By Beth David, Editor
The Fairhaven Bikeway Committee is on a mission to get as many people as possible using bicycles. To make that practical, committee members have been working hard to get bike racks set up all around town. Last year, the committee got a SRPEDD (Southeast Regional Planning and Economic Development District) grant for 14 bike racks.
The racks were installed in public locations around town, such as the Recreation/Senior Center building, the bike path and playgrounds. The grant paid for the racks, but the committee had to pay for the $350 in shipping. Total cost was $2,865
Organizer Mat Coes said that the committee also received a little more grant money than anticipated because some towns opted out.
“I’ve found that’s one of the big reasons to have a group like ours — to jump on opportunities when they come,” he said in an email.
In addiiton to fund-raisers, the committee has held awareness and family biking events.
The latest event was on Sunday at Cap’n Barnicles Mini Golf in Fairhaven for some miniature golf, balloons, free ice cream and coloring.
The event drew people on bicycles, to Cap’n Barnicles, which is along the bike path on David Drown Boulevard, with bikers filling up the “VIP” bicycle area. Which is just what Mr. Coes was hoping for.
“I was stressing,” he said. “I didn’t know what to expect. I am completely satisfied.”
He said that “plenty of people” he knew showed up, but he was equally delighted that a “whole bunch of people” he did not know rode in, too.
The Richards family, Jennifer, Andrew, Isaac, Case and Mae, joined in the event to support the Bikeway Committee and to get a little family fun time in on a Sunday evening.
Andrew, the dad of the crew, said he bikes with the kids along the bike path. They especially like the new Shaw Trail in East Fairhaven, which goes down to the water.
“It’s amazing,” said Mr. Richards.
He said his son Isaac can make it all the way to the end in Mattapoisett and back again.
“It would be nice to see Mattapoisett extend it out,” he said.
Wood School principal Amy Hartley-Matteson was there with her whole gang, husband Jesse, and children Sam, Dylan, Sadie and Charlie. The Wood School was recognized in June by the state’s “Safe Routes to School Program” for its bike bus, which escorts students to the school along the bike path.
She said they were there to support the Bikeway Committee and biking in general.
Mr. Coes said the final result of Sunday’s fund-raiser should top $900 after some promised donations come in.
“My goal was $500,” said Mr. Coes in an email. “I call it a success!”
He said they donated the extra ice cream to the Senior Center.
“I love that it turned into a hang-out, community thing,” wrote Mr. Coes. “We advertised and hoped that lots of folks would ride their bikes —and it worked! Though the VIP bike parking wasn’t luxurious, it was full, and that’s my aim with this whole bike committee thing. More people on bikes.”
The committee’s two-pronged push in the coming months will be bike racks at businesses and the Safe Routes to School program in all the schools.
Main sponsors of the event were Charlene Conway of Cap’n Barnacle’s, and Tim Pedersen of Synergy Physical Therapy who donated the ice cream.
For more information on the Bikeway Committee, visit fairhavenbikeway.org
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