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Report Card Due Today: Ranks CT Towns for Biking, Walking

PHOTO: A first-of-its-kind report card is being issued that ranking Connecticut towns & cities for the experience they provide to bikers and walkers. Photo courtesy of Mike Amsden/ City of Chicago and the League of American Bicyclists.
PHOTO: A first-of-its-kind report card is being issued that ranking Connecticut towns & cities for the experience they provide to bikers and walkers. Photo courtesy of Mike Amsden/ City of Chicago and the League of American Bicyclists.
June 30, 2014

HARTFORD, Conn. - Connecticut residents will be able to learn Monday how safe their municipality is for biking and walking.

Kelly Kennedy, executive director of Bike Walk Connecticut, said she'll make the report card public on Monday, after meeting with city and town leaders at Middlesex Community College.

"Both municipal leadership and public opinion figures into the town score," said Kennedy. "Then, we're going to be ranking them."

According to Kennedy, some plans for improvement simply sit on the shelf. That led her group to pair public opinion with an accounting of actual steps taken by towns and cities, to figure out which offer the best places to bike and to walk.

Kennedy said they relied on safety and access experts for the survey questions.

Regular report cards will be issued in the future, said Kennedy.

"We're gathering metrics so that we can chart progress over the next five years," explained Kennedy. "We expect to see more towns developing and implementing 'bike-ped' plans, engaging the public, and moving forward in that way."

Although specific scores won't be released until later Monday, Kennedy revealed one major finding from the report card, pertaining to bike destinations.

"It's a pain to find a safe, convenient place to lock up your bike," Kennedy said. "That led the list of complaints overall, which was a surprise to me."

Kennedy added the survey is a first for Connecticut, and may be the first time such a comprehensive report card for cyclist and pedestrian safety has been issued for any state.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - CT