CONCORD — Representatives from local rail-trail groups attending the first-ever New Hampshire Bike-Walk Summit in Concord identified some key areas for strengthening statewide bike-walk efforts.
Participants from across New Hampshire included representatives from the Winnipesaukee River Trail, Newfound Pathways, Northern Rail Trail, Central New Hampshire Bicycling Coalition, Bike Durham, Bike Manchester, Bike-Walk Alliance of New Hampshire, Cheshire Rail Trail, Goffstown Rail Trail, Granite State Wheelmen, New Hampshire Rail Trails Coalition, Pathways for Keene, Salem Bike-Ped Corridor, Merrimack River Greenway Trail, and Seacoast Area Bicycle Riders.
The summit featured speakers from Vermont's statewide program, Local Motion, and the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, offering their insights on the evolution bike-and-walking trails and the ongoing challenges.
Group discussion focused on expanding and connecting trail systems, and success in education and advocacy efforts, including laws to better protect cyclists and pedestrians.
Next steps identified by the participants include:
• improving safety on key roadways at the state and local level through involvement with state and community transportation planning organizations, identifying “hot spots” for investment for commuters, recreational users, and visitors;
• education for bicyclists, motorists and local and state officials on Complete Streets policies and other measures to better road design for all users;
• strengthening relationships with the tourism industry to promote bike-walk opportunities for New Hampshire residents and visitors;
• defining how a statewide bike-walk organization can serve as a hub to local clubs and organizations by providing services and communications and coordinating efforts like legislative outreach, statewide priorities, and special events.