Bike New Britain
Many people around New Britain have been wondering, “What’s the deal with the bike lanes and bike symbols in the city’s roads”? The bike lanes are part of the City’s BIKE NEW BRITAIN Initiative that has a goal of making New Britain a bike friendly community. This involves establishing safe bike routes between all the City’s parks, schools, CCSU, and also the CTFastrak bus line. The plan for BIKE NEW BRITAIN was developed through a joint effort between the City and local bike advocates. This initiative has many benefits from slowing traffic in the city’s streets to providing safer bicycling routes for children to the City’s schools.
Similar initiatives are happening in cities large and small across the country, and most cities known for having a high quality of life nationwide coincidently are bicycle friendly communities. Besides the quality of life, health, and environmental benefits, bike friendly communities also realize economic benefits related to these efforts. Worldwide investments in bicycle infrastructure have been shown to help raise property values, support business growth, and bike infrastructure has been proven to be a major selling point for people thinking about moving to a city.
A recent report released by New York City’s Transportation Department found that businesses that are located near bicycle infrastructure often experience a significant increase in customers. “These projects are not just about the quality of life or aesthetics,” Janette Sadik-Khan, the city’s transportation commissioner, said in a phone interview. “In case after case, these projects really do set the table for economic development.”
Bicycling for transportation can also help a person significantly cut their annual cost of living. This is because purchasing a bicycle only requires a relatively small initial investment, bicycles don’t require fuel, and bicycles are not subject to taxes like car annual taxes. When you pair bicycling with mass transit like the CT Transit’s Bus Service and the CTFastrak Bus Rapid Transit line you have a safe, low cost, and efficient way to travel locally.
Besides these other benefits, bicycling is just plain fun, and is a healthy activity for an entire family. A 2013 United Nations Global “World Happiness Report” found that the nations around the globe that are the happiest are also the most bike friendly. BIKE NEW BRITAIN’S Advocacy Group is involved in many efforts including hosting events, educational programs, establishing a free bike share program, and partnering with other organizations for bike donation and recycling programs for underprivileged children.