On Monday, August 6, our Program Associate Sam Markovitz and I went out to Franklin County to help local residents and the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) perform a Bikeability Assessment in Greenfield, Colrain and South Deerfield. There were roughly a dozen people present to help with the assessment, which was undertaken to inform a regional Complete Streets Plan being drafted to address priority intersections and corridors for bikeability improvements.
After the assessment, we turned the raw data collected by our volunteers into a report on major barriers to bicycling and ways to improve the bicycling environment in these locations. Among these recommendations were adding bicycle facilities like bike lanes or sharrows, increasing the bike parking supply around businesses, and reducing motor vehicle travel speeds through traffic calming measures. These recommendations will inform the Complete Streets Plan being put together, which ultimately will guide decision making for future road investments in the region. This assessment is a tangible example of how concerned local citizens can directly impact the decisions made in their community.
We are in the process of scheduling future assessments in Hampshire County and the Berkshires. This work is being supported by Mass in Motion, and we are looking forward to supporting the efforts not only of the Mass in Motion communities, but also complement the work being done by our chapter in the Pioneer Valley. If you have any questions, send me an email at Price@MassBike.org.
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