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---- 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.
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.
Thanks for your support. We appreciate your reading our newsletter.
Happy holiday to you and your families.
Marge Cohan President, Berkshire Bike Path Council
$560K going to Mohawk Bicycle and Pedestrian Trail
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
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
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.
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 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Livable Streets and Communities - Those who have done it and WHY!
A point well made about bike infrastructure by a citizen bicycle supporter to our South (Connecticut).
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…!
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!!
If that wasn't enough - they also do trash, recycling and clothing donations.
Ten reasons to switch to Pedal People for recycling & trash service
Other similar CSA Delivery projects:
One Revolution LLC is a member owned bike delivery service located in Burlington, VT
Loaded Bikes Cooperative, Chicago' IL - works to increase the amount of locally grown food distributed by bike. http://loadedbikes.com/csabikedelivery
Goods by Bikes in China
One Revolution LLC, Burlington, VT - We work with Burlington area CSA farms to make farm fresh produce easily accessible to everyone.
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.
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.
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.