I found this graphic in the JUL 2012 issue of Bicycling Magazine and really liked how it spelled out the basics of a Bicycle Friendly Community very simply. Of the 14 things illustrated here, perhaps the most important for Plainville might be (PLEASE NOTE: We already have bike racks on buses):
- Cyclist friendly cafes (Bolo, Dairy Queen, Central Cafe, J. Timothy's, Starbucks, Saint's, Pagliacci's, Cottage Restaurant, to name a few)
- Bicycle parking at as many destinations in town as possible (retailers like Gnazzo's, Big Y, and Walgreens; medical and dental offices; corporate employers like GE, Carlingswitch, Wheeler Clinic, among others).
- Bike boxes at certain major intersections like Routes 10 and 372, Whiting/West Main/East Main Streets, East St. and Woodford Ave., New Britain Ave and Cooke St.
- "Bicycle Trains" to Wheeler, Toffolon and Linden St. Elementary Schools (with appropriate bicycle racks for storage).
- Bike share program like Simsbury Free Bike, where one can borrow a bike (leaving a small deposit) for use in riding around the center for shopping, or to Norton Park for exercise, or to visit a shut-in at Apple Rehab up on Farmington Ave.
- Closed-street cycling events - perhaps a summer Sunday afternoon when Broad St. between South Washington and Whiting, becomes a "bike boulevard", complete with bike repair/fit station, refreshment stand(s), some musical groups.
So, why is this important? Once the trail is completed through Town, local cyclists (everyday folks like you and me, not just the "hard core", spandex-clad riders we see most frequently on the roads) will be able to get onto the trail and ride it north or south as far as we'd like, discovering a whole new cycling world beyond Plainville. Just as important, out-of-town cyclists can venture off the trail here in town and find a community that welcomes them to safe, mostly level roads with places to visit while they are here.