Celebrate New Fairfield Shoreline “Border to Border” Bike Route

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Fairfield bicyclists are invited to help celebrate the recently approved Fairfield Shoreline Bike Route, a new addition to the town’s growing bike route network. The event features a 12.8 mile round trip bike tour set for Sunday Sept. 27 starting at 2 pm at Southport Beach.

The Shoreline Bike Route, developed by the Town of Fairfield Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee, was unanimously approved by the Fairfield Police Commission at its July meeting. Extending from the Westport border to the Bridgeport border, the route links Southport Beach to Ash Creek. It follows roadway shoulders covering some 6.4 miles each way on roads along or near the Long Island Sound shoreline.

“The Fairfield Shoreline Bike Route will formalize an existing corridor long enjoyed by cyclists.  The committee is working on a signage plan that will need approval from the police commission, and, once approved, new bike route signs can be installed and roadway shoulders painted by the Town Public Works Department, with the goal of being completed by next Spring.  We believe that visibly establishing formalized bike routes as part of the town’s emerging bike route system will increase motorist awareness of cyclist road travel and help to make cycling more safe for all users of the road,” said Keith Gallinelli,  chairman of the Fairfield Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee.

The bike route network signage, striping, and road markings are made possible by funding from the Fairfield Health Department through the Connecticut Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant over the next three years. The Fairfield Health Department is also working on plans for a bike sharing program to start sometime this Fall.

The police commission in July also approved another bike route connecting the Fairfield Woods Library to the Main Fairfield Public Library. Last year the town’s first bike route extending along Mill Plain Road and vicinity was established. Well marked bike routes have been shown to provide a measure of additional awareness and safety for runners as well.

“More biking routes are planned. Towns and cities around the world are working to reduce automobile congestion. Our committee was created by Fairfield town leaders to encourage walking and biking for transportation, which conserves energy, improves air quality, reduces traffic and the need for parking. Cycling and walking also improve health and fitness, all while having fun! We are delighted that Zane’s Cycles of Fairfield agreed to c0-sponsor this pilot ride event with us” Gallinelli added.

To receive bike tour “goody bags” and complimentary water bottles provided by Zane’s Cycles while supplies last, residents must register for this free event.

Registered participants will also receive a map, turn directions and be asked to complete a short online survey to provide town officials with bike usage data to help future planning.  Refreshments will be served at the end of the ride back at Southport Beach. In the event of bad weather, the tour will be rescheduled for Sunday, October 25 at 2 pm.

Approved bike helmets are required on the tour. Participating cyclists must be 15 or older.

For more information on the committee and its work or to offer volunteer support for future events, visit http://www.fairfieldct.org/bikeped or send an email to bikewalkrun.fairfield.ct@gmail.com.

Official Press Release
Route/Map

Town Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee Offers Four Tips for Safe Bicycling in Fairfield

Do you like to hug the hills? Love those leafy country lanes? Or, do you savor shoreline flat runs? Almost anywhere you go, bicycling choices abound in Fairfield. But whether you’re cycling for recreation or to do some shopping, bike riding obviously can be risky too, according to the Fairfield Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee.

Every year scores of children and adults in Fairfield require medical treatment because of bike related injuries, police report. In addition to roadways, sometimes sidewalks are the scene for accidents.

“While Connecticut state statutes do not prohibit the use of sidewalks by bicyclists, riding a bike on a sidewalk adds responsibilities for all cyclists. Studies show that cyclists are safer (with the exception of children) when they are operating on the roadway where motorists expect them to be traveling,” according to Deputy Chief of Police Chris Lyddy.

Connecticut law under Section 14-286 makes clear that “each person operating a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk or across any roadway upon and along a crosswalk shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal within a reasonable distance before overtaking and passing a pedestrian. Each person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall within a reasonable distance give an audible signal before overtaking and passing a pedestrian or another bicycle operator…”

With the warm weather upon us, the Fairfield Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee, a town government appointed advocacy and education panel, offers the following four tips to make your bike riding experience safer:

Wear a Helmet Every Time You Ride, even if it is just for a short ride. Make sure your helmet fits properly and is certified by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Stay Visible: If a driver can see you they are less likely to hit you. Wear vivid colors. Use lights in front and back of your bike when biking in low light conditions or at night.

Look & Signal: Use hand signals to let drivers know where you are going. Look over your shoulder before changing lanes. Use audible signals such as bells to alert pedestrians.

signals

Go with the Flow: Bike on the far right side of the road with traffic.

Obey all Traffic Signs & Lights: Cyclists have to obey the same rules of the road as automobiles do. Be courteous, be considerate of other driver and be cautious.

For more information on the Fairfield Bicycle and Pedestrian committee and its work promoting safe walking and cycling, visit http://www.fairfieldct.org/bikeped or send an email to bikewalkrun.fairfield.ct@gmail.com

Official Press Release
Bicycling Hand Signals

Three Tips for Safe Walking on Town’s 110 Miles of Sidewalks

With last winter’s snow now a distant memory, Fairfielders are increasingly enjoying warm weather walks on town sidewalks and elsewhere. The Fairfield Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee offers the following three guidelines to help ensure a safe and pleasant experience using the town’s 110 mile long network of sidewalks:

  1. Be aware. Cross with care. Before stepping out in front of a car make eye contact with the driver. Make sure they see you, plan on stopping, and have the time needed to safely stop. You may have the right-of-way, but not all drivers know the rules. Also, always be aware of other walkers, runners, and bikers sharing the road with you.
  2. Sidewalks are there for a reason. Always use sidewalks when they are available. If not, walk on the left side of the street, facing traffic.
  3. Don’t walk distracted. Chatting and texting on a cell phone or drowning out your environment with an iPod can be as dangerous as doing those things while driving. You are less likely to recognize traffic danger, tripping hazards, or passing runners, bikers, and walkers.

For more information on the Fairfield Bicycle and Pedestrian committee and its work promoting safe walking and cycling, visit http://www.fairfieldct.org/bikeped or send an email to bikewalkrun.fairfield.ct@gmail.com.

Fairfield History Explored By Foot & Bike Over The Weekend of July 18-19, 2015

ffld_history_tour

Walkers and cyclists will have a unique opportunity to explore the history of Fairfield by either foot or bike over the weekend of July 18-19, getting some exercise and fresh air in the bargain, according to program sponsors Fairfield Museum and History Center and the Town of Fairfield’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee.

The two-day event begins with a walking tour from 2-4 pm starting at the Fairfield Museum, 370 Beach Road, on Saturday July 18. The guided tour around the historic Green will showcase the people, places, and events that shaped Fairfield’s 375 years of history. Walkers will explore the site of the 1639 colonial settlement and find out more about Roger Ludlow, Fairfield’s Puritan roots, and the 17th century “witch ducking experiments” among other historic events. The walking tour is limited to 30 people and advanced, online registration is required.

The cycling tour will take place on Sunday, July 19 from 2-4 pm and will cover approximately ten miles, starting and ending at the Museum. It will explore several historic Fairfield locations including the 1750 Ogden House and the Southport setting of the Pequot Indian Swamp Fight. Bicycle tour participants are required to wear helmets and the group is limited to the first 25 people who sign up in advance.

Both tours will be led by Walter D. Matis, Program Volunteer Coordinator for the Fairfield Museum. The walking tour and the cycling tour are each priced at $5 for museum members and $8 for non-members, which includes admission to the Museum. Children interested in the cycling tour must be age 14 or older, capable of riding 10 miles and must be accompanied by a parent. Rain dates will be announced as needed.

Offical Press Release
Walking Tour Registration
Biking Tour Registration

Southwest CT Bike/Walk Summit on May 11, 2015

swbw flyerOur friends @BikeportCT are sponsoring a gathering of bikers, walkers, advocacy groups, and legislators to make southwestern Connecticut a better walking and biking community. Join advocacy groups and local officials from everywhere between New Haven and Stamford for networking and activities about walking and biking! The event is on May 11 from 6-8 at 999 Broad Street in Bridgeport.

A Letter from our Chairman…

DCIM100GOPROHello all,

I wanted to say thanks to all who came out to today’s Library to Library ride along the new proposed bike route here in Fairfield.

And thank you to Don Hyman who coordinated efforts today and all the members of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee for your hard work.

Also thanks to the people from the various town departments for helping to put up signs, and getting PA equipment set up, helping use with the promo banner, the press for coming by and helping to promote beforehand, the police for providing assistance at various intersections, the nearly 50 members of the public who came out and rode, the good people from Sherpa for sponsoring, the health department for power bars and water, and everyone else for your efforts in making today successful! Hopefully I didn’t forget anyone.

Also thanks to our First Selectman Mike Tetreau, State Senator Tony Hwang, and State Congresswoman Cristin McCarthy Vahey for coming out and supporting.

Here are a couple of pics…. Please feel free to email to those I missed, and we will have some more followup (and photos) of the ride soon.

All the best and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Keith