Happenings Lifestyle

Bicycles, Pedestrians, and Scooters Take Over West Hartford Center Streets

Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton
boars head festival cube
Watkinson ad 1 2017

The second annual Center Streets drew a crowd of several thousand on Sunday, Aug. 27.

By Ronni Newton

A crowd filled the streets of West Hartford Center Sunday morning, but nary a car nor truck was to be seen as the community enjoyed the second annual Center Streets event organized by Bike West Hartford and sponsored by the organization as well as at least a dozen businesses and individuals.

Scott Franklin of Bike West Hartford, who also chairs the town’s Pedestrian & Bicycle Commission, said that news of the event had spread really far through social media, and he was thrilled to see that it attracted a diverse group. “People on skateboards at age 3 and 4, and people in their 80s,” Franklin said.

There were also kids on training wheels and on scooters, babies and toddlers in all manner of carriers, and bicycles of every size and style.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Franklin said. “We’re dedicated to make it happen every year.”

Sunday’s spectacular weather – sunny skies and low humidity with temperatures starting out in the 60s and topping out in the low 70s when the event ended at 1 p.m. – made the day perfect for enjoying a rare chance to congregate in the streets of the Center.

Parking spaces in front of Hartford Baking Company were at a premium, with two-wheelers (and a few tricycles) lined up along the curb.

Center Streets also featured several bands, bicycle repair and safety instruction, and special offers by restaurants and local merchants.

One area of the Center was dedicated to fun and games, with corn hole, chalk drawing, and hula-hoops to entertain the participants.

Roads were closed to vehicles in a rectangular loop that included Farmington Avenue (from LaSalle Road to South Main Street), the southbound lanes of South Main Street to the Memorial Road extension, the Memorial Road extension to LaSalle Road, and the entire stretch of LaSalle Road up to Farmington Avenue.

John McNana from Berkshire Bank, who was with his co-worker Gerry Gaudette, said they had stopped at the electric bike kiosk and tested out a demo bike. “It was awesome. I’ve never experienced that before and I really became an instant fan. The appeal of it and I could very well purchase one soon,” he said.

The foldable bike gets a thumbs-up from Town Manager Matt Hart. Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

There were also demonstrations and a chance to test ride a foldable bike. West Hartford Town Manager Matt Hart, who had walked to the event with his daughter Sophia, gave it a thumbs-up after taking a spin through the parking lot.

Cycling Without Age also provided rides on its special rickshaw.

Laurie Silverman is a member of the organizing committee for Center Streets and also a member of the town’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Commission.

“I think it’s amazing,” Silverman said of Sunday’s Center Streets event. “I think that if you can close part of the Center down for yoga and for Ferrari’s then why not for bikes, and pedestrians, and scooters, and strollers, and other wheels – and just being in the Center and enjoying it, especially on a glorious day like this.”

The event also creates more awareness of being a safe community, and also helps people connect face-to-face, said Silverman.

Although the Town of West Hartford personnel are physically involved in closing off the streets, the event is entirely run by volunteers and is a public-private partnership with all costs paid for by sponsors, Franklin said.

Like what you see here? Click here to subscribe to We-Ha’s newsletter so you’ll always be in the know about what’s happening in West Hartford!

Laurie Venora of LIFER Fitness teaches a spin class on LaSalle Road. Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Bike West Hartford provided lessons on changing tires and other important skills. Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Cycling Without Age offered free rickshaw rides. Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Kim Lytle. Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

John McNana and Gerry Gaudette of Berkshire Bank. Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Laurie Bertini and Ezra Gelb. Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Dancing to the music of The Score. Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Det. Emanuele Birritteri and Lt. Mike Perruccio. Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

LIFER Fitness held spin class on LaSalle Road. Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Tracy Frankel demonstrates how the bike folds and can be carried. Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Town Manager Matt Hart takes the foldable bike for a spin. Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

From left: Ethan Frankel and Tracy Frankel of Bike West Hartford with Town Manager Matt Hart. Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The West Hartford Police and Lions Club held bike registration. Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Center Streets, West Hartford Center. Aug. 27, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
klaus larsen cube ad
vineyard vine 40% off cube
Geico cube david johnson 2017
ct forum journalism
Jeff Brand State Farm 2017 cube
kaoud cube

About the author

We-Ha

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]

1 Comment

Leave a Comment

Shares
boars head leaderboard
watkinson mobile ad
ethel walker mobile
kaoud leaderboard
state farm leaderboard
keating leaderboard ad
French Cleaners Mobile ad
jp carrol mobile ad