Over the past few years, Lyndon residents, business owners and local officials have been steadily working to become a more bike friendly community. Lyndon is part of Vermont's rural Northeast Kingdom, with its winding roads and village centers where people who live here and those "from away" are discovering everyday biking for transportation and for fun!
The area is home to a burgeoning mountain biking industry centered around Kingdom Trails at Burke Mountain. Families, college students and seniors in Lyndon want to be able to walk and bike around town, to and from the biking trails and for everyday errands. The group Paths Around Lyndonville (PAL) was established to create and promote walking trails throughout town.
Lyndon residents came together to advocate around the 2014-15 VTrans On-Road Bike Plan process, a statewide effort sponsored by the VT Agency of Transportation to make state roads work better and be safer for all people who bike - families, commuters and recreation riders. When is came time for Route 5/Main Street in Lyndonville, to be repaved as part of the VTrans project, the town jumped at the chance to include bike lanes with buffers to provide added protection for the approximately 60% of riders (according to national surveys) who would bike but feel that roads aren't safe for them. Lyndonville's bike lanes were even featured in the new Small Town and Rural Multimodal Networks guide recently published by the Federal Highway Association (FHWA).
Following Route 5 repaving, a group of local stakeholders approached local motion who together with funding from VTtans, began working with this group to identify issues and opportunities for creating safer, more bikeable and walkable streets including a safer connection between Lyndon State College, the Lyndon Institute, Lyndon Center and downtown Lyndonville. The work resulted in a blueprint of short, medium and long term projects for implementation known as the Lyndon Walk Bike Safety Action plan. The town adopted it in late 2016 and are working towards getting some of them done this summer.
What's next for Lyndon? We hear that there is interest in creating a community bike shop in town. Community bike shops are non-profits that among other things, strive to provide low-cost access to bicycles, as well as teaching bike safety classes, mechanics and promoting bike culture. There are hundreds of these shops throughout the U.S and several of them in Vermont, from the fledgling BF Community Bike Project in Bellows Falls to the more established Old Spokes Home in Burlington and Freeride in Montpelier.