Bike-Walk Committee

Mariann Millard Chair Term Expires: 2020
Melissa O'Brien Vice Chair Term Expires: 2020
Nancy Bozek Member Term Expires: 2020
Larry Dubois Member Term Expires: 2020
Lucia Foley Member Term Expires: 2020
Marilyn Gass Member Term Expires: 2020
Margaret Jodoin Member Term Expires: 2020



 




The South Hadley Bike/Walk Committee was first formed as a working group of the Sustainability and Energy Commission. In September 2015, the Committee was formally appointed as an advisory group to the Selectboard. Members are appointed annually. Our goals include the development of bike/walk routes throughout our community and a safe connection between the Center and the Falls. We work with the Selectboard, Conservation Commission and other local groups, and connect with similar groups in our area and across the state. The Committee is working to support implementation of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission’s bike/walk master plan for South Hadley. 

While we normally meet at 7:00pm on the third Wednesday of the month at the South Hadley Public Library, the Bike/Walk Committee has suspended in-person meetings as of  March, 2020 in response to state and local COVID-19 guidance. 

To reach the Bike/Walk Committee or to be added to our email distribution list to stay updated on Bike/Walk events, Treks, and news, please email bikewalksouthhadley@gmail.com. For more on biking in Massachusetts, visit: MassBike Pioneer Valley and Mass Bike.

BWC is Seeking a New Committee Member

Want to be part of a fun, cohesive and productive group passionate about walking and biking in Town? Want to make a difference for current and future residents in their quality of life? Come join us as a volunteer committee member!  

As a Town-appointed advisory committee to the Selectboard, we meet on the third Wednesday of the month at 7 PM at the Main Library. Our meetings are never boring in our quest to improve and/or enhance walking and biking initiatives, and we partner often with other committees, commissions, groups and Town Hall. BWC committee members need to be residents of South Hadley. Questions? Please email bikewalksouthhadley@gmail.com

An online application and information on other volunteer committee positions in South Hadley is available elsewhere on the Town website.

Update on South Hadley hiking trails

As of May 8, 2020, Town recreational trails (which were closed on April 1) may be utilized by residents in accordance with State of Emergency orders and posted safety precautions, which include social distancing, face coverings, and following directional arrows when present to reduce face-to-face contact. If there are more than five cars parked in a lot or in the general area, residents are asked to wait or return later. Details about Town trail use can be found at: Advisory-May-8-2020

South Hadley parks, playgrounds and playscapes, playing fields, as well as Town offices and buildings remain closed in accordance with state emergency orders and guidance on COVID-19. Pavilion reservations for Buttery Brook are currently on hold. The Compost Area and Transfer Station expects to resume operation on June 2, 2020.

The public is encouraged to stay home. If it absolutely necessary to go out in public, please maintain social distancing. For local COVID-19 updates, visit: www.southhadley.org/covid19

Mount Holyoke Campus Remains Closed to the Public

Mount Holyoke campus buildings and grounds closures, including trails, have been extended through at least June 15, 2020. The campus was closed to the public on April 1 in alignment with the Town of South Hadley’s decision to close its recreational areas. Campus buildings and grounds are open only to Mount Holyoke students residing on campus and faculty and staff with essential on-campus work. All athletic facilities are closed. Members of the Mount Holyoke community should carry their College-issued identification cards ("One Card") at all times. If someone is not a member of the MHC community and is on the campus, they will be asked to comply by immediately leaving the property. For more information, please visit the College’s COVID-19 FAQ page.

BWC Treks are currently on hold

Our Treks are currently canceled in response to state guidance on COVID-19 and social distancing.  

For the past few years the Bike/Walk Committee (BWC) has offered free, public, guided Treks from September to May to explore local conservation lands and other resources. Treks have normally been scheduled on Sundays at 1:00 pm with participants gathering at 12:45 pm and new Trekkers are always welcomed. We do not schedule Treks in June, July, and August, and all events are subject to change or cancellation due to weather. 

Recent Treks

Trek maps to download

Visit the Conservation Lands section of the website for more trail maps of South Hadley Conservation Lands. 

To receive notices with details about Treks, email bikewalksouthhadley@gmail.com.  


News and Notes

Ledges Golf Course open for limited golf use as of May 8, 2020.

While the grounds are now open for golf, the course and surrounding area remains closed for passive recreation on its paths, including dog-walking, hiking, and biking.  

COVID-19 Trail Etiquette

If you’re out on our trails in town, please make sure you automatically give everyone you may meet a wide berth (at least 6 feet apart) to maintain safe social distancing and be prepared to put on your mask if you will be passing other hikers. Please don’t group or congregate at any time in any place, even with folks you socially know. Distance is key! If you see anything untoward on the trails, e.g. vandalism, obvious motorized use (including what appears to be constructed ramps and/or oddly placed structures), garbage or other debris, fallen trees across paths, etc., please send us a note to report the concern at, email bikewalksouthhadley@gmail.com.  Thank you!

UMass-Amherst Tick Report Service 

The University of Massachusetts College of Natural Sciences offers a Tick Report lab service for identification and testing for pathogens. For details, visit: https://www.tickreport.com

Routes 202/33 Corridor Study: Survey and Online Meeting

The Town is seeking input from residents through in connection with development of a vision for the Route 202/33. Residents may fill out a survey through June 2, 2020 and/or join an online meeting about the project on June 9, 2020 at 6:00pm (Pre-registration is required-register here). Take the survey here. Click here for a PDF of the Route 202/33 Corridor Study presentation.

2020 ValleyBike Season Launch Postponed

March 27, 2020: The safety and health of the ValleyBike Share community is a priority of the ValleyBike Share Team. With rising questions in light of the COVID-19 outbreak and after discussions with the participating Pioneer Valley communities, it was decided to postpone the April 1st season launch to a later date. We are hoping for a Spring reopening (with the new station near PeoplesBank in the Woodlawn neighborhood) but will re-examine this decision as we monitor the evolving situation.

By following recommendations in order to help prevent the spread of the virus, we wish to restate our commitment to keep ValleyBikers and the operations team members healthy. Stay safe and please follow the recommended protective measures for yourself and your loved ones. We’re looking forward seeing you back on the bikes later this summer. Stay in touch at www.valleybike.org or on the ValleyBike Facebook page.

South Hadley Volunteer Conservation Corps 

Many kudos and a big thank-you to Conservation Administrator/Planner Anne Capra and her recently formed Volunteer Conservation Corps. The Volunteer Conservation Corps is comprised of residents who volunteer their time to assist with improving, enhancing and maintaining our trails in town, mostly on town-owned Conservation Area Lands. Please consider volunteering to keep the Conservation Corps a robust group! All are welcome.

Staff writer Dalton Zbierski of the Town Reminder recently reported on the South Hadley Conservation Corps and partnerships among Town stakeholders:
8/16/2019--Pg 2: Land stewardship grows through interdepartmental efforts

Email acapra@southhadleyma.gov with your name/contact information to be apprised of ongoing opportunities. Any task you can do and any time you can give are valuable.

Doo your Duty!

Help prevent water pollution and health risks caused by pet waste by taking the Pick Up Poop (PUP) Pledge today, an initiative of Connecticut River Stormwater Committee. For details, visit: thinkblueconnecticutriver.org/pet-waste-management

New Hands-Free Law Now in Effect

Beginning Sunday, February 23, 2020 drivers in Massachusetts cannot use an electronic device unless it is being used in hands-free mode. The intent of the Hands-Free Law is to help keep the public, including pedestrians and bikers, safe from distracted drivers. Punishment for violating the new law includes a $100 fine for a first violation, a $250 fine for a second offense, and a $500 fine for a third or subsequent offense. Additional requirements for completion of an educational program apply to second and subsequent offenses; third or subsequent offenses are surchargeable incidents. Additional details about the law are available on the South Hadley website and at: www.mass.gov/service-details/hands-free-law.

Leaping Well Nature Trail 

In January of 2018, Town Meeting voted to move forward on the BWC proposal to create a small neighborhood trail system on the former Toth property owned by the Town. The Trail name is taken from the Leaping Well Brook on the property. 

Staff writer Dalton Zbierski recently reported on the Trail in the Town Reminder:
8/2/2019--Pg 1: Residents Maintain Leaping Well Nature Trail

Work on the trail started last fall and has continued through the spring and summer, with mulch and wood chips added to improve the trail’s surface and experience of using it. Anne Capra, Conservation Administrator/Planner received technical assistance from a wildlife biologist at MassDFW to develop a habitat management plan for the property to use as the foundation for stewardship of the property. A temporary kiosk sign was put in place in the spring in advance of a permanent sign due later in the summer. The public entrance and a small, crescent-shaped parking lot are located on Mosier Street.

We are grateful for all the volunteers who have worked with at the Leaping Well Nature Trail in recent months, including the Brownie and Junior Girl Scout Troop 40398 led by Michelle Wolfe and Laurie and Brian Dimock.

Previous news on the Leaping Well Nature Trail:
WWLP-22News: New pedestrian trail coming to South Hadley (video) 10/23/18

River-to-Range Trail

Located off Ferry Street, the River-to-Range Trail is a one-mile, ADA-accessible path that is part of the Bachelor Brook-Stony Brook Conservation Area. The loop and associated trailhead parking lot are adjacent to the Mount Holyoke College’s boathouse at 240 Ferry Street, South Hadley. The trail loops around the outer edges of a hayfield with seasonal views of the Connecticut River, then through a forested section overlooking the floodplain of Bachelor Brook. The trail is open to non-motorized use and designed to accommodate mobility for impaired people and features a compacted crushed aggregate surface for easy walking. Four sitting areas with informational signage are spaced throughout the route. The loop represents the first phase of a three-phase scenic trail project, for which grants and other matching funds have already been secured.

For more information, email Anne Capra, Conservation Administrator/Planner or call (413) 538-5017 x208.

New Valley Flyer Train Service along the Knowledge Corridor

Amtrak and MassDOT launched a new state-supported pilot program on August 30, 2019 offering 7-day a week passenger service between Greenfield and New Haven with scheduled connections to NYC. In the Valley, station stops include Springfield, Holyoke, Northampton, and Greenfield. For service adjustments due to COVID-19 and other information, visit: www.amtrak.com/valley-flyer-train

More information about the Valley Flyer, the Hartford Line, East-West rail status, and other Pioneer Valley rail news can be found at: TrainsInTheValley.org

Route 116/Newton Street Reconstruction and Resurfacing

Planned work on Newton Street in the area between Route 202 and the Kendrick Street intersection will bring new sidewalks and crosswalks, and ADA compliant ramps. An on-road buffered bicycle lane is also planned along the majority of the corridor, which is home to South Hadley High School and the Woodlawn neighborhood, where construction will begin soon on the new South Hadley Senior Center. More: Additional Project Details

Bike/Walk Committee at Middle School Health Fair 

Grade 8 students from Michael E. Smith Middle School organized a Health Fair on May 30 featuring student exhibits, local officials, and others involved with various aspects of health in the community. A display by Grade 8 student Esther Ngure, who helped coordinate the event, showcased the work of Bike-Walk Committee, and some BWC members were on hand to talk with students and see their handiwork. More: www.townreminder.turley.com/tr-archives/tr06.07.19.pdf

South Hadley Social Strollers 

The Social Strollers walking group program at the Senior Center offers experienced leaders to guide participants through the neighborhoods surrounding the center and beyond. Participants in the free program have walked twice a week, with a goal of increasing a walk time a bit during each session. Former Bike-Walk Committee member Huguette Supinski is a primary volunteer leader for the program. For more information, call the South Hadley Senior Center at (413) 538-5042. 

South Hadley Complete Streets Prioritization Plan

The South Hadley Complete Streets initiative, which is supported by the BWC, involves sidewalks, bike lanes, traffic calming, crosswalks, pedestrian signals, bus stop improvements and other related projects. The Prioritization Plan and Final Project List are available as PDF documents:

Pioneer Valley Planning Commission’s
South Hadley Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan

The South Hadley Comprehensive Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan is complete. The report charts a plan for short-and-long-term improvements to South Hadley’s hiking, biking and walking networks. It is the culmination of several years of work including extensive analysis of South Hadley’s transportation networks, public outreach, and work with a dedicated committee of Town Staff and volunteers.

Bike-Walk Committee Photo Gallery

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