This Friday, Elm City Cycling’s monthly free breakfast event will unite sustainable transportation with sustainable power. The breakfast, which last month brought out a record one hundred cyclists, will be sponsored by Phoenix Press, New Haven’s home-grown print shop powered by its own wind turbine to provide clean, renewable energy for its operations. All kinds of cyclists are expected on all sorts of conveyances: sleek racing bikes, practical hybrids, folding bikes, cargo bikes, a pedicab and perhaps a unicycle. Phoenix proprietor Brian Driscoll will address the gathered throng briefly around 8:30 a.m., and we’ll be awarding our “Commuter of the Month” certificate to Paula Moody, executive director of the St. Francis Home for Children in New Haven, who bikes in from Middletown.

Details below:
Elm City Cycling presents Bike to Work Day free breakfast to cyclists and commuting pedestrians on Friday, Aug. 19, from 7:30-9:30 a.m. in Pitkin Plaza on Orange Street between Chapel and Court streets. Breakfast provided by Bru Cafe. Sponsored by Phoenix Press…Wind to Print. For more information contact or call 203.287.9811.


Philip Langdon explores what 2 other cities are doing to discourage automobile traffic and enhance humane conditions via bike-sharing.

When I rode with Sebastian, he noted a young woman in a dress who looked perfectly comfortable pedaling calmly through downtown. In the past, Sebastian observed, biking was largely the province of risk-taking males. Now, with bike-sharing and more civilized streets, biking is expanding its appeal, attracting the risk-averse. As these changes take hold, the urban environment should become better for everyone.

New Urban News, “Sharing Bikes, Taming Streets” August 5, 2011

Newly arrived songbirds sing and call in the trees and shrubs. Violets are in bloom, producing purple splashes by the trail. Red maple buds are specks of scarlet in the trees. To the left, a water view; to the right, woods.

Busy Route 10 in Cheshire is a short distance away, but there’s no need to worry about cars and trucks as I pedal the bicycle. All is well. My highway for the morning is the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail, open only to foot and bicycle traffic.

STEVE GRANT, The Hartford Courant

“Unbroken Beauty: Walking Or Biking The Farmington Canal Heritage Trail,” April 23, 2011

Why were the sharrows installed recently throughout Downtown New Haven not added on the route to New Haven Union Station? (New Haven Safe Streets)

“Sharrows or bicycle lanes, like those recently placed throughout Downtown, would be a good first step towards bringing the street into line with the city’s and state’s new laws that require complete streets accommodations. However, ultimately providing access to the train station for road users of all ages and abilities will require a protected/buffered bike route or extension of the greenway (perhaps to be built in the space between the rail yard and the station property itself). Design New Haven previously reported on this issue in an article last year.”


To see a previous post about riding to Union Station click here.

Tour Des Farms – August 1, 2010: CT Folk’s Tour des Farms is a day-long, 25-mile leisure bicycle ride on Sunday, August 1 to local farms, greenhouses, orchards, and historic sites in the greater New Haven area. The route winds through lightly travelled scenic country roads, rolling hills, pleasant residential streets and a few miles on a paved linear park through Hamden, North Haven, and Cheshire. At each stop along the road, riders will be entertained by a Connecticut-grown musician.

Street Smarts Cycling Event – July 17, 2010: In an effort to keep building the cycling culture, the city will hold a Street Smarts Cycling Celebration July 17 at East Rock Park. The roads around East Rock Park will be closed for the day, according to Michael Piscitelli, director of the Department of Transportation, Traffic and Parking. The event will start “bright and early,” at 9 a.m., Piscitelli said. It will end at 5 p.m. There will be a scavenger hunt geared toward bike riders, and a free carnival.

It’s a great time to Bike to Work! Q: Why do you ride your bikes to work? A: Riding bikes is fun, and a great way to start a workday. We arrive at our offices refreshed and energized. We also like knowing that we are reducing our reliance on petrochemicals.

This ride offers a North-South route through the city’s west side. It functions as a potential commuter track as well as a recreational ride. The primary North-South route in western New Haven is Ella T. Grasso Boulevard. However, The Boulevard, south of Derby Avenue, is currently not designed to accommodate anything but cars and trucks. This route might help with that problem.

The Beaver Pond <—> City Point route can serve all New Haven riders as it crosses through the  following neighborhoods:

The route may also serve commuters destined for these places:

Links to Google Maps:

To access maps and directions, click on the appropriate picture below. The link will connect you to the Google maps driving directions for that route. You’ll be able to follow the 3-D streetview (by clicking the white arrows), plus you’ll get a scope of the entire route.

Southbound (starting in Beaver Hills):

Start of Southbound route (Ellsworth Ave.)

Northbound (starting in City Point/ the Hill):

Start of Northbound route (Howard Ave.)

Here are a few things to see along the route:

Riders gather during last year's Rock to Rock ride

  • Beaver Hills Historic District* – “With its numerous well-preserved examples of large and moderately sized houses (designed and built in a variety of popular early 20th-century architectural styles) the Beaver Hills Historic District is one of New Haven’s most substantially intact collections of suburban residential architecture erected prior to the Second World War.”
  • Chapelseed Community Garden – a botanical refuge at 1592 Chapel St. (Between Ellsworth & Norton).

Chapelseed Community Garden

Coming from the Hill side, there are at least three significant historical districts off Howard Avenue to the South, East and West:

City Point and Oyster Point Historic District*“City Point was originally part of New Haven’s undeveloped “suburbs” on the western edge of town known as the Oyster Point Quarter or simply Oyster Point…. Although Oyster Point and Oyster Point Quarter often were used interchangeably, most 19th century maps use the name Oyster Point to describe the narrow peninsula bounded by the West River salt marsh and the harbor., i.e. the area today bounded by Greenwich Ave., Hallock Ave. and South Water Street.”


Glimpse of New Haven Harbor from the pier at City Point

Trowbridge Square Historic District* – “The Trowbridge Square Historic District is New Haven’s most intact and cohesive example of a 19th century working-class residential.”

Redfield/West St. Historic District* – “The district is representative of what much of the surrounding area once looked like, and is significant for having a concentration of surviving historic buildings. It is set apart from the surrounding area by modern in-fill housing, apartments, and institutional buildings, making the district a remnant of its historic context.”

*If you’re looking to explore more, two good companions are Colin M. Caplan’s A Guide to Historic New Haven, Connecticut, or New Haven: A Guide to Architecture and Urban Design, by Elizabeth Mills Brown. Also, although I’ve never read it, Robert Lattanzi published a history of the Hill in 2000 under the title, Oyster Village to Melting Pot.


Here’s the southbound route (beginning in Beaver Hills on Ellsworth Avenue)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Here’s the northbound route (beginning in City Point on Howard Avenue)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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