Guilford’s Board of Selectmen 9/5/17 Meeting

The Guilford Board of Selectmen recently voted on whether to hold a new public informational meeting on the proposed Route 1 Shoreline Greenway Trail section between Boston Street and the Madison line.

The vote was 2-2, with one selectman absent. Selectmen Charles Havra and Joe Mazza voted “yes,” Cynthia Carter and Gary MacElhinney voted “no,” and Carl Balestracci didn’t attend. According to town rules, a tie vote is registered as “no.” It means no action can be taken, and it appears that there will be no public hearing about that trail section in the near future. That leaves the Route 1 project in limbo, as it has been since the selectmen voted against the town’s design for that section in January.

A Vote Only On Setting a Date for a Meeting

As First Selectman Mazza emphasized to a local reporter, the Sept. 5 vote was only on whether to set a date for an informational meeting. It was not a vote on the trail or any specific project related to it. We’re concerned that, although a recent Zip06 article about the vote is accurate, the headline (Another ‘No” for the Shoreline Greenway Trail in Guilford) is potentially misleading.

A Wide “Sidewalk” from the Town Center to Madison?

From the quotes attributed to Mazza and Town Engineer Jim Portley, it’s apparent they’ve been seeking a way to address neighbors’ concerns about the original Route 1 plan while using the nearly $900,000 in federal and state funds allocated to build the Shoreline Greenway Trail in Guilford to meet an objective of a 2002 transportation study: a sidewalk from the town center toward Madison.

As Mazza said, “We were talking about extending sidewalks out from the center of town … all the way to the Madison line with the expectation that maybe in the future that Madison would have sidewalks, too.”

Seeking Residents’ Input on New Ideas

Portley said he wanted residents’ input on changes he was considering to the Route 1 design—including moving the trail closer to the road to minimize vegetation removal, narrowing it to eight feet and surfacing it with concrete to make it look like a sidewalk. Because the eight-foot width complies with the legal definition of a “trail” and not a “sidewalk,” abutting property owners would not be responsible for snow removal.

Committed as Ever to Bike/Ped Safety and Accessibility

The future of the Route 1 section remains uncertain, especially with a local election coming up in November, and the decision is up to the people and elected officials of Guilford. Shoreline Greenway Trail will continue to advocate for the values that guided our idea for a trail in the first place: safe, accessible walking and biking throughout the Shoreline; better health for the people who live, work and visit here and for our environment; and a more vibrant economy coupled with a better quality of life across the region.

Support the Nut Plains Pathway in Guilford!

IMG_0606

Adams Middle School, one of two Guilford schools to be connected by the proposed Nut Plains Pathway.

Shoreline Greenway Trail is actively working to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety and accessibility in Guilford, so we are excited to see the town moving forward on the Nut Plains Pathway, a bike and pedestrian connection between Adams Middle School and Guilford Lakes Elementary School.

This is not a Shoreline Greenway Trail project, but it is the kind of effort that we wholeheartedly applaud.

Come out and show your support! ATTEND a public hearing on Tuesday, September 26, at 7:30 p.m. at the Nathanael B. Greene Community Center (32 Church St). Hear about the town’s proposed plan! Let your VOICE be heard!

Guilford’s Whitfield St. Gets Sharrows for Safety

IMG_9005The Town of Guilford painted shared-lane markings, or “sharrows,” on Whitfield Street between the town center and the harbor on Tuesday, July 18, in an effort to improve safety for bicyclists and motorists! Funding was provided by The Guilford Foundation with facilitation by Shoreline Greenway Trail.

The markings are part of a traffic-calming effort by the town, especially on Whitfield Street, a heavily traveled route shared by drivers, cyclists and pedestrians on their way to and from some of Guilford’s most popular destinations. The speed limit is 25 mph, but according to the town, drivers regularly exceed that.

A sharrow (a condensation of the words “share” and “arrow”) is a painted icon that marks a lane shared by motorists and cyclists. Painting sharrows on Whitfield Street was an important step in raising awareness of the need to share the road while creating a more welcoming environment for cyclists. It’s been consistently shown that sharrows reduce car-bicycle accidents by encouraging cyclists to ride with the flow of traffic, and by raising drivers’ and cyclists’ awareness, caution and courtesy.

Shoreline Greenway Trail greatly appreciates The Guilford Foundation’s and the Town of Guilford’s shared commitment to improving bicycle safety in Guilford!

Route 1 Guilford SGT Section Back in Town’s Hands

The Guilford Board of Selectmen voted on Tuesday, January 17, not to support the proposed design for a three-quarter-mile section of the Shoreline Greenway Trail from the Madison line to Boston Street. The issue now rests with the town to consider alternate designs for the Route 1 project on the east side of Guilford. No timeline has been set for a next step.
             In the meantime, we’re going to continue advocating for safer and better facilities for bicyclists, pedestrians and others who use non-motorized transportation in Guilford and throughout the Shoreline—including off-road trail where appropriate. We look forward to contributing our expertise and our effort to a constructive solution that’s right for the people of Guilford.