West Hartford’s 5th open streets celebration, Center Streets, is not to be missed! Once again the square block of streets in West Hartford Center will be closed to cars and open to bikes, pedestrians, roller blades, scooters. A “block party on wheels” with live music by The Score from 10 – 1. Children’s game area, sponsor tents, restaurant specials, and more. All is free!
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Bike West Hartford is proud to welcome Emily Oshinskie as our Communications and Social Media Coordinator for Summer 2021. We’re thrilled that she’s helping us improve our outreach with members who support our organization, and to expand our publicity for the Center Streets event on Sunday August 29th, 2021.
Emily was born and raised in West Hartford, and is a proud alumna of Morley, King Philip and Hall High School! She attended Elmira College and developed her skills as as educator and advocate. Emily discovered her calling in the bicycle advocacy community through BiCiCo in Hartford and now through Bike West Hartford. Emily is an avid cyclist, walker, hiker, and sometimes a rock climber. While she began biking as a youngster in West Hartford, her true passion for cycling arose while living in Tucson, Arizona, where bike paths are plentiful. One of Emily’s first bicycling memories was when she and her dad used to ride down to the UConn basketball championship parades in Hartford. She looks forward to sharing her ideas and enthusiasm about cycling while serving as the Communications Coordinator for Bike West Hartford in summer 2021!
Send a tax-deductible contribution to Bike West Hartford, Inc. to help us raise $15,000 to create a permanent memorial that recognizes MaryEllen Thibodeau’s contributions to the town she loved. Use our PayPal online form below or send a check payable to Bike West Hartford, 68 South Main St, Suite 101, West Hartford CT 06107.
MaryEllen Thibodeau was an inspiration. Organized, dedicated, tenacious. She recognized that driving everywhere was unsustainable, so she walked. She most often walked North Main Street from her home near The American School for the Deaf. Walking, riding a bike, or driving on North Main Street in West Hartford is scary, and MaryEllen wanted to do something about it. Making North Main safe became a cause and she was good at causes. Picking up and collecting debris from crashes and from truck mirrors meetings with telephone poles proved to be excellent evidence to show the dangers of the crash-plagued stretch of road. She invited Town Council members and officials to walk with her along North Main and experience what it felt and looked like when cars and trucks whizzed by a couple of feet from one’s elbow. She organized meetings and made things happen. Soon we will have a road diet which will make North Main street safer for cars, bikes, and pedestrians.
MaryEllen was involved with other causes as well. She became the first Executive Director of Bike Walk Connecticut, an advocacy organization to make biking and walking safer in CT. She was the chairperson of the West Hartford Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee. She volunteered for Foot Wear with Care which provides new footwear for the homeless. MaryEllen also organized a Call To Action Group to take up causes that were important to her. She demonstrated powerfully that one person can make a difference.
Unfortunately MaryEllen is not getting a chance to see North Main Street become a safer street for all users as we lost her to cancer in November 2020. Bike West Hartford, Inc, a 501(c)(3), with help from The American School For The Deaf, and friends of MaryEllen, are planning a permanent memorial to MaryEllen adjacent to North Main Street on the ASD property. The memorial will feature a curved bench and memorial plaque set in a plaza of pavers with a backdrop of perennials.
To recognize the sad cancellation of Center Streets 2020 and provide a bicycling activity for all of those who have loved Center Streets the past 4 years, we are offering Center Streets Slow Roll!
Ride or bring your bikes to the West Hartford Town Hall parking lot by the flag pole and join us for a Slow Roll bike ride. Fun for all ages, this will be a slow ride around local streets from 10: 00 a.m. until we are ready to stop slow rolling. Streets are NOT closed to cars but we expect enough people on bikes to make cars take notice and wait for us to go by. This event should be safe for all ages. Masks and helmets are required. Safe distances between riders should be observed. We hope to have hundreds of bicyclists taking over the 2 1/2 mile mostly flat route around West Hartford. Explore the interactive route map. Slow rolls are taking place in many cities around the world. A critical mass of bikes kind of rules the road for a short time. Spread the word and join us! Questions: email – email@example.com
This is what Center Streets 2020 would have looked like. Covid-19 made Center Streets, like so many other great events in 2020, impossible.
Center Streets 2020, Bike West Hartford’s 5th annual open streets event, is tentatively scheduled for Sunday August 30th from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. in West Hartford Center.
With Covid-19 restrictions currently in place we are uncertain of where we will be at the end of August but we are hopeful that Center Streets will take place and bring many people to the streets of West Hartford Center to bike, walk, and roll through the car free Center.
Ultimately our 5th annual Center Streets was canceled but we will have Center Streets Slow Roll around West Hartford on the same day to recognize the demand for fresh air activities which allow for safe gathering.
Night Fall is a magical, free, outdoor community performance celebrating seasonal change through art, music, dance, and Anne Cubberly’s legendary giant puppets. If you’d like to ride to this fun event, join Bike West Hartford for a ride-in:
When: Sat. Oct. 5, 4:15 PM
Where: 50 South Main Street, West Hartford Center. Meet on the back side, opposite of Main Street
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Bike West Hartford, Inc. will be leading three family bicycle tours on the signed Neighborhood Bike Routes in town this Sunday, June 2 in recognition of Celebrate West Hartford.
The first tour will be the Green Route and we will meet at the Hall High School Hyde Road parking lot and leave promptly at 8 AM.
The second tour will be the Blue Route and we will meet at the Beachland Park parking lot and leave promptly at 9:30 AM.
The third tour will be the Orange Route and we will meet at the Fernridge Park parking lot and leave promptly at 11:00 AM. After this ride, we will encourage this group to head straight from Fern Park to Celebrate West Hartford, since the festival opens at noon, and park at the bike corral on Burr Street.
Each route should take approximately an hour.
All participants must wear bike helmets and should bring a water bottle. Tires should be pumped up with air before arriving at the starting point.
Add Center Streets 2019 to your calendars! Sunday August 25th
9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Bike West Hartford, Inc. presents the 4th annual “block party on wheels” known as Center Streets! A square block of streets in West Hartford Center will once again be closed to cars and open to bikes, pedestrians, scooters, etc. Enjoy music by The Score and Righteous Continental. Free fun for all ages. Restaurant specials and samples, spinning classes by Lifer Fitness. Dust off your bikes and head to the Center. Don’t miss the best end of summer event.