Looking back on a great year!
Winter Walk to School Day in St. Albans
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Complete Streets | Education | Recreation | Community
A Note from Our New Executive Director, Christina Erickson!
Hello! I’m thrilled to serve as the next Executive Director of Local Motion.
I come to this role with many identities and life experiences: as a parent, a spouse, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a neighbor, an educator, an advocate, a gardener, a skier, a sailor, a canoeist, a reader, a traveler, and more. I also recognize the identities and life experiences I don’t have and look to our team and community to ensure that we are representing, building for, and supporting a broader population in our work. We have the word “everyone” in our mission, and I am motivated to achieve this goal.
I’ve biked and walked for recreation and commuting for the past 16+ years in Burlington. With this experience, and my past work in sustainability education, I am excited to have the opportunity to help implement the Local Motion’s 2022-2026 Strategic Plan and 2021 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement.
Local Motion’s mission speaks to my interests in community-centered approaches to building a sustainable society. I see our programs and activities making communities more accessible and equitable by making it safer, easier, and more welcoming to walk, bike, and roll around our state. I also see our work reducing emissions by decreasing reliance on single occupancy vehicles for transportation and recreation.
We have the opportunity to build community and sense of place when we are outside interacting with each other and the natural world. And, Local Motion contributes to local economies by bringing visitors to our region and promoting modes of transportation that support local business in walkable and bikeable villages and downtowns—not the big box chains on the fringes.
Although I’m just beginning in this role, I’ve been a long-time member of Local Motion and I’ve been impressed by this humble but mighty team and the impact the organization has made through the past twenty-plus years. I hope you’ll continue to join us for the ride. (Photo credit: Adam Walker)
Statewide and Local Advocacy
Our Complete Streets staff is constantly helping communities move forward on walk/bike infrastructure and policies through technical assistance and advocacy support. This work often happens behind the scenes, but it is often key to progress! This year we doubled our Complete Streets program staff (to two)! Thanks to support from our donors as well as technical assistance grants from the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission and VTrans.
Here’s a sample of what we worked on in 2022:
- Advocated for legislation requiring VTrans to begin work on updating their State Design Standards, which impact roadway design and planning across the state
- Engaged with the Envision I89 study in Chittenden County and worked with our partners to successfully advocate for a new approach that acknowledges induced demand and focuses on addressing congestion by shifting people to modes other than driving rather than building more lanes for cars
- Collaborated with walk/bike groups across the state, including in Burlington, Saint Albans, Brattleboro, Randolph, Rockingham, Shelburne, and Charlotte, on numerous initiatives and advocacy around key projects
- Completed a 5-year progress report on Burlington’s PlanBTV Walk/Bike
- Coordinated volunteer maintenance of the protected Battery St. Greenway Detour (designed and advocated for by Local Motion last year)
- Completed a Pop-Up demonstration project in Northfield in partnership with AARP
- Created a framework for the establishment of a countywide Walk/Bike Committee for the Rutland Regional Planning Commission
- Worked with the Town of Hardwick to create a plan for bike infrastructure improvements that will better connect the town with the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail
A Complete Streets project in Northfield.
Bike Smart is our bike skills and road safety program that Local Motion has offered to Vermont schools for over a decade. This program is based on our games-based, on-bike curriculum for children to learn how to both become better bicycle riders, as well as learn how to ride safely and legally on the road. Over the lifetime of the program, Bike Smart has provided over 431,000 hours of training to 84,000 children in all 14 Vermont counties.
In 2022 we:
- Served over 10,000 students with over 43,000 on-bike training hours
- Provided 50 separate trainings
- Over 58% of the children served were low-income
- Over 60% of participants demonstrated an improvement in their bike skills
- We have a fleet of four trailers, each holding 50+ bikes, helmets and training materials.
- Bike Smart has an additional fleet of adaptive bikes in order to ensure that all students can participate in the program.
Safe Routes to School (SRTS)
Safe Routes to School is a longstanding program that provides schools with resources to help students and families choose active transportation to schools wherever possible. Over 30 schools across the state are actively participating in SRTS programming!
In 2022, SRTS:
- Had a blockbuster Winter Walk to School Day with almost 2,000 students and adults participating
- Over the course of the 2021-2022 school year, we had 43 events, with over 4,800 participants
Other Educational Programming in 2022:
- Ongoing series of workshops called the “Learning Network” for stakeholders (schools, planners, municipalities, activists, community leaders and more)
- Videos, workshops and other educational opportunities to teach about on-road safety, to engage people with choosing active transportation, and to help people realize the value of creating walkable and rollable spaces in our communities
- Safety outreach including bike light outreach, helmet safety programs, and Driver’s Ed programs
Winter Walk to School Day in Wardsboro
2022 was another banner year for our Trailside Center in its new location on the Burlington Waterfront! Proceeds from our Trailside Center bike rentals are crucial to supporting our advocacy work. This past year we rented our fleet of 120 bikes over 13,000 times! Our small fleet of e-bikes doubled to 20, and were always reserved.
Thanks to Wylie, Local Motion’s mechanic, our bike fleet will be ready for another season of rentals in the spring.
The Bike Ferry
The bike ferry is a recreational cycling destination linking the greater Burlington area and the Champlain Islands, and serves cyclists from Vermont and around the world. The ferry operated 102 days over the course of the 2022 season.
- The 2022 season saw almost 34,000 boardings, the equivalent of about 17,000 passengers.
- Passengers hailed from all 50 states and 30 foreign countries.
- The Ferry carried 62 bicycle tour groups during the 2022 season.
- In support of our Everyone Rides! Campaign, the Friend of the Ferry donors doubled to 500 this past season.
- We continued to successfully run the boat by donation only; it’s both economically viable and a real testament to the value of the service.
- We welcomed the Sea Grant crew back to the cut to engage the public on important topics related to lake health and biodiversity.
- Every season we are incredibly fortunate to have a dedicated group of volunteer dockside ambassadors working alongside the crew to make passenger visits a memorable trip. They fill over 200 shifts totaling more than 800 hours each season! Thank you, thank you, thank you to our volunteers!
Valet Bike Parking
In 2022 we offered Valet Bike Parking at 69 events in the greater Burlington area. These included weekly events such as the Burlington Farmers Market, SoBu Night Out, Friday Night Food Trucks, Leddy Beach Bites, and Summervale. We also parked bikes at special events including Art Hop, Jazzfest, and the Vermont Brewers Festival. With the help of over 50 volunteers, we spent over 400 hours at these events offering free, secure bike parking for anyone who arrives by bike! Over 5,200 safely parked bikes!
Do you need Valet Bike Parking at your event? Request Valet Bike Parking here.
E-bikes & Lending Libraries
As e-bikes become increasingly popular, so has our free E-bike Lending Library program! This year we provided over 100 multi day e-bike loans and provided e-bike demos at 6 events in Chittenden County through our Burlington E-bike Lending Library. Our Traveling E-bike Lending Library provided multi day loans and demo events in St. Johnsbury, Lyndonville, Northfield, Waitsfield, Bristol, and Vergennes.
- Successfully advocated for Vermont to offer the first state-level e-bike purchase incentive
- Presented on best practices for management of trail users (including those on e-bikes) to a statewide conference of recreation professionals
- The Satellite E-bike Lending Libraries we helped to establish in 2021 in Middlebury, Brattleboro, and Rutland continued to provide loans to residents in those communities, and we established a new lending library in Montpelier. We also laid the groundwork for new libraries in South Hero and Springfield, which will begin operating in 2023.
Valet Bike Parking in the South End of Burlington
Our organization would not be what it is today without the support of the thousands of people who have contributed their time, talents, and financial resources over the years. We are grateful for those who have been with us on this journey for the past twenty plus years and those that are new to our fold. In 2022, our donor support base spread farther across Vermont than in previous years—a good sign that our work is having an impact beyond Chittenden County! Thank you! Your support is critical to our success in furthering our mission throughout Vermont.
In addition to our fundraising appeals throughout the year, Local Motion offers several giving options like workplace giving and employer matching, donations of stock, remembering Local Motion in your will, tribute gifts, sustaining monthly gifts, and corporate sponsorship opportunities! Learn more here.
2022 was another wonderful year with volunteers at Local Motion. We had around 100 volunteers work over 500 shifts to keep our programs and services running smoothly. From greeting folks at the Bike Ferry to parking bikes safely and securely, to advocacy work, video editing, and office support, we rely on volunteers just like you. Thank you to each and everyone of our volunteers! Thinking of volunteering in 2023? Sign up here and we will be in touch.
Welcoming Friends of the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail!
In late 2022, we completed a merger with the Friends of the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail (FLVRT), a non-profit organization whose mission has been to support the development, maintenance, and promotion of the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail as a year-round multi-use recreation and transportation corridor. Now that the trail is largely complete, it was in the best interest of both organizations to have Local Motion absorb FLVRT and utilize our expertise to support the communities along the trail. Look for more information in 2023! In the meantime, welcome to our new friends!
The Lamoille Valley Rail Trail
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