Posted by Jason on Mar 11 2010
The Champlain Parkway (aka the Southern Connector) has been an ongoing issue for Burlington’s South End for over 40 years. After all this time, it is anyone’s guess as to whether it will ever be built. However, the project recently reached a major milestone with regard to approvals from the Federal government and is probably as close as it has ever been to becoming a reality. The bottom line is, we as a community do not want to be caught unprepared if it does in fact get built this time around.
To this end, three Burlington organizations — the South End Arts and Business Association (SEABA), the Ward 5 Neighborhood Planning Assembly (NPA), and Local Motion — are working together to convene a ”Citizens Committee on the Champlain Parkway.” This informal group will meet over the next few months to review the plan for the Connector with three questions in mind:
- How can the project be made to protect and restore neighborhood quality of life throughout the South End?
- How can the project be made to enhance the local business climate and increase commercial property values along Pine Street and surrounding commercial areas?
- How can the project be made to improve safety and create a more attractive environment throughout the immediate project corridor for people on foot, on bike, and in wheelchairs?
The first step in the process will be two South End-wide meetings, one focused on neighborhood issues and one on local business concerns.
MEETING REGARDING NEIGHBORHOOD ISSUES
Monday, March 15, 6:30 to 8:00 at Champlain Elementary School (in the cafeteria)
MEETING REGARDING LOCAL BUSINESS ISSUES
Tuesday, March 16, 6:30 to 8:00 at the Soda Plant, 266 Pine Street (between Recycle North & Conant Custom Brass)
There will be three items on the agenda of each meeting:
- To provide a very short overview of the current design for the Connector
- To identify the full range of issues and concerns that people in each meeting would want to see addressed if the project were to move forward
- To identify up to three representatives at each meeting who will participate onthe Citizens Committee
Anyone is welcome at either meeting; however, each meeting will focus on one topic (business or residential), so people who have just one main concern should attend that meeting.
By bringing folks from all over the South End together to review the Southern Connector plans in detail and give one coordinated set of comments to the City, our hope is that – if the project moves forward – public officials can make the design as good as it can be within state and federal constraints.
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