March 2024
Issue 118
In This Issue:
  • Safety Matters: Spring Brings Motorcycle Weather
  • Connecticut Public Works: Promotions & Announcements
  • The Hard Hat Kid YouTube Channel
  • Innovation Station: Cheshire, CT is a Beacon of Proactive Development and Community Engagement
  • National Work Zone Awareness Week (April 15-19, 2024)
  • REGISTER TODAY: New England Chapter APWA Spring Conference (April 8, 2024)
  • CTDOT Launches New Active Transportation Microgrant Program
  • Planning for National Public Works Week (May 19-25, 2024)
  • REMINDER: 2024 CT Creative Solutions Award Program — Now Accepting Submissions

Spring Brings Motorcycle Weather
Spring is here, and with that brings warmer weather and motorcycles on our roadways. Over the past three years, there have been more than 160 motorcycle fatalities across Connecticut. During that same period, motorcycle crashes have caused more than 2,700 injuries for riders and their passengers in our state. While we saw a reduction in fatal and serious injuries last year compared to the five-year average, these numbers are still unacceptable as we move toward zero deaths in Connecticut. Since motorcycles do not offer the same protections that other motor vehicles provide, motorcyclists must be hypervigilant and ensure they are doing everything they can to avoid collisions and keep themselves and their passengers safe. Here are some good tips for motorcycle operators to follow as they start to enjoy the warmer weather:
  1. Always wear a DOT approved helmet. Even though there is currently no helmet law in Connecticut, the benefits of wearing a helmet for everyone on a motorcycle are staggering. Recently, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported that “motorcycle helmets are 37 percent (for riders) and 41 percent (for passengers) effective in preventing deaths and the risk of head injury by 69 percent.”
  2. Maintain your equipment. Just like how you maintain your automobile, you must ensure that all the equipment on your motorcycle is in good working order. Be aware that with less points of contact with the roadway, having safe tires on your motorcycle is of paramount importance. Also, making sure your headlights and signals are working properly will ensure other roadway users have the opportunity to see you and know your intentions.

To continue reading, click here.
For more information on the Safety Circuit Rider Program, our equipment loan program, or assistance with local road safety, contact Melissa Evans or Jason Hughes.
Town of Wethersfield

  • Ted Hitchuck, Maintainer II has attained his CDL A license.

Let us celebrate your department's successes with our CT Public Works community. Please email Regina Hackett your agency's great news and we will publish it in an upcoming newsletter.
The Hard Hat Kid YouTube Channel
Raylan Bleimeister is an 11-year-old from Simsbury, CT. He has been a huge fan of public works and has done school projects on public works and construction. He always attends the Simsbury Public Works Touch-A-Truck event and this year will be part of the planning committee. Currently, his elementary school is in the middle of a major renovation and each week, he is allowed to inspect the construction with the school Principal as long as all of his assignments are complete. Recently, he has started his own YouTube Channel, “The Hard Hat Kid” where he interviews Town officials and companies involved in construction and most recently Simsbury's trash hauler.

Check out Raylan's YouTube Channel and be sure to subscribe!
Cheshire, CT is a Beacon of Proactive Development and Community Engagement
Cheshire’s Remarkable Journey
Cheshire, Connecticut, nestled in the Naugatuck Valley Planning Region, stands as an extraordinary exemplar of proactive development and community engagement. Our recent exploration alongside Mike Glidden, Cheshire’s Town Planner, offered a firsthand glimpse into the remarkable developments transforming this community.

Cheshire’s success hinges on two pivotal themes: placemaking and relationship building. The Town’s emphasis on creating a vibrant, attractive community, bolstered by excellent amenities and an exceptional school system, lures families and professionals alike. Proactive planning, community-wide investment, and a culture of relationship building has spurred development, bringing positive dividends to the Town.
Growth Story
Cheshire’s evolution over the past few years has been nothing short of remarkable. This includes the addition of 700 apartments, several of which carry deed restrictions, alongside the construction of 500 new single-family homes. Furthermore, a modernization project led to the establishment of two new schools. A standout feature of this growth story is the Bartlem Park South Project, anticipated to be completed in fall 2024, which includes an amphitheater, walking areas, passive recreation spaces, and high-quality fields for both residents and visitors. Innovative signages, equipped with QR codes, reflect Cheshire’s commitment to keeping citizens informed about their community.

Click here to continue reading.
National Work Zone Awareness Week
(April 15-19, 2024)
National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) is an annual spring campaign held at the start of construction season that encourages safe driving through highway work zones. The key message is for drivers to use extra caution in work zones. NWZAW will be held April 15-19, 2024. NWZAW highlights the deadly dangers of inattention at highway work areas. Make plans now for the weeklong commemoration including:

  • Work Zone Safety Training Day - April 15
  • National Kickoff Event - April 16
  • Go Orange Day - April 17
  • Social Media Storm - April 18
  • Moment of Silence - April 19. The moment of silence was started in 2022 to remember the men and women whose lives were lost in a work zone incident.

For more information and to participate, click here.
REGISTER TODAY: New England Chapter APWA Spring Conference (April 8, 2024)
Registration is now open for the New England APWA Spring Conference!

The Spring Conference is a great opportunity to meet with your public works peers, participate in valuable educational sessions and to visit vendors who will be sharing the latest in technology and tools for best practices.
A new session this year will be a Leadership Roundtable: Fostering Leadership Within Our Agencies. To view the conference agenda and learn more about the educational sessions, please click here.
If you would like to register online, you can do so here
Note to attendees:
Please join the New England Chapter APWA in the annual food drive to benefit a local food pantry. Bring your non perishable food donations to the Spring Conference, and be entered in a raffle for a prize. Help us make a difference for families in need. 
CTDOT Launches New Active Transportation Microgrant Program
The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) announced the creation of a new state-funded Active Transportation Microgrant Program. CTDOT has allocated $500,000 in microgrants to be distributed across Connecticut through this new program.

The Active Transportation Microgrant Program is a non-infrastructure initiative to provide eligible organizations with up to $5,000 in funding for resources that advance safe, accessible, sustainable, and equitable walking, biking, and rolling in Connecticut, including to and from schools. This program works in conjunction with the CTDOT’s Safe Routes to School Program and will be administered by regional Councils of Governments (COGs).

Schools, school districts, municipalities, and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply. Eligible items include:

  • Bicycle helmets
  • Bicycle locks
  • Bicycle fleets, including adaptive bikes
  • Safety vests
  • Bicycle maintenance training and materials
  • League Cycling Instructors training
  • Programs, events, and materials for bicycle and pedestrian safety education

Click here to continue reading.
Planning for National Public Works Week (May 19-25, 2024)
It's that time of year to start planning for National Public Works Week!

APWA is proud to announce "Advancing Quality of Life for All" as the theme for the 2024 National Public Works Week poster. This year’s poster illustrates how public works professionals contribute to and enhance the quality of life in all the communities they proudly serve.

APWA has lots of resources to help you plan your National Public Works Week. Visit their website today to get started.
REMINDER: 2024 CT Creative Solutions Award Program — Now Accepting Submissions
A friendly reminder that the T2 Center is accepting submissions for the 2024 CT Creative Solutions Award Program. We are looking for examples of gadgets, tools, processes, and programs that public agency employees or road crews designed and built to improve safety, create efficiencies, and make the job easier. It can be anything from the development of tools and equipment modifications to processes that increase safety, reduce costs, or improve efficiency or the quality of transportation. If you have a project that you think is worthy of recognition, fill out this year’s entry form and submit your entry by April 30, 2024.

Aren’t sure if your gadget is what we are looking for? Email Mary McCarthy to share your idea and see if it is a fit.
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If you have any ideas or suggestions for future Connecticut Crossroads topics, please feel free to email the designer Regina Hackett at [email protected]