Lifestyle The Center

West Hartford Community Turns Out on Foot, Bikes for Inaugural ‘Center Streets’

Bikes were the main mode of transportation on Farmington Avenue Sunday morning. The roadway was closed to vehicle traffic for Center Streets. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)
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A loop of West Hartford Center was closed to vehicle traffic Sunday morning for the inaugural ‘Center Streets’ event.

Bikes were the main mode of transportation on Farmington Avenue Sunday morning. The roadway was closed to vehicle traffic for Center Streets. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Bikes were the main mode of transportation on Farmington Avenue Sunday morning. The roadway was closed to vehicle traffic for Center Streets. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

By Ronni Newton

The roadways around West Hartford Center were busy on a hot and sunny Sunday morning, but the traffic was limited to those on bike, scooter, skateboard, and stroller, or on foot.

On Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016, West Hartford hosted its first ever Center Streets event, with a loop around West Hartford Center completely closed to vehicles for three hours, allowing pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles and devices full use of the roads.

Organizers hope Center Streets will be something much more than a one-time event.

“It was very successful, especially for the first year,” said Scott Franklin of Bike West Hartford, Center Street’s main sponsor.

Franklin estimated that several thousand people, of all ages, participated in the event. REI handed out 400 water bottles, he said.

There were several groups providing live music, a bike tag sale, and booths from various groups. Barcelona was handing out paella, and many other restaurants had special offerings just for the Center Street event.

“I think the merchants today have seen the impact of this,” said Tracy Frankel, whose husband Ethan was one of the event chairs.

Franklin said LaSalle Road should be a pedestrian street between Arapahoe and Farmington Avenue, and many other Bike West Hartford members nodded their heads in agreement.

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Bikes were the main mode of transportation on Farmington Avenue Sunday morning. The roadway was closed to vehicle traffic for Center Streets. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Bikes were the main mode of transportation on Farmington Avenue Sunday morning. The roadway was closed to vehicle traffic for Center Streets. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Bikes were the main mode of transportation on Farmington Avenue Sunday morning. The roadway was closed to vehicle traffic for Center Streets. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Bikes were the main mode of transportation on Farmington Avenue Sunday morning. The roadway was closed to vehicle traffic for Center Streets. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Bikes were the main mode of transportation on Farmington Avenue Sunday morning. The roadway was closed to vehicle traffic for Center Streets. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Bikes were the main mode of transportation on Farmington Avenue Sunday morning. The roadway was closed to vehicle traffic for Center Streets. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Scott Franklin and Ethan Frankel of Bike West Hartford organized the event along with other committee members, and deemed the inaugural Center Streets a great success. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Scott Franklin and Ethan Frankel of Bike West Hartford organized the event along with other committee members, and deemed the inaugural Center Streets a great success. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Cycling Without Age offered free rickshaw rides during Center Streets. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Kevin Sullivan of Cycling Without Age offered free rickshaw rides during Center Streets. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

There was live music in several areas of West Hartford Center during Center Streets. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

There was live music in several areas of West Hartford Center during Center Streets. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

There was live music in several areas of West Hartford Center during Center Streets. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

There was live music in several areas of West Hartford Center during Center Streets. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Bicyclists had the run of the road on the southbound side of South Main Street. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Bicyclists and pedestrians had the run of the road on the southbound side of South Main Street. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Many Center Streets participants also stopped to view the Wall of Remembrance on the lawn of West Hartford Town Hall. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Many Center Streets participants also stopped to view the Wall of Remembrance on the lawn of West Hartford Town Hall. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

 

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We-Ha.com is the place to go for the latest information about West Hartford – a town that "has it all"! We-Ha.com is part of and proud of our community, and we bring a hyperlocal focus to news and features about the people, schools, businesses, real estate, sports, restaurants, charitable events, arts, and more. Contact us at: [email protected] or [email protected]

3 Comments

  • Very nice report with some great photos.

    One comment: the phrase ” many other Bike West Hartford members shook their heads in agreement” should read “many other Bike West Hartford members NODDED their heads in agreement.” Shaking your head means no, and nodding your head means yes.

  • Great event! Forgot to mention the petition they were having the community sign to support the road diet on main. Also the new Mayor was there as well!

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