The town of Madison has formed an advisory committee to develop a town-wide plan for bicycle and pedestrian safety and accessibility. The Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) will advise the Board of Selectmen on funding, projects and policies to make walking and cycling safer in town as well as to promote these modes of travel for transportation, recreation and fitness.
The BPAC will be responsible for developing a master plan for the board’s consideration, leading the plan’s implementation if one is adopted, and keeping it updated.
Nine people broadly representing Madison residents were named to the committee on Monday, January 22. They include Ginny Raff, vice chairperson of Shoreline Greenway Trail and head of our Madison team.
The creation of a Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) has been recommended in Madison’s Town Plan on Conservation and Development, and Town Planner Dave Anderson took the lead in making it a reality. Anderson will be the liaison between the committee and the town.
“We’re taking advantage of the conversations taking place around the Shoreline Greenway Trail and using it to step back and take a broader look at what bike and pedestrian needs are and how the greenway trail might fit into it,” Anderson told The Source newspaper. “The goal is to develop a bike and pedestrian master plan, focusing most specifically on infrastructure, such as where bike lanes or sidewalks might be needed, and to adopt a plan to set a path forward and provide an ongoing funding mechanism in the budget to maintain and expand these facilities.”
Anderson said that the primary driver in creating the BPAC is “connecting points for people to get downtown by bike or be able to safely walk to school.”
The approach Madison is taking is one many communities around the country are using to address the safety and accessibility of non-motorized travel: looking at the problems and opportunities holistically, gathering significant community input, identifying important destinations and connections, and meeting prioritized town-wide needs with the support of a majority of residents.
“Shoreline Greenway Trail enthusiastically supports this kind of effort,” Ginny Raff said. “It will help solve a serious safety problem and make the Shoreline healthier, more economically vibrant and a more appealing place for people to live, work, play and visit.”
Guilford First Selectman Matt Hoey told about 50 people gathered for a public hearing about sidewalks on February 5 that his town is in the process of establishing a bicycle-pedestrian committee.