Planning for walking and bicycling in YOUR community – FREE WORKSHOP SERIES

by Robin LeBlanc | Mar 26th, 2014 | Leave a comment

HEAL-NH (Healthy Eating Active Living)  has launched its Active Transportation Program and is inviting people to attend upcoming free training sessions.

Active Transportation means ways of getting from one place to another in an active way:  walking, biking, skating, blading, boarding, wheelchairs, etc.


The primary purpose of the Active Transportation Program is to provide participants with essential skills in planning and implementing bicycle and walking transportation efforts in their communities.

Participants will learn how to

  • assess the level of readiness a community has for active transportation policies and projects
  • how to find resources and get people engaged in the work
  • make communities safer and more accessible through better policies, design, and construction related to active transportation.

The secondary purpose of the program is to provide participants opportunities to connect with HEAL staff and New Hampshire experts to help them with specific active transportation issues in their communities. Another important purpose is to connect participants with each other to help build a support network for communities currently working on or interested in working on active transportation projects.

The following dates will be when Active Transportation sessions will be offered in 2014.

  • April 22, 9:00am-12:00pm – Topic: Active Transportation Orientation. mandatory for Active Transportation Grant recipients; all others encouraged to attend for background/foundation for future workshops
  • May 13, 9:00am-12:00pm – Topic: TBA
  • September 9, 9:00am-12:00pm – Topic TBA


Light lunch will be provided free of charge to attendees at 11:30am and there will be networking time (optional) from 12:00pm-12:30pm.

Attendance at all sessions is strongly encouraged. Topics for the May 13 and September 9 sessions will be determined by those attending the April 22 session. The schedule for 2015 sessions will be previewed at the September 9 session.


Other opportunities to learn more about making your community walkable and bikeable  include:

    • June 5 – NH Planners Association Annual Conference at UNH: Complete Streets How To: Plenary and Breakout Sessions
    • October 16 – HEAL Conference at Church Landing at Mill Falls (Meredith) Active Transportation Breakout Session
    • October (date TBA) – NH Bicycle Pedestrian Transportation Advisory Committee Conference
    • December (date TBA) – HEAL Leadership Institute: Active Transportation Breakout Session

For more information,  or contact Nik Coates at [email protected]

Portsmouth recognized nationally for its Complete Streets policy

by Robin LeBlanc | Mar 21st, 2014 | Leave a comment

Complete Streets Portsmouth BEFORE  Complete Streets Portsmouth AFTER

Lower State Street BEFORE                                                                 AFTER


The National Complete Streets Coalition, a program of national non-profit Smart Growth America, ranked Portsmouth’s Complete Streets Policy 7th in the country for 2013.

Complete Streets is a concept in which  planners and engineers design and build streets that are safe and convenient for everyone, and no matter how they travel.

“We are so pleased that one of our own Granite State communities has achieved this recognition” , said Robin H. LeBlanc, Director of Plan NH, a statewide organization that is a member of Smart Growth America.  “The concept of Complete Streets is really about fairness for everyone, vs.  the traditional method of taking care of cars first and anyone who does not drive gets what’s left.  As we go into the years and decades ahead, complete streets will be key to most healthy, vibrant towns and neighborhoods.”

“What we build, where we build and how we build something, whether it’s a building or a home or a road or even a park, has some kind of impact on the community, “said LeBlanc.  “A complete street is an excellent example of how the built environment can have tremendous influence on the fabric where it is.  Complete streets are safer for people to walk on and/or ride their bicycles, so more people are apt to do so.  This is good not only for health reasons, but for those who do not drive, it means it is easier to get to grocery stores, services, jobs, doctor appointments – or even to public transportation.”

“In Portsmouth, an already-walkable downtown is now even more pleasant and attractive – and accessible, thanks to the complete street concept that was incorporated into the re-build of lower State Street. Plan NH applauds Rick Taintor and his team for having the vision and professionalism to design and implement not only the policy but the first of what we envision are many examples around the city – and the state.”

In 2013, more than 80 cities, states and regions passed Complete Streets policies. Our neighbor to the south, Littleton, MA, ranked #1 for the year. Nationwide, a total of 610 jurisdictions in 48 states have Complete Streets policies in place.