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.

Public Hearing Over, Route 1 Guilford Trail Section Heads Back to Board of Selectmen

portley

In an interview, Guilford Town Engineer James Portley explains the Route 1 trail section in this screen shot from NBC Connecticut.

portleySeveral hundred people packed the Community Center in Guilford on Tuesday night for a spirited and civil public hearing on the proposed, ¾-mile-long Route 1 stretch of Shoreline Greenway Trail. The section would run from Boston Street to the Madison line, where it could eventually connect with a section under development on the west side of Madison. It would serve primarily eastern Guilford and provide safe, off-road walking, biking and wheelchair travel for everyone alongside a dangerous stretch of Route 1.

The proposal is before the Guilford Board of Selectmen, who heard nearly three hours of comments from supporters and opponents. Several members of the SGT board spoke, as did SGT members, neighbors of the proposed trail and other Guilford residents. They made a strong case for the section and its benefits in safety, public health, clean air, economic vitality, quality of life and safe, active-travel connections between key destinations in Guilford and Madison.

Opponents appeared most concerned with future sections of trail, especially along Route 146 on the west side of Guilford, where no trail is currently planned. SGT’s Kimberly Schmid proposed that selectmen form a town-led committee to explore solutions to bike and pedestrian safety on 146, involving residents of the west side of town, the town engineer and representatives of bike- and pedestrian-interests, including Shoreline Greenway Trail.

The hearing broke up after 11 p.m., with selectmen making no announcement about when they plan to vote on the proposal. Here are links to some of the news coverage the hearing received:

Channel 8 TV

Channel 3 TV

Channel 30 TV

New Haven Register (Shoreline Times ran the same story)

Guilford Courier 

Stay tuned for updates on this project.

Guilford’s Whitfield Street to Get Shared Lane Markings

img_7151A $4,000 grant from The Guilford Foundation will enable the installation of shared lane markings on Guilford’s Whitfield Street between the town center and the harbor. Twenty reflective white markings, each depicting the outline of a bicycle with an arrow pointing in the direction of travel, will be painted in both directions on the roadbed from the Eagle Hose Company #2 firehouse south to the town marina.

The painting of the markings, facilitated by Shoreline Greenway Trail in partnership with the Town of Guilford, is among the ways the entities are working cooperatively to improve bicycle safety in Guilford. Their efforts also include the proposed stretch of multiuse, off-road trail beside Route 1 between Boston Street and the Madison line, which is before the Guilford Board of Selectmen for approval.

Whitfield Street is a heavily traveled cycling route between downtown Guilford and popular destinations such as the Shoreline East train station, the Guilford Yacht Club, several residential neighborhoods, Jacobs beach, the marina and restaurants. Whitfield Street was too narrow for a dedicated bike lane, and lane markings were the next-best solution, according to Shoreline Greenway Trail’s Kimberly Schmid.

“Painting shared lane markings on Whitfield Street is a small but important step in raising community awareness of the need to share the road while creating a more welcoming environment for cyclists,” she said. “Placing signage on the pavement increases the likelihood that drivers will be more careful and that bicyclists will safely ride with the flow of traffic. We appreciate the Guilford Foundation’s generosity and support of this commitment to public safety.”

The Guilford Foundation’s grant will cover the entire cost of the markings plus a kiosk on town land at the marina, showing a map for on-road cycling on Whitfield, Water and Boston Streets plus the future Route 1 Shoreline Greenway Trail section. Schmid expects the markings to be applied before winter.

For more information, contact Kimberly Schmid at klarsen78@gmail.com.