Government Lifestyle

West Hartford Launches Survey on Bike Facility Plan

A bike facilities plan is part of West Hartford's Complete Streets policy. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

A survey is looking for input from the community regarding the topic: ‘How should West Hartford’s streets be used?’

By Ronni Newton

The Town of West Hartford is in the process of updating its Bicycle Facilities Plan, and a survey has been launched to obtain the public’s input about which streets should be prioritized for the creation of or improvement of bicycle facilities.

The survey – which takes roughly 10 minutes to complete – includes 22 questions. It’s intended not only to obtain the opinions of avid bicyclists but also the for all users of West Hartford’s roadways.

Those completing the survey are asked some basic demographic information, and about their bicycle riding habits and whether or not they have a driver’s license and either own or have access to a car. The survey asks about comfort bicycling in various conditions such as on roadways or off-road, and how often they bicycle on the road, or on paths such as Trout Brook Trail.

Segment of Trout Brook Trail. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The survey also looks to determine why people in the community ride bicycles – for fitness, commuting, doing errands, or other reasons – and how far they will generally ride.

Screenshot from Town of West Hartford Bicycle Facilities Network Survey

Questions about feeling safe while bicycling are also part of the survey, with questions about what would keep you from bicycling (such as speeding cars, too much traffic, difficulty navigating intersections), problems encountered while riding, and about roadways that should be prioritized for bike lanes and what types of lanes are preferred.

Screenshot from Town of West Hartford Bicycle Facilities Network Survey

In addition, the survey asks participants to rank various commercial areas throughout town as a priority for bicycle facilities, and to rank specific east-west and north-south routes in order of priority. It also asks those completing the survey to estimate the the percentage of streets in town that they think should have bicycle facilities.

Screenshot from Town of West Hartford Bicycle Facilities Network Survey

Finally, there is a question about what those who bicycle should do to be safer – like wearing reflective gear or helmets, using hand signals, and riding single file. There’s also a space to provide additional comments, and to share an email address in order to receive updates.

According to the town, the survey will be used to “provide guidance on the selection of appropriate facility types for different conditions and will provide bicycle facility design guidance that is consistent with State and Federal standards.”

West Hartford’s current Bicycle Facilities Plan was adopted by the Town Council in 2016, and was created in coordination with the 2007 Master Bike Plan, 2009 Plan of Conservation and Development, and 2015 Complete Streets Resolution.

Updates to the current plan will also be intended to align with several initiatives that are underway, including Vision Zero and the West Hartford Center Infrastructure Master Plan.

On the “Bicycling” web page on the town’s website, it’s noted that West Hartford is one of 506 communities in the U.S. to qualify as a Bronze Bicycle Friendly Community.

To participate in the survey and share your thoughts, click the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/whbike

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