd love to see you at Maddie's on Thursday.  Many cyclists that have gone car free or car light use a variety of transportation modes to get around.  You can research your options here -  If you're interested in bus transit options, you can look up routes and times on CT Transit.

East Hartford IceBike to Work - December
Thursday, December 18th from 6:45AM to 8:00AM 
Maddie's Diner at 395 Main Street
Across from P&W near Subway
November IceBike had 8 riders!

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