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.
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.