Sandwich Bikeways Committee Seeking Public Input for Bicycle Friendly Community Designation

SANDWICH – The Sandwich Bikeways & Pedestrian Committee has submitted an application to the League of American Bicyclists to be considered a Bicycle Friendly Community.

The mission of the committee is to improve the cycling and walking options for residents and visitors, to improve the quality of life and to enhance economic development from cycling tourism.

“We decided that on the tail of us doing a master plan for walking and cycling in town that we wanted to be assessed on how bicycle friendly we are,” said Sean Polay, a member of the Sandwich Bikeways & Pedestrian Committee. “A community that is walkable and bikeable is certainly much more attractive than one that is not for both people who live here and want to visit here.”

The evaluation process is one that has been completed by other area communities.

As part of the evaluation process, the committee is gathering public comments from residents and cyclists on their experiences and perceptions about cycling in the town.

“They are asking us to seek input from area cyclists, whether they live in town or not, so that they can get a full picture of how cycling-friendly Sandwich is,” Polay said.

Regardless of whether or not the town receives the designation, the assessment provides a road map for making the town more bicycle-friendly.

The online survey can be found at the Sandwich Bikeways & Pedestrian Committee Facebook page and is open through March 24.

Polay said cycling is a draw for visitors to the region from the spring through the fall, not only for people who bring their bikes, but also for charity ride participants.

“They all traverse Sandwich when they come through during the summer,” he said.

Polay said the off-road paths on the Cape, including the Rail Trail and the Shining Sea Bikeway, provides an opportunity for all types of cyclists to enjoy the region.

“We also have an extensive mountain biking network in Barnstable that we are trying to connect to here in Sandwich, and other areas of the Cape have that as well,” he said.

Polay said Cape Cod is more of a cycling destination than most people realize, and there is an effort to increase cycling opportunities in Sandwich.

“When you look at a regional map of off-road, protected bikeways you see a significant gap here in Sandwich,” he said.

The committee recently wrote a letter of support for the efforts by Bourne to obtain a Mass Trails grant to help begin phases one and two of the Bourne Rail Trail.

“We see that as being vital not only to that town, but to our town and the region,” Polay said.

The concept of a connected bike trail from Woods Hole to Provincetown would pass through Sandwich.

“We have to work diligently to make sure that we can help make that connection and we obviously are supportive of efforts in our neighboring towns in Bourne and Barnstable to do the same,” he said.

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