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How Bikeable Is Hampshire County?

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

King Street/Route 10 in Northampton, Triangle Street near the UMass campus in Amherst, and the intersection of Routes 9 and 202 are all in need of infrastructural development in order to make Hampshire County even more bikeable than it currently is, says a new report by the organization MassBike.

The report is the result of MassBike’s “Bikeability Assessment,” which was conducted last fall in partnership with the three towns at the request of Healthy Hampshire, a government grant-funded service of the Hampshire Council of Governments that aims to “bridge the gap between the promotion of wellness as a concept and the on-the-ground reality of providing residents access to resources that encourage exercise and healthy eating,” says Council executive director Todd Ford.

“Overall, communities in Hampshire County are leaders in the state when it comes to bike-friendly infrastructure,” the Bikeability Assessment reads. “However, the process of retrofitting our streets to encourage bicycling is still in its infancy, even in our most advanced communities. This report should further the conversation on prioritizing areas for improvement.”

Regardless of MassBike’s assessment, however, April will provide more challenging riding as various sections of the popular Norwottuck Bike Trail will be closed for storm water drainage maintenance.

According to a press release from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), the state office charged with operating the trail, work will be done on various sections in Amherst and Hadley between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. from April 8 though April 22.

Read the full report at http://massbike.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Hampshire-County-Bikeability-Assessment_FINAL.pdf.

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