Saturday, December 5, 2009
Big News on the Merritt Parkway Trail!
Late October witnessed a landmark moment in the development of the East Coast Greenway. At the Fairfield County/East Coast Greenway Bicycle & Pedestrian Summit, ConnDOT Deputy Commissioner Albert Martin announced that the Department of Transportation would no longer oppose development of a Merritt Parkway Trail!
While there were the expected provisos about funding, department policy on fencing, etc, the switch of ConnDOT from roadblock to partner in development of this long-fought-for trail is the biggest step forward we've seen in years.
The Merritt Parkway, built in the 1930s, was originally designed with a bridle path in the extra-wide (300 feet!) right-of-way. The trail was never built, however. What was initially designed to be a road for pleasant Sunday driving has since devolved from being a PARKway into just another commuter highway, an alternative to Interstate 95 in southeastern Connecticut.
Click here to read a bit more about this announcement. Click here for the website of the Merritt Parkway Trail Alliance, to learn more about the trail project, and the history of the roadway.
The Merritt Parkway then... and now.
* What is the Merritt Parkway trail?
* Why should we support the trail?
* How will the trail be maintained and who will pay for it?
* What are the economic benefits?
* How will the trail cross roads and interchanges?
* What kind of safety barriers will be used between the trail and the roadway?
* How wide will the trail be and will there be room for horses?
* How many trees will be cut?
* Where will people park?
* What hours will the trail be open and will it be lighted?
* How will graffiti be prevented?
* Will people living along the Merritt right-of-way lose their privacy?
* What is the role of Regional Plan Association?
* What is the Merritt Parkway Trail Alliance?
* Whom can I contact for more information about the trail?
Q: What is the Merritt Parkway trail?
A:The Merritt trail is a proposed non-motorized multi-user path along the entire 37.5-mile length of the Merritt Parkway right-of-way from the New York border to the Housatonic River.
Q: Why should we support the trail?
A: The trail will contribute significantly to an improved environment, a healthier community and an enhanced quality of life by encouraging people to get out of their cars and onto their feet. It will help ease the traffic congestion on our roads by providing an opportunity for safe recreation and access to shopping, schools, the work place, waterfront and parks for bicyclists, walkers, and the handicapped. It will preserve open space, improve air quality, provide an up-close opportunity to enjoy and examine the specimen plantings and the 36 varied and unique bridges along the Merritt.
The trail is a critical link in the East Coast Greenway, a planned urban trail that will run from Maine to Florida. It will also give access to planned and existing intersecting trails including the Housatonic River Greenway and the Norwalk River Trail. It will give meaning to the bicycle/pedestrian lane that is a component of the new Housatonic River Bridge.
According to The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity, more than 60 percent of Americans are overweight or obese. This leads to over 300,000 deaths a year. So making our communities pedestrian and bicycle friendly is simply smart planning.
Q: How will the trail be maintained and who will pay for it?
A: The demonstration segment that is planned for Stamford will be maintained by the city. As the trail is developed and expanded, the best approach is to establish a dedicated fund to maintain the trail in a consistent manner.
Q: What are the economic benefits?
A:The Impacts of Rail-Trails a 1992 study conducted by the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program of the National Park Service and Pennsylvania State University found that trails bring significant benefits to communities, such as preservation of open space and increased business for bike shops, restaurants, inns and other local establishments. The study determined that users spent an average of $9.21, $11.02, and $3.97 per person per day during their visits to the Heritage Trail in Iowa, the St. Marks in Florida, and the Lafayette/Moraga in California, respectively. And many studies show that trials not only enhance the quality of life in a community but also raise property values of the adjacent homes.
Q: How will the trail cross roads and interchanges?
A:At-grade-crossings would be appropriate where the trail crosses secondary, lightly-used roads. Tunnels or bridges would be used at busy interchanges and at Routes 7, 8 and 25.
Q: What kind of safety barriers will be used between the trail and the roadway?
A: ConnDOT purchased approximately 300 feet of land for the Parkway but constructed on only one-third to one-half of the northern portion of that land leaving the rest free of development. The trail will be constructed within this remaining southern portion of the right of way. Rock outcroppings and plantings will provide a natural safety buffer along much of the trail. Where necessary, safety fencing will be used. The minimum amount of separation recommended by AASHTO is five feet of horizontal separation, or forty-two inches of vertical separation, provided by a barrier or railing
Q: How wide will the trail be and will there be room for horses?
A:According to AASHTO guidelines, a multi-use trail should be a minimum of 10 feet. Designated lanes could provide protection for walkers but some trails have a soft shoulder for their use. In communities with equestrian use, a separate but adjacent trail is recommended.
Q: How many trees will be cut?/b>
A: This, of course, will depend on the topography, but the trail will be sited to cut as few trees as possible while maintaining good sightlines for all users.
Q: Where will people park?
A: TMany users will actually bike or walk to the trail. Others may use existing commuter lots and local nearby lots. For example, the Italian Center has offered the use of its lot for the proposed demonstration segment between High Ridge Road and Newfield Avenue. In some areas, commuter lots may be expanded or new lots built.
Q: What hours will the trail be open and will it be lighted?
A: Most trails are opened dawn to dust but because the trail is intended for commuting as well as recreational use, winter trail hours might require some form of safety lighting, for example reflectors.
Q: How will graffiti be prevented?
A: Currently, there is no trail or access along the Parkway but somehow graffiti appears on the bridges. Once a trail is in place with regular bicycle and pedestrian traffic, there should be less vandalism.
Q: Will people living along the Merritt right-of-way lose their privacy?
A: Because the existing road uses only a portion of the 300-foot right-of-way, a trail would be surrounded by a wide buffer, allowing continued privacy for the neighborhood residents and presenting minimal conflicts with possible future improvements to the Parkway. A Rails-to-Trails study of 82 suburban trails stated that only 3 percent reported any incidents of trespassing on adjacent property.
Q: What is the role of Regional Plan Association?
A: More information about RPA on the website at www.rpa.org
Q: What is the Merritt Parkway Trail Alliance?
A: More information about this initiative can be found at www.merrittalliance.org
You can support the Merritt Parkway Trail Alliance, a group of organizations, corporations, elected officials, and individuals dedicated to building healthy communities where bicycling and walking are encouraged, by becoming a member. You can also contact your local officials and state legislators to ask for their support to build a Merritt Parkway Trail. State legislators can be reached free of charge.
Senate Democrats, (800) 842-1420.
Senate Republicans, (800) 842-1421.
House Democrats, (800) 842-1902.
House Republicans, (800) 842-1423.
Q: Whom can I contact for more information about the trail?
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
I recently sold my Garmin 705 that was 99% perfection. The only issue I had was that it became redundant when I picked up a Iphone and added the MotionX $2.99 App for hiking and biking. I only needed a bicycle mount system that would protect the hardware and be CHEAP.... Well after a bit of research I bought a
www.Ram-Mount.com system with a few extra clamps. Amazon and Ebay had these for under $20.00. Works great but what about rough terrain and rain. Simple solution is a DoItYourSelf solution using 2- 1 liter Selzer bottles and a few rubber bands. Fit container in your Water Bottle cradle and your all set.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Mr. Brennan also spoke about efforts being done to improve pedestrian and bicycle traffic in the area.
“Good progress is being made to reinvigorate a bike and pedestrian trail from Norwalk to Danbury that has been discussed for several years,” he said. “This greenway project has been stimulated by the potential availability of lands originally acquired by the DOT for a Super 7 highway, which is virtually a dead, dead project at the DOT due to the strong resistance of citizens and public officials from Wilton to Danbury.”
Mr. Brennan said “the trail — currently dubbed the ‘Norwalk River Valley Trail’ — is in the initial stages of organization and that a “regional planning committee has been formed with strong support from public officials from Norwalk to Danbury.”
“Progress comes slowly,” Mr. Brennan said, “but progress has been made and benefits are coming.”
Saturday, November 14, 2009
The title is misleading (on purpose) as it's actually 2 bikes for ~22 lbs.
One is a bone stock Super 6 Ultimate in a 56 that came out of the box at 11.83 pounds.
The second was a last minute project that was built for the ToM Cannondale booth that is 10.9 ish pound in a 56.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Dear CT NEMBA Member:
Connecticut DEP has contacted us about several complaints received during a recent trail ride on DEP Property. The complaints appear to be centered around unleashed “trail dogs” and discourteous behavior with other users on DEP lands. It should be noted that while on DEP Parks and Forests, Section 23-4-1(f)(1), states that “riding animals and pets must be on a leash that is no longer than seven (7) feet in length, and must be under the control of their owner or keeper at all times”. The penalty occurred would be an infraction for $75.00.
Please be friendly and respectful to other trail users and keep in mind the following 10 Responsible Riding Tips according to the International Mountain Biking Association:
1. Be Prepared
Know your equipment, your ability, the weather, and the area you are riding and prepare accordingly. A well-planned ride will go smoothly for you and your companions.
2. Don't Ride On Closed Trails
Whether it is to protect the environment or for rider safety, a closed trail is off limits for a reason. Riding closed trails is not only illegal; it gives mountain bikers a bad reputation.
3. Say No To Mud
Riding a muddy trail can cause unnecessary trail widening and erosion that may lead to long-lasting damage.
4. Respect the Trail, Wildlife and Environment
Be sensitive to the trail and its surroundings by riding softly and never skidding. Do not litter and never scare animals.
5. Stay On the Trail
Do not intentionally ride off trail. Riding off trail can damage the ecosystem. Never cut switchbacks.
6. Ride Slowly On Crowded Trails
Just like a busy highway, when trails are crowded you must move slowly to ensure safety for all trail users.
7. Pass With Courtesy and Care
Slow down when approaching other trail users and respectfully make others aware you are approaching. Pass with care and be prepared to stop if necessary.
8. Share the Trail With Other Trail Users
Mountain bikers, hikers and equestrians must share multi-use trails. Remember: mountain bikers should yield to hikers and equestrians.
9. Don't Do Unauthorized Trailwork
Unauthorized or illegal trailwork may lead to environmental damage, injury or even potential trail closure.
10. Get Involved
If you want to make a difference in your mountain biking community get involved.
New England Mountain Biking Association
Monday, November 2, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
This page was last modified on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 10:06 am.
Copyright © 1987-2009; New England Mountain Bike Association - NEMBA
Sunday, October 4, 2009
About Doctor Mike
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Doctor Mike’s Mobile Bike Service is a privately owned bicycle maintenance and repair company started in 2008 by Mike Ahearn and Chris Dannen. Together we share more than 12 years of experience in the bicycling industry as mechanics, buyers and industry voices. We provide Fairfield and Westchester counties with the easiest, fastest and smartest bicycle repair and maintenance at the best price.
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