By Liz Kelly, Southwest Region Planning Commission
In an effort to encourage more bicycling in the region, the Monadnock Alliance for Sustainable Transportation (MAST) and the Southwest Region Planning Commission (SWRPC) are seeking businesses and organizations in Jaffrey, Walpole, Winchester, and Harrisville to participate in Rack it Up!, a community-based bike rack initiative that aims to increase both the number and visibility of bike racks in the Monadnock Region. The goal is to encourage bicycling as a healthy, fun and convenient transportation option for residents throughout the region.
Over the past three years, the Rack it Up! Program has provided 438 secure bicycle parking spaces at various locations in Keene, Swanzey, Hinsdale and Troy, including Yolo Frozen Yogurt, the Monadnock Humane Society, Brewbakers’ Café, the Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship, Ashuelot River Park, and the Samuel E. Paul Community Center.
Supported by the CDC’s Partnerships to Improve Community Health initiative, and administered by Cheshire Medical Center – Dartmouth Hitchcock to Healthy Monadnock partners, MAST and SWRPC are working to increase access to physical activity opportunities such as walking and bicycling.
Bicycling is an affordable and increasingly popular mode of transportation that has significant community health and environmental benefits. Bike racks benefit businesses and organizations by increasing parking capacity, promoting physical activity and healthy habits, and providing more transportation options for customers and employees.
According to Mary Ann Kristiansen, Executive Director of the Keene-based Hannah Grimes Center and a 2015 Rack it Up! program participant, the bike racks “help promote an active culture, which is important in attracting entrepreneurs and younger people. It helps promote a positive image of our community- that it’s a place to live, work, and play.” To apply, go to www.mastnh.org/rackitup, or contact Liz Kelly at (603) 357-0557 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
About Monadnock Alliance for Sustainable Transportation (MAST):
MAST is a volunteer coalition of organizations and individuals working to implement sustainable transportation solutions in the Monadnock Region. MAST recognizes the broad impacts that our transportation system has on us as individuals and as communities- everything from access to employment and services to cost of living to our health and beyond. MAST’s mission is to “promote all modes of transportation that enhance the environmental, economic and physical health and well-being of citizens in the Monadnock Region.” To learn more about MAST, visit www.mastnh.org.
About Healthy Monadnock
Healthy Monadnock 2020 is a community engagement initiative designed to foster and sustain a positive culture of health throughout Cheshire County and the Monadnock Region. Founded and developed by the Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene in 2007, Healthy Monadnock’s action plans are being guided in the community by the Council for a Healthier Community, a group of 30+ individuals representing organizations, institutions, and businesses. Community partners and Champions are working together to improve the quality of life and prevent the leading causes of death for everyone by implementing strategies to: increase healthy eating and active living, increase income and jobs, improve mental wellbeing, increase emergency preparedness, reduce substance misuse including tobacco, increase educational attainment, and increase access to and quality of healthcare. To learn more about Healthy Monadnock, visit www.healthymonadnock.org.
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