Bike-Walk Committee

Bike/Walk South Hadley logo
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. 

The Bike/Walk Committee normally meets at 7:00pm on the third Wednesday of the month at the South Hadley Public Library. The public is invited to attend these meetings. 

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.

Join us for a Trek!

The Bike/Walk Committee (BWC) offers free, guided Treks from September to May and the public is invited to join us to explore local conservation lands and other resources. Treks are scheduled on Sundays at 1:00 pm and participants gather at 12:45 pm. New Trekkers are always welcome! No Treks are scheduled in June, July, and August. Schedule is subject to change and events may be canceled due to weather. 

For information or to receive notices about upcoming Treks, please email bikewalksouthhadley@gmail.com


UPCOMING TREKS

Sunday, FEBRUARY 23, 2020 at 1:00pm
Guided Trek on the Ledges Golf Club Paths  

  • The South Hadley Bike-Walk Committee (BWC) invites the public on a guided walking Trek to meander the golf cart/walking paths and explore the grounds of the Town’s Ledges Golf Course. The winter season affords an opportunity for safe, non-vehicular passive recreation at the closed Club, while including being mindful of the various tees, fairways and greens to protect them during their winter sleep while walking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.   
  • Meet at 12:45pm in the parking lot at the Ledges Golf Club, 18 Mulligan Drive, South Hadley. Wear weather-appropriate clothing and safe footwear, and bring water. If there’s deep snow covering the course and paths, participants are welcome to wear snowshoes and use optional, but recommended walking poles. The Trek is intended as a fun winter stroll on selected paths that are relatively flat with a few minor-moderate ascents and descents. Total Trek time is approximately 60 minutes.
  • Post-trek, please join BWC members for light refreshments and socializing. Non-enjoyable or hazardous inclement weather/conditions will force a cancellation; if canceled, a Community News Alert will be posted on the South Hadley Town website and the event will be rescheduled for a future date.
  • Note: This Trek was originally scheduled for January 19, but was postponed due to weather concerns. 
  • Ledges Golf Course Paths Map (PDF)
  • Ledges Trek Flyer (PDF)


Additional Treks for 2020 will be posted as information is available. Recent Treks have included:

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 upcoming Treks, email bikewalksouthhadley@gmail.com.  


News and Notes

New Hands-Free Law Takes Effect Feb. 23rd

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.

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

New ValleyBike station opens near Woodlawn Plaza

ValleyBike is continuing to grow in South Hadley! The newest bike station opened recently at 494 Newton Street, outside PeoplesBank, across from Woodlawn Plaza. The new, which is on Route 116 just north of the lights at Route 33, is fully stocked with bikes ready to rent.

ValleyBike Share sets you free to explore Pioneer Valley (Amherst, UMass campus, Holyoke, Northampton, South Hadley and Springfield) on two wheels . These communities, along with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, have contracted a collaboration and partnership with Bewegen Technologies and Corps Logistics to bring bike share to our region. To meet Pioneer Valley’s unique challenges, ValleyBike Share is designed to promote short bike trips within core communities, where clusters of large employers, colleges, shopping, tourist destinations and residents can readily be connected. Learn more 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.

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, trains will make station stops in Springfield, Holyoke, Northampton, and Greenfield. The service, which is designed to allow riders to travel south to NYC in the morning and return by train in the evening, will be provided until fall 2021 on a pilot basis. If annual ridership goals are met, the service will continue and could be expanded. The Holyoke train stop at 74 Main Street in Holyoke is a short bike ride from South Hadley; the R29 Holyoke/Amherst Route 116 bus stops across the street; free parking and cab services are also available.

Tickets are now available and can be found on Amtrak.com, the Amtrak app, Amtrak ticket desks and kiosks, and through 1-800-USA-RAIL. A 25% discounoff the Amtrak ’Value’ or ’Flexible’ fare is available when traveling on the Valley Flyer until October 31, 2019. To use the discount, enter Promo Code v459 when booking a your ticket. 

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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