GROUP LETTER: Please Fund Bike Study in FY 2022 Town Budget

Letter submitted by (*see list of names below)

Building on the Town’s desire to create a healthier community that is a draw for new young families moving to Greenwich, we believe the Conservation Commission’s proposed East-West Bike Route Study should be included in the FY 2022 Town Budget. If implemented, the bike route would provide a low-cost, healthy transportation alternative and much needed outdoor recreation for the entire community.

Overflowing bike racks at Greenwich High School. GHS Compass yearbook 1975.

The BET is currently reviewing the proposed Town budget. Unfortunately, the $100,000 request for the East-West Bike Route Study developed by the Conservation Department was not included. The Transportation and Air Quality Subcommittee of the Sustainability Committee intends to raise half the cost of the study from private donations, which would reduce the Town’s financial contribution to only $50,000. Pledges have already been made. Additionally, there are federal and state grants available for municipalities supporting alternative transportation.

Neighboring towns from Stamford to Norwalk have already benefited from them. We can too. But we cannot begin to expand any biking infrastructure unless we have the bike route study completed.

This small expenditure is a smart investment with big returns. The study will build the foundation for a future network of bike lanes. Once installed, cyclists and walkers will benefit from safer roads, cleaner air, less noise and decreased demand for parking infrastructure. Imagine your second car being replaced by a bike for short distance destinations. This choice can save thousands of dollars a year for households. The BOE has already reduced three school buses from its budget, and more school bus savings could be achieved if students have a safe option to bike to school.

National sales of adult bikes ballooned by 121% in March 2020 compared to March 2019 (Bicycling Retailer and Industry News) and would have been even higher if not for limited supply. The fast-growing presence of bicycles on our roads has created dangerous conditions. Use of bikes in Greenwich is limited to paved roads in public parks and prohibited on sidewalks. This forces cyclists onto narrow busy roads, resulting in tragic accidents and Town liability.

According to UConn’s Crash Data Repository, last year, despite dramatically decreased traffic on the roads in Greenwich due to COVID, nevertheless saw an 11% increase in accidents involving bikes.

COVID challenged all of us to find ways to stay physically and mentally fit while social distancing. Many turned to bicycle riding. Bike riding is an affordable and accessible activity open to all members of the community. Electric bikes offer these benefits to the elderly and physically challenged. Cycling generates zero emissions, decreases traffic, and reduces the
demand for parking spaces. A single car-sized parking place can store a dozen bicycles. The creation of a new bike lane network, supported by grant funding, would revitalize our streets with modern and attractive bike racks incorporated in the local streetscape and greenery. Increased micro-mobility will boost sales at local stores and support our local economy.

The East West Bike Plan Study will help make Greenwich a more desirable community. We urge the Town to include this small amount in the annual budget. It will be well worth it.

Jordan Alper
Ellie Aronowsky
Ben Balsley
Nikki Barratt
Stephanie Barret
Matt Basinet
George Belshaw
Olivia Borsey
Ella Brahmst
Jack Brogan
Dean Brown
Steve Brown
Ella Brown
Bobby Burton
Brady Calhoun
Chloe Caliboso
Michael Capek
Ainsley Carella
Dan Castrigano
Annika Cezzar
Hilary Childs
Aissa Clarke
Ashley Cole
Flynn Corson
Ruby Cosgrove
Belle Cowell
Matt Dandola
Allegra DaPuzzo
Philip Dartnell
Ella Davis
Bob and Jan DeAngelo
Jonathan DellaCamera
Charlotte Dell’Olio
Elizabeth, Burke and Walker Dempsey
Julie DesChamps
Sarah DesChamps
Laura di Bonaventura
Vin DiMarco
Jen Donnalley
Connor Dougherty
Savvy Dreas
Max Dubner
MiKayla DuPree
Cooper Edwards
Heather Ewing
Demitrius Farias
Rima Ferrer
Will Feurtado
Ev Fitts
Kat Forstman
Jodie Frechete
El Gagnon
Candace Garthwaite
Warner Gearhart
Bailey Gendason
Gabriella Gianatasio
Ali Ghiorse
Josefina Gil Zalis
Asher Goldstein
Campbell Greene
Santiago Hahn
Heidi Halsted
Elizabeth Handler
Tony Hasapis
Tim Helstein
Ceanna Hidalgo
Sol Hochman
Owen Hoffman
J.R. Howe
Shannon Hubertus
Yash Jain
Charlie Jenkins
Dylan Joseph
Danna Justiano
Scott Kalb
Jolie Karen
Miles Keating
Betsy Keller
Charlie Kenny
Rachel Khanna
Ava Kilmurray
Sabrina Knoll
Myra Klockenbrink
Lucy Landzberg
Edward Lansing
Luke Laubscher
Colin Lee
Austin Lehn
Steph Lehn
Mal Lentini
Andrew Lewis
Will Long
Anna Lonski
Simrin Madia
Christian Madon
Jayne Mangan
Heidi and Chris Matonis
Violet McCann
Julia McKee
Janet McMahon
Bella Medina
Stella Melucci
Kate Mini, MD
Eli Murphy
Jake Murphy
Rachel Newman
Denisa Neza
Evie Offit
Barbara O’Neill
Logan O’Neill
Ethan Parsons
Steve Paul
Andy Pauley
Nerlyn Pierson
Susan Polos
Emma Pratt
Maddox Reisner
Carolina Dewez and Luis Reyna
Jesse Ripka
Kate Rosenberg
Zach Rosenberg
Thayer Ross
Jackie Ryckman
Jonah Saidi
Elizabeth Mills Sanders
Alexandra Schwartz
Megan Shapiro
Kyle Short
Celine Silvera
Avery Sleeper
Ellie Stark
Daniel St Louis
Chris Takita
Evan Tello
Calder Truesdale
Reese Velishka
Lily Vincent
Zach Vitanza
Lucy von Brachel
Caleigh Wallack
Lauren Waller
Rob Waller
Svetlana Wasserman
Tucker Winham
Chris Winters
Robert Yalda
Alex Zaken
Doyle Zisson
Carmelia Zuniga