The following is a partial list of recent activities in which MAST has played either a supportive or a lead role. More information about some of these programs can be found using the menu to the right. These programs were developed to help meet MAST’s goal to increase use and availability of local and regional transportation options in the Monadnock Region.
Rack it Up! (2014-Present)
Rack it Up! aims to increase both the number and visibility of bike racks in Monadnock Region communities in order to promote bicycling as a viable form of transportation. The program began in 2014 when MAST received a grant from the N.H. Charitable Foundation to seek business partners and others to participate in a 50% cost-sharing program to purchase bicycle racks. This first phase of the program resulted in 90 new bicycle parking spaces throughout the City of Keene. In 2015, the program expanded thanks to funding from Healthy Monadnock and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to include more communities. In addition, the program now covers 100% of bicycle rack costs.
Rack it Up! directly addresses the second objective of MAST’s 2012-2020 Action Plan, to “Increase Use & Availability of Bicycle Infrastructure.”
2016 Bike to Work Day
In early 2016, MAST formed a Bike to Work subcommittee that was charged with organizing a “Bike to Work Day” event in Keene. The goal of Bike to Work Day is to showcase the many benefits of bicycling and encourage more people to give biking – and other alternatives to vehicle use – a try. The event was held on Friday, May 20, 2016 from 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Railroad Square in Keene. Activities included:
- Free commuter breakfast
- Free giveaways
- “Bike to Work Day” Proclamation issued by the Mayor of Keene
- Complete Streets information session led by Transport NH and Bike-Walk Alliance of New Hampshire
- Walking and bicycling tours of Keene that highlighted examples of pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly street design.
MAST plans to organize Bike to Work Day events in May of 2017 to build on the success of the previous event and expand into more communities. Stay tuned for more details! Bike to Work Day directly addresses the second objective of MAST’s 2012-2020 Action Plan, to “Increase Use & Availability of Bicycle Infrastructure.”
In 2016, a subcommittee of MAST was formed to oversee the development of a background report about carsharing in the Monadnock Region. Carsharing is a transportation option that offers the benefits of having access to a car without the cost or obligations associated with private ownership. MAST enlisted the help of a student from Keene State College to conduct research on carsharing. The report that was produced, called Carsharing: An Alternative to Private Vehicle Ownership, can be accessed on the MAST Documents page. MAST plans to continue looking into the feasibility of carsharing in the Monadnock Region in 2017. To learn more, please see our post about carsharing.
Carsharing directly addresses objective 4 of MAST’s 2012-2020 Action Plan, to “Increase Use & Support for Ridesharing & Carsharing.”
Partnership to Improve Community Health – “PICH”
Southwest Region Planning Commission (SWRPC), has partnered with Healthy Monadnock to participate in a program of the CDC called “Partnerships to Improve Community Health” (PICH). This 3-year initiative funds a multi-sector coalition in Cheshire County that is working to address the leading risk factors for the causes of death and disability in the US: lack of physical activity, poor nutrition, and tobacco use.
SWRPC was subcontracted by Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene to work with MAST to undertake the active transportation component of this initiative, which includes promoting Complete Streets, working with schools to develop Safe Routes to School action plans, and continuing the already successful “Rack it Up!” program.
Complete streets are streets that are designed, constructed, and maintained for everyone. They enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit users, regardless of their age or ability. A complete streets policy ensures that transportation agencies routinely design and operate the entire right-of-way using a complete streets approach.
The creation and implementation of Complete Streets policies directly addresses the first two objectives of MAST’s 2012-2020 Action Plan, to “Expand Use & Availability of Sidewalks & Walkways” and “Increase Use & Availability of Bicycle Infrastructure.” To learn more, visit our page about Complete Streets.
Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS)
Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is a movement to encourage students, including those with disabilities, to safely walk, ride bicycles, or use other forms of active transportation to and from school. SRTS aims to improve safety for children who walk or bike to school, decrease rates of childhood obesity and related diseases, and ease traffic congestion and improve air quality near schools.
SRTS directly addresses the first objective of MAST’s 2012-2020 Action Plan, to “Expand Use & Availability of Sidewalks & Walkways.”
City Express Online Trip Planner
More and more people are turning to their computers, mobile devices, and tablets for information related to transportation and wayfinding. To increase the availability of public transportation stop, schedule, and fare information to this audience, SWRPC worked with City Express to create this information in a digital format used by hundreds of other agencies. Today, riders with internet access can visit www.google.com/maps to quickly plan a trip that includes biking, walking, and City Express.
The online trip planner directly addresses objective 3 of MAST’s 2012-2020 Action Plan, to “Increase Use & Availability of Public Transportation.”