Go for Gold
On May 16, 2013, the City of Burlington, the Burlington Walk-Bike Council, and Local Motion publicly released the "Go for Gold" Walk-Bike Blueprint for Burlington. This collaborative document offers a vision for making our community a national leader in active transportation and recreation.
WHAT IS THE BLUEPRINT ABOUT?
The Go for Gold Walk-Bike Blueprint is a collaborative effort of the City of Burlington, the Burlington Walk-Bike Council, and Local Motion whose purpose is to lay out a shared vision for how to make Burlington a world-class city for walking and biking. It is supported by the Burlington Partnership for a Healthy Community with funding from the Vermont Department of Health, and is sponsored by Dealer.com.
WHY WAS THE BLUEPRINT CREATED?
Our goal in creating the Blueprint is to chart a course for achieving gold-level recognition as a Walk-Friendly Community (WFC) and a Bicycle-Friendly Community (BFC). Both of these certifications are national-level programs that recognize municipal efforts to become better places to walk and bike while encouraging communities to do more.
HOW WALK- AND BIKE-FRIENDLY ARE WE NOW?
Burlington DPW applied for and received silver-level BFC recognition for the city in 2011 and intends to apply for WFC recognition this year. There are no WFC gold-level communities and only one BFC gold-level community in New England. This is an opportunity for Burlington to be a national leader.
WHAT'S IN IT FOR OUR COMMUNITY?
Becoming an even more walkable and bikeable community is essential not only to Burlington's quality of life, but also to our transportation efficiency and our economic competitiveness. Walkability and bikeability not only benefit current residents but also help to attract new ones, helping Burlington compete with other communities to attract high-quality growth.
WHERE DOES BURLINGTON NEED TO IMPROVE?
Burlington already has many strengths with regard to walkability and bikeability. The biggest area of needed improvement is in infrastructure for walking and biking: safer crosswalks, continuous bike lanes, and so on. Therefore, many of the goals in the Blueprint focus on on-the-ground improvements.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
City departments will to work with Local Motion and the Burlington Walk-Bike Council to translate the ideas in the Blueprint into specific policy recommendations. At the same time, Local Motion will lead a campaign to build community support for the goals of the Blueprint.