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riverrollandstroll-2018_8-5x11flyer_eng-page-0MassDOT is pleased to announce that the second annual Connecticut River Roll and Stroll Street Festival will take place on Sunday, May 6, 2018 marking the official kickoff of MassDOT-sponsored outdoor events this season aimed at promoting healthy transportation.

The Connecticut River Roll and Stroll Street Festival is a free admission event that will showcase the health, recreational and economic benefits of walking and cycling, and will take place on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. The bridge, which carries Route 116 over the Connecticut River and connects Holyoke to South Hadley, will be closed off to motor vehicles during this time and become host  to a “vehicle-free, care-free Sunday celebration,” including music, activities, art and food.

The purpose of the Festival is to educate the public about the value of cycling and walking as transportation options for the future.  By reducing the number of motor vehicles on the road, these forms of “active transportation,” will mitigate congestion and greenhouse gas emissions.  There are economic benefits to active transportation as well; according to a 2016 study by the Urban Land Institute, increased walking and bicycle transportation have already helped to revitalize neighborhoods and generate business for retailers in cities and towns across the United States.

In the spirit of celebrating community while drawing attention to the benefits of active transportation, MassDOT representatives will be on scene May 6 to promote the upcoming release of the Massachusetts Pedestrian Transportation Plan (Pedestrian Plan), which is being updated for the first time since 1998.

An in-depth document outlining MassDOT’s vision for the future of pedestrian transportation, the updated Pedestrian Plan will emphasize four main areas:  Improving accessibility, safety, maintenance and future investment.  This new plan will include proposed improvements to statewide pedestrian infrastructure and a municipal resource guide for walkability

The Connecticut River Roll and Stroll Street Festival is being presented by the Bike/Walk Committees of the City of Holyoke and the Town of South Hadley with support from MassDOT, the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition (MassBike), the Cultural Councils of South Hadley and Holyoke and a variety of other state and local partners.  For more information, please visit the festival website or email riverrollandstroll@gmail.com.  Learn more about the Massachusetts Pedestrian Transportation Plan.

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