Northern Berkshire Transition

People like you who are interested in strengthening the resilience of our region

Berkshire Bike Trails - Adams to North Adams to Williamstown and MORE...on community

 

Bike Friendly Folks
Are you interested in promoting biking to work or school? Do you want to make it easier to ride in Northern Berkshire? Join a group of citizens working together to plan Bike to Work/Bike to School week in May. Join in to help out on one of the scheduled events or plan your own event and be a part of this fun week.
Our next meeting will be held at MassMOCA in mid January
-details to follow soon! 
Contact Jay Walsh
 
 

---- more on bike trails in Northern Berkshires --- and beyond ---

December 2011 Update    

 

As 2011 comes to a close, I look back with pride at everything we accomplished this year; the collaborative South County development of the Berkshire Routes Map, the opening of  Everyone Rides Program, the Bay State Ride activities, the interest from 7 Towns and Cities who submitted proposals for the Transportation funding, the strong advocacy of trail supporters at public meetings, the work of the Town of Adams and the Selectman in pursuing a compromise with abutters and Mayor Alcombright's emergence as a bike path champion actively pursuing the expansion North.  

 
Our advocacy efforts need to continue. There are a number of newly elected Town and City Officials and it is essential to enlist their support. The EEA needs to hear that bike paths should be a part of their 5 year plan. Advocates should attend the Jan MPO meeting where a decision will be made on the available transportation funding ( see articles below). Consider making a new year's resolution to get involved. Attend the meetings, call your town officials and keep yourself well informed. 


Calendar  

  • Wed Dec 14 - 6:30 PM - EEA public hearing - Lenox Town Hall
  •  
  • Tue Jan 31 - 4 PM - MPO Meeting - Berkshire Regional Planning, 1 Fenn St, Pittsfield  
News

BIKE PATH UPDATES

 

Both Lee and Williamstown/North Adams continue to wait for federal budget approval of the Scenic Byways funding that was awarded before they can move forward.  Both communities will be holding community meetings to encourage public input. Watch for meeting dates and plan to attend.

Agreements between Adams and the last two businesses in the Adams Corporate Park were approved at the Town Meeting, Dec 5, paving the way for the proposed extension of the Ashuwillticook.

Lee and Williamstown are still on hold waiting the allocation of Scenic Byway funding they have been awarded.

Adams/North Adams and Pittsfield Proposal await the MPO's decision on who will receive the funding.

Thanks for your support. We appreciate your reading our newsletter. 
 
Happy holiday to you and your families.

 

Marge Cohan
Marge Cohan President, Berkshire Bike Path Council
 

 -------more----

 

$560K going to Mohawk Bicycle and Pedestrian Trail

By Jennifer Huberdeau

Tuesday May 3, 2011

North Adams Transcript

 

The Ashuwillticook Trail is getting closer to having some... (Gillian Jones/North Adams Transcript)

NORTH ADAMS -- Plans for the proposed 5.5-mile Mohawk Bicycle and Pedestrian Trail, which would connect the city and Williamstown, are once again gaining momentum following the recent award of a $560,800 grant from the federal National Scenic Byways Grant Program to further its development.

The route will roughly parallel the Hoosic River and Route 2, which is also known as the Mohawk Trail Scenic Byway.

"This funding brings the Berkshire Bike Path one step closer to completion," U.S. Rep. John W. Olver, D-Amherst, said in a release. "This money will pay for the design work for the bike path from Williamstown to North Adams and is a big part to finishing off the northern Berkshire section of the path. I am very pleased to see this project moving forward."

The funds come with an anticipated $140,200 match from the state, bringing the total to $700,000. The path is projected to cost between $12 million to $13 million.

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Nathaniel Karns said Monday the grant will support four planning components of the trail.

"It will pay for the design work and permitting for the portion of the trail in Williamstown, wrap up the final route decision and preliminary design for the North Adams portion of the trail -- which will bring it into Western Gateway Heritage State Park -- assess and pay for any design work for the pedestrian bridge at Heritage State

Park and pay for any expected right-of-way acquisitions for the entire route," he said.

The planning commission applied for the federal byways funds, a very competitive national grant program which receives about 450 applications, in March 2010, Karns said.

Plans for the Williamstown portion of the trail would begin at the Williams College Athletic Fields in an area off of Cole Field, continue along the open space adjacent to the playing fields, through the Photec site owned by the town and then through Linear Park. It would then cut along the edges of agricultural fields owned by The Spruces Mobile home Park before skirting along Route 2 in front of the mobile park near the town line.

"The Williamstown portion of the route is much easier to work with, seeing there are only three land owners involved -- Williams College, the town and The Spruces -- and the terrain is generally level," he said. "North Adams is a little more complicated to lay out the path. There are multiple land owners, a railroad and some very uneven terrain to deal with."

BRPC Senior Planner Lauren Gaherty, who has been working on the proposed trail for the last four years, said the grant will bring the Williamstown portion, about 2.5 to 3 miles, up to the 100 percent design phase, while the North Adams portion would most likely reach the 25 percent design phase.

"We’re still trying to figure out the best route for the North Adams portion, which may go out onto Route 2 for a portion of the trail," she said. "It will be a mix of on-road and off-road trail. We’re going to start to secure easements and continue the design work. We plan to work more one-on-one with individual land owners. In the end, we really want to secure the route and get in on paper, so we can get to the 100 percent design phase."

After working with Milone and MacBroom, a consulting engineering firm for three years, the planning commission unveiled a preferred route for North Adams, along with some more expensive alternatives, at a public forum in March 2010. The preferred route for the city would wind along the Hoosic River through the city’s former wastewater treatment facility adjacent to Holy Family Terrace, loop behind the Greylock Valley Apartments, continue through the old fairgrounds owned by the city before running parallel to River Street and cutting through Mass MoCA, ultimately connecting to Heritage State Park by the pedestrian bridge.

"One of the great things about the grant is that it will allow us to look at the pedestrian bridge, which has seen better days, and assess its structural integrity," Gaherty said. "If it needs to be refurbished, we plan on widening it for bicycle use. We want to maintain this crossing and continue to use it."

To reach Jennifer Huberdeau, email
jhuberdeau@thetranscript.com.

 

Here is a link to the bike trail planning by the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission which includes maps of the proposed routes.

 

BikeShare at MCLA

Bike sharing program progressing quickly

By Nicole Knapp MCLA Beacon – September 29, 2011

The College is working on a bicycle share program that would benefit students, faculty, staff, and the environment. Although the program is not yet official, it is very close to being launched.

The program would allow students and staff to go to a designated point (most likely the library) and check out a bike, helmet, and lock. Jason Brown, a junior and president of The Environuts club on campus, explained that checking out a bike would be like checking out a book.

Caroline Scully, sustainability coordinator and chair of the Green Team, said the program would start small, with three to five bikes and more would be added as they begin to understand the system.

FULL STORY 

 

The Purple Bike Coalition at Williams College

 The Purple Bike Coalition (aka the Bike Shop) provides free bicycle repair service and tune-ups to students, faculty, and staff courtesy of the Center for Environmental Studies (aka CES). It is located on the first floor of Mark Hopkins in the Greylock quad.


Fall 2011 Hours: 
Wednesday afternoon 2-4       Thursday afternoon 2-4

 

 

If you have a flat tire, if your gears aren't working right, or if you have any other problems with your ride, bring it over to the shop. The mechanics there will either fix it while you wait, or you can leave it to be fixed and pick it up a few days later.

If you have any questions, the current mechanics can be reached at rgw1@williams.edu or jy1@williams.edu

The Purple Bike Coalition is seeking donations of bicycles that would otherwise be abandoned. If you are a senior who does not need their bike anymore, or if you are an underclassman never uses their bike, we'd appreciate it. We will repair it, then sell it cheaply to another member of the Williams community to raise additional funds for parts, tools, etc.

The Purple Bike Coalition

 

 

 

 

Livable Streets and Communities - Those who have done it and WHY!

Minneapolis’s Midtown Greenway: Good for Bikes, Good for Business

 

Freiburg, Germany: A model sustainable city

 

“If you plan cities for cars and traffic, you get cars and traffic....

 

 

A point well made about bike infrastructure by a citizen bicycle supporter to our South (Connecticut).

 

The Formula for the Cycle-Friendly City: New Haven, CT, USA from Chris Mackey on Vimeo.

 

Chicago's Plans to add 25 miles a year of bike lanes

 

 

\A great piece on how nice things were before we we were overtaken by the automobile.

 

 

Cargobikes and Bike Trails

- What a great combination to move both people and goods, and maybe create a few new jobs in small cottage industries.

 

 

In a post oil world we will still need to get food from the farm to the table. Here is a group in Western Mass who is doing just that, and MORE…!

 

 

http://www.pedalpeople.com/index.php

 

Operating under a CSA model, Pedal People of Northampton, MA are partnering with two local farms, Red Fire Farm and Enterprise Farm, to deliver locally grown farm shares to homes and business. From June through October they will deliver local, certified organic vegetable shares, pasture-raised organic egg shares, local fruit shares and organic flower shares directly to your door by bike.

 

Power to the Pedal People

Taking their business model a step further, the Pedal People are incorporated as a worker run and owned cooperative corporation. Here is their mission statement:

 

"The Co-op uses bicycles and bicycle trailers to transport things, and is committed to using human power despite the culture of dependence on motorized vehicles. We hope that our use of relatively simple tools in sound business practice will debunk the prevailing belief that more technology is needed to solve problems.

We believe that social change is possible, and we share inspiration and education with people wanting to choose more sustainable lifestyles. We aim to make a living in a fair, noble way, exploiting no one.

We believe in the idea of low-income living as a counter to the work-consume-spend lifestyle common in America today. We also believe that by spending less time making a living, we can have more time to contribute to the community and live life at a human pace rather than a motorized pace."

 

 

Photo Gallery - You got to look here!!

http://www.pedalpeople.com/index.php?page=12


 

If that wasn't enough - they also do trash, recycling and clothing donations.

 

Ten reasons to switch to Pedal People for recycling & trash service

  1. 1. Cost: Our prices are very competitive, and if you're switching from another service, your first month is free with no obligation to continue. We also offer a 15% senior discount.
  2. 2. Clean air: Diesel exhaust particles can cause or exacerbate many health problems, including asthma and other respiratory illnesses, and have been linked to cancer and premature death.
  3. 3. No pavement damage: Trucks cause nearly all of the load-related damage to pavement. A vehicle weighing five tons causes over 100 times as much damage as a vehicle weighing one ton. Getting trucks off the residential streets means the pavement lasts longer, saving the city and its taxpayers money.
  4. 4. Quiet: There's no engine or compactor noise with us.
  5. 5. Local economy: A greater percentage of the money you pay us stays in the local economy instead of getting spent on foreign oil.
  6. 6. Less waste: Trucks are most efficient at transporting large quantities long distances. Picking up residential trash requires many stops and starts. Every time a truck accelerates from a stop, it emits soot and smog-forming pollution. Pedal People consolidates the trash and recycling, so trucks can do what they're best at. We also provide entirely human-powered compost service for no extra charge with trash pickup.
  7. 7. Service: We offer personalized and flexible service. All the trash (up to 30 or 60 gallons per pickup, depending on your plan) and both kinds of recycling are picked up at once -- no need to remember which week is which. If you don't want to bring your trash to the curb, we can pick it up anywhere our bikes can easily go for no extra charge.
  8. 8. Reliability: In our 7 years of operation we've done 60,045 pickups and have rarely had to postpone due to severe weather.
  9. 9. Guarantee: If you're ever not satisfied with our service, we'll refund the unused portion of your bill at any time.
  10. 10. Donations: We'll bring bags of clothing to a donation box for no extra charge.

Other similar CSA Delivery projects:

  

 

 

VERMONT

 

 

 

One Revolution LLC is a member owned bike delivery service located in Burlington, VT

http://www.onevt.com/

 

 

Loaded Bikes Cooperative, Chicago' IL - works to increase the amount of locally grown food distributed by bike. http://loadedbikes.com/csabikedelivery

 

Cargo Bikes

 

Copenhagen Cargo Bikes from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

www.cargobike.se/

 

 

Goods by Bikes in China

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bricoleurbanism/sets/72157617860997830...

 

 

One Revolution LLC, Burlington, VT - We work with Burlington area CSA farms to make farm fresh produce easily accessible to everyone.

http://onerevolutionvt.typepad.com/my-blog/csa-and-farm-produce-del...

 

Metro Pedal Power, Somerville, MA - Metro Pedal Power offers eco-friendly solutions for last mile delivery in urban areas.
Our emissions-free pedal-trucks work in all weather, carrying up to 500 lbs.

http://metropedalpower.com/

 

Portland Pedal Power, Portland, OR - a member-managed company, professional, licensed and insured bicycle delivery service will help you move towards a more sustainable business model and increase your sales.

http://www.portlandpedalpower.com/

 

Cascade Couriers, Bend, OR - is a human-powered delivery service providing convenient delivery services to Bend residents and businesses, and to reduce the number of motor vehicles on the road, saving fossil fuels and miles on your car. They also have a cloth diaper delivery and pick up service.

http://www.cascadecouriers.com/

 

 

 

 

 

Live Well,

Jay

Views: 359

Tags: CSA, bikes, carbon, cooperative, delivery, fairtrade, farms, food, oil, pollution, More…post, recycling

Comment by Northern Berkshire Transition on August 21, 2010 at 6:53pm
The 2009 Tour des Farms is coming to New Haven next weekend, on Saturday Sept. 12. It’s an easy-going cycling event under the umbrella of the CT Folk Festival & Green Expo that combines cycling with local music and locally-grown produce.

Locavore! Loca-cycle! Loca-music!

The Tour des Farms begins at Edgerton Park, New Haven, on the morning of Saturday, September 12 (8 a.m.) and takes you on a leisurely bicycle ride to local farms, greenhouses, orchards, and other agricultural treasures in the region. At each stop along the road a “home-grown” musician from Connecticut will perform.

Two routes are offered: a flat 25-mile “family friendly” ride headed up by Tour leader Aaron Goode, and a more challenging self-led 35-mile ride for the avid cyclist. Both routes begin and end at Edgerton Park, New Haven (between Whitney Avenue and Edgehill Rd., on the New Haven/Hamden town lines).

The Tour des Farms will conclude at the Green Expo in Edgerton Park, which goes from noon to 4 pm that day. Stay for the evening to hear our main stage concert that night with Amos Lee – pre-registered Tour participants get a special discount off of tickets for the main stage concert.
Comment by Northern Berkshire Transition on August 21, 2010 at 6:58pm
The Kingdom Farm & Food Days are two days of tours, workshops, food, music and festivities to celebrate Vermont food and agriculture! Always a full, fun weekend, this year the Center is participating in Saturday's events by hosting an untimed dirt-road bike tour of our area.

Saturday is full of self-guided farm tour options; we invite you to join us in exploring the countryside from the seat of your bike. The route starts from beautiful Craftsbury Common and winds past village, forest, farms and field in a roughly 25-30 mile loop. We'll be passing several local farms and other points of interest along the way, with a mid-ride food stop. The ride culminates with a festive potluck at Pete's Greens at Craftsbury Village Farm with live music.
Comment by Northern Berkshire Transition on October 19, 2010 at 12:14am
Here is a link to some US Cargo Bikes and Bike Builders.

You have to check out the video for the Picnictable Bike..
http://daily.sightline.org/daily_score/archive/2010/06/22/cargo-bikes

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