February 1, 2023

Shoreline Bike and Pedestrian Coalition Holds Inaugural Meeting

Representatives from more than a dozen local bicycle and pedestrian advocacy groups and regional planning representatives, met in Old Saybrook on Tuesday 15 March in a first-ever attempt to bring multiple stakeholders together in a single room to discuss the topic of shoreline regional planning for non-motorized travel.

Kathy Connolly, leader of new Shoreline Bike/Pedestrian Coalition

The new group, called the Shoreline Bike and Pedestrian Coalition, is lead by Kathy Connolly who was the previous chair of the Old Saybrook Bikeways Committee.  The new coalition’s objective will be to develop a high level, regional vision and strategies for bicycle and pedestrian resources over the next 5-10 years.  “We want to see what it would take to develop end-to-end connectivity across the eastern Connecticut shoreline without a car,” said Connolly.

The meeting was attended by cycling advocacy group representatives from most shoreline towns between the Rhode Island line and New Haven, including Stonington, Mystic, Groton, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, Westbrook, Clinton, Madison, Branford and East Haven, and Haddam from the CT River Valley.  Also attending were Jim Butler from the South Eastern Regional Council of Governments, Jean Davis from CREPA, Meg Parulis, Town Planner from Westbrook and Katherine Rattan, CT DOT Non-motorized Transportation Coordinator.

The coalition is being formed in the hope that having a regional forum in which bike and pedestrian plans from individual towns can be shared and coordinated will increase the liklihood of securing support and funding.

Some of the early initiatives the group hopes to address will include developing an inventory of on-the-road assets and challenges that currently exist in the region, looking at interconnectivity with trains and buses, and participating in the national bike/pedestrian count days in September.

Anyone interested in getting more information about the coalition should contact Kathy Connolly at kathy.connolly@snet.net.