Spring is here! 🌷
- May 1 - First day of National Bike Month
- May 3 - Walk & Roll to School Day
- May 19 - Bike to Work Day
- May 15-21 - Bike to Work Week
- May 15-19 - Park Your Carbon Week
- May 20 - Annual Richard's Ride
- May 26 - Opening Day of the Bike Ferry Season
- May 27 - MVRT / LVRT Rail Trail Celebration
Jump to a newsletter section:
From Our Executive Director
Spring is a time of renewal. Perhaps you’re getting your bicycle out of the barn or basement, or perhaps you’re noticing the emerging spring flowers while you walk or roll around your neighborhood. Perhaps you’re emerging from your winter routines and greeting those you know, or better yet, those you don’t know yet. Here at Local Motion, we too are shifting with the seasons, and gearing up for an action-packed spring of school-based events with our Bike Smart trailers and Safe Routes to School partners; rounding out the advocacy season with our legislative partners; and prepping for another fun summer at our Trailside Center, E-bike lending libraries, Valet Bike Parking, and Bike Ferry. We’re also looking forward to taking part in many of the events that are popping up across the state, especially the annual Richard’s Ride and the celebration of the completion of the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail.
For me, I’m emerging from my first three months in my new role as Executive Director. And what a fabulous few months it’s been! My key takeaway is that we have a tremendous staff of passionate professionals who make the work of Local Motion happen. I’ve met many (but certainly not all) of our partners across the state, and it’s astonishing to me the broad reach of our work. I’ve also enjoyed hearing why you, our friends, supporters and volunteers, find our work essential to creating sustainable and safe communities. We do not do this work alone, and your continued support is essential. Read on to learn about Local Motion’s impact over the past few months and how you can be involved.
P.S. The bicycling world lost a friend, when Ed Koren passed away on April 14, 2023. He once shared a quote on one of our blogs, referring to his love of bicycles. "My love of cycling is best expressed by Arthur Conan Doyle, in Scientific American, 1896:
'When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.' This nourishes me."
See Ed's series of drawings, "Wheelings", "...devoted to my love of the bicycle." at edwardkoren.com/on-exhibit
What's happening in communities?
- Burlington’s Walk/Bike Council is receiving support from Local Motion for a review of municipal policies related to walking and biking, which could result in updates to the bike parking section of the City’s development ordinance, the bike and pedestrian sections of the traffic ordinance, and more. Local Motion staff are also serving on the Battery Street Scoping Study advisory committee. Our staff also drafted improvements to bike parking at Hunt and Edmunds middle schools, and provided free racks thanks in part to the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission.
- Following advocacy from BCAT and Local Motion, Brattleboro has passed its Walk/Bike Action Plan. We'll be working with local advocates and the town to make the plan a reality.
- Montpelier is working on the installation of a number of bike racks in their city parks. Our staff is working with city staff to support the implementation of quality bike parking in these areas.
- Rockingham’s Walk/Bike Committee is working with our staff on improving bike parking in a few locations throughout town, advocating for improvements to a project on Canal Street, and thinking about possible Pop-Up Demonstrations for this summer.
- Saint Albans is moving towards constructing another segment of its Federal Street project, and Walk/Bike Saint Albans is working closely with town staff to ensure comfortable infrastructure for walking and biking that connects the City to the Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail. Discussions with VTrans are also underway to ensure that an upcoming repaving project on Route 7 delivers better infrastructure for people walking, biking, and rolling.
- Shelburne’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Paths Committee (BPPC) is working with our staff to plan a protected bike lane demonstration project on Spear Street. In addition, we are helping the BPPC create a long term master plan for alternative mobility, building on the recently completed Connectivity Study. We are also facilitating meetings of the BPPC, Village Pedestrian Safety Group and Business and Professional Association to consider next steps for improving Falls Road for multimodal transportation.
- South Burlington is moving forward with next steps in the implementation of their Climate Action Plan, adopted in October 2022. Local Motion is a member of the Climate Action Transportation Implementation Plan advisory group. This plan will provide more specific actions to be taken to meet transportation emissions reduction goals.
- Winooski has just started work on its Walk/Bike Master Plan. Our staff are participating as advisory committee members, and we are working with local organizations and advocates to form a coalition to advocate for walking, biking, and rolling. We’re also providing bike parking ordinance recommendations to Winooski’s Planning Commission.
There is a lot going on at the state level right now, and we’re doing our best to advocate and lobby when and where we can be most effective.
Here’s what we’re supporting and working on:
- Continuing the State’s E-bike Incentive Program with increased funding
- Maintaining progress on updating VTrans’ Vermont State Design Standards
- Strengthening Vermont’s Complete Streets legislation
- Supporting transit agencies with short-term funding and advocating for a more sustainable long-term funding model
- Working to ensure that VTrans’ Carbon Reduction Strategy includes a strong focus on increasing rates of walking, biking, rolling, and transit use. This strategy will ultimately direct ~$32 million in State investments. You can submit a comment to VTrans here.
From left, Valet Bike Parking Coordinator Stu Lindsay, walk/bike advocate Phil Hammerslough, Complete Streets Manager Jonathon Weber and Executive Director Christina Erickson.
Thank you, Jon Kaplan!
Jon Kaplan is retiring from his post as the Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator at VTrans after 22 years. Jon has been a persistent advocate for walking and biking within VTrans and the state, and we’d like to honor his commitment to progress and continual improvement. Jon has been especially impactful in elevating the needs of people with disabilities and ensuring that sidewalks and paths are built to work for all Vermonters. He has also been a strong supporter of Local Motion and our Safe Routes to School program. Jon’s work will continue to be impactful for years to come. Thank you, Jon!
E-bike Lending Libraries
E-Bikes are a great way for people to get around and to remain active and our E-Bike Lending Libraries will soon be hitting the road! These programs provide free e-bike loans to Vermonters who might be interested in purchasing an e-bike and help build grassroots support for safe walking and biking infrastructure. Our Statewide Traveling E-Bike Library visits multiple towns throughout the state, and will be in Manchester, Bennington, and St. Albans this year.
For folks in Chittenden County, we are really excited to be piloting a traveling library as well! The Traveling Chittenden County E-Bike Library will be visiting Hinesburg, Williston, Essex Junction, and South Burlington.
Our Burlington E-Bike Lending Library will continue to provide loans out of our office on the Burlington Waterfront.
Our Satellite E-bike Lending Libraries are permanent libraries that Local Motion helps communities establish by providing e-bikes and technical assistance. Last year, we helped set up new e-bike libraries in Montpelier and Springfield. There are also locations in Middlebury, Brattleboro, Rutland, and the Upper Valley. This year, plans are underway to establish a new location in South Hero.
Here’s what borrowers last year had to say about their experiences:
“Fun!!! I Couldn't stop smiling when I was on it. Made it less stressful to do simple trips around town - No hassle of paying for parking, traffic, etc. I went to the farmers market for the first time in a long time because I didn't have to worry about parking. I have a bad back and I have zero back pain on the bike. All my other favorite outdoor activities are painful at the moment. Plus I didn't use my car for like 3 days in a row. That never happens for me!! My car is getting old and I want to keep miles low.” - Anna Ste Marie, Burlington
“I loved being able to get me and both of my kids where we all needed to be in the morning without a car - and without getting super sweaty coming up the hill to work while towing a preschooler! I teach pre-k, and SO many families asked about my sweet ride that week :)” - Laura Lickel, Montpelier
Are you an e-bike owner, researchers are conducting a national survey that could help inform policies and programs here in Vermont. You can respond here.
E-bikes are fun, make biking more accessible, and can be utilitarian!
Bike Smart's Spring Adventures are Sprung!
This spring our Bike Smart trailers will visit 22 schools around Vermont, bringing our 2022-2023 school year total to 43 schools!
This program is an excellent resource for schools to provide their school community with essential bicycle handling and on-road skills. This fleet of trailers, complete with 50+ bikes, adaptive bikes and a games-based, on-bike curriculum is an incredible resource for our state. If your school is participating in Safe Routes to School, you can receive this trailer for free! Bike Smart is an essential component of Safe Routes to School, and we are so proud to be able to partner with VTrans to make this program possible.
Safe Routes to School and Muddy Boot Awards!
Safe Routes to School (SRTS) focuses on making it easier for children and their families to choose to walk or roll to school. There are many benefits to walking & rolling to school: developing stronger community connections, meaningful family time, improved academic performance from physical activity, mental health, physical health, reduced traffic congestion, improved air quality, and, of course, it’s a much more sustainable way to travel than using fossil fuels. We have 58 schools signed up for SRTS, and are always ready to welcome more partner schools in this important work! Learn more about SRTS here.
We recently celebrated Winter Walk to School Day and it was a huge success! We had 43 schools sign up to participate in Winter Walk to School day! Our participating schools held some great events, including Mary Hogan Elementary School (pictured below).
In March, we had a group of lovely volunteers help build our Muddy Boot Awards. Muddy Boot awards are incentives used by schools where classrooms compete weekly or monthly for the trophy. The class with the most walking & biking trips wins and gets to host the trophy in their classroom. That class will then try to defend their title from other challengers during the next period. Muddy Boot Awards are an excellent way to encourage ongoing behavior change and generate excitement for walking and biking to school!
Local Motion volunteers help construct Muddy Boot Awards.
Free Bike Safety Yard Signs for Your Town!
Want some signage for your community that reminds drivers to drive carefully around people walking and biking? We have free yard signs to distribute to any Vermont community. We particularly like this messaging, because it uses real Vermonters (all of whom volunteered to participate in the campaign), and it focuses on the humanity of all road users–reminding drivers that the people they are passing have family, friends, and things they enjoy doing. Request yard signs here.
Trailside Center Bike Rentals
This is our second season operating out of our new waterfront location at the intersection of King and Steele Streets, and about 50 feet from the Burlington Greenway. Parking can be conveniently found at Perkins Pier, one block south.
The Trailside Center begins the 2023 season opening on two consecutive weekends; Saturday and Sunday, April 29th and 30th, and Friday, Saturday, Sunday May 5th, 6th, and 7th. We will be open daily from May 12th through mid October. Our hours are from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. This season we’ll offer two styles of adult bikes; for relaxed riding we have brand new Cannondale Treadwells and for a little more sporty ride we offer the Jamis Coda hybrids. We also have a full selection of kids bikes and trailers, and our first ever dog trailer. A limited selection of adaptive bikes are available, please call us for more information 802-652-2453. We ask all of our customers to make online reservations for their bike rentals. It’s the streamlined way of getting on a bike, and hitting the trail.
The Trailside Center is an important source of revenue for Local Motion’s advocacy work - we are always working to make it safe, accessible and fun for everyone to bike, walk and roll in Vermont. If your summer plans include hosting visitors from out of town, please consider a day biking up the Island Line Trail, and even a Bike Ferry ride to South Hero. If you need bikes, we’ve got you covered.
The Bike Ferry
This August will mark the tenth anniversary of the launch of the Bill and Carole Hauke II, our awesome 20 passenger Bike Ferry. We will be marking this occasion with a special celebration out at the Cut. More later…you won’t want to miss it!
The 2023 Bike Ferry Season begins on Memorial Day weekend:
- May 26th - June 1st and September 8th - October 9th the Ferry is open on Fridays (10am-5pm), Saturdays (10am-6pm), and Sundays (10am-6pm).
- The Bike Ferry runs daily starting at 10am June 16th - September 8th. The Ferry runs until 5pm on weekdays and 6pm on weekends.
Christening the Bill & Carole Hauke II in 2014. Bill and Carole are wearing red shirts and ferry founder Brian Costello is in the orange.
Friend of the Ferry Campaign Update - Our Friends Showed Up!
The 3rd annual Friend of the Ferry Spring Campaign was a wonderful success! 325 donors stepped up to help establish an important preseason foundation to our commitment to our pay-what-you-can Bike Ferry service. We acknowledge their generosity during the 30 day campaign by publicly recognizing them on our Recognition Plaque located dockside. Our crew will be looking for proudly displayed 2023 bike bands out at the Cut this season!
Offloading the Bike Ferry.
Valet Bike Parking
Where can you find Valet Bike Parking this summer? In a word- everywhere! We’ll be at all the regular places again this season, ready to provide you with a safe and secure spot to park your bike or e-bike. The Farmers Market, the South End Get Down on Pine Street (formerly known as the Friday Night food trucks), Summervale, the Waterfront Music events, Beach Bites, Bike Me out to the Ballgame, South Burlington’s Nite Out, VT Green Football Club, and lots more! Valet Bike Parking is always free and conveniently located. Check out this page to find Valet Bike Parking all summer long! To sign up for volunteer shifts with Valet Bike Parking, visit click here.
Introducing the VIBE Program!
Regular Valet Bike Parking patrons can now join our VIBE Program and skip signing in! Once you register your bike(s) with Local Motion, you’ll get a small, permanent, numbered sticker to put on your frame. When you arrive to check in your bike, let the attendant know you are a VIBE (Very Inspiring Bike Enthusiast). You won’t have to sign in; the attendant will hand you the claim check and you will be on your way. It’s a pilot project we are testing out this season to expedite our service; for full details and to register for the VIBE program, click here.
Checking in with Larry, our VBP Volunteer at Valet Bike Parking.
From Our Board
In January 2023, we officially welcomed two new board members to the Local Motion Board of Directors: Sung-Hee Chung and Noah Greenstein. Learn more about them on our Board webpage.
We also want to express many thanks to Brian Searles, a longtime Local Motion supporter who has served on our Board of Directors for six years and will be completing his term in April. A former Vermont Secretary of Transportation, Brian brought incredibly valuable knowledge, perspective, and connections during his term as a board member.
Finally, our Board President, Katie Langrock shares this book recommendation:
“This month I am reading “Bicycling with Butterflies” written by Sara Dykman. This book tells the story of her 10,201 mile bike ride with the migration of the monarch butterflies. I was inspired by this solo bike journey, not because of the incredible distance and biking accomplishments but of the experiences that open up to her because she is traveling by bike. The bike enabled her to be close to nature, to smells, sights and all sorts of creatures. It opened up opportunities for experiences with new people and the power of saying yes to adventures with (and help from) others. She shared the joy of experiencing all stages of the monarchs’ lives throughout the migration. It reminded me of the joy of biking and how we can experience so much more by simply being in and with nature. She even traveled through Vermont and captured the magic of our state so well.”
Local Motion’s donors come from all over Vermont and from nearly every state in the country, and many have been supporting us for over 20 years! We are pleased to offer lots of ways to give so you can decide what works best for you, including:
- Workplace giving and employer matching
- Qualified charitable giving through your IRA
- Gifts of securities
- Remembering Local Motion in your will
- Monthly sustaining gifts
- Summer and Year End appeals
- Friend of the Ferry annual campaign
Learn more at localmotion.org/donate and watch for our summer appeal coming in June! Local Motion is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations are tax-deductible as provided by law.
Volunteering with Local Motion is fun and easy, and there are all kinds of ways you can help! Plus, volunteer hours with Local Motion are eligible for City Market member worker credit, which translates to a discount on groceries! Check out our summer volunteer opportunities below and sign up to volunteer for Valet Bike Parking here and Dockside Ambassador here.
Volunteer with Valet Bike Parking (VBP)
- Have fun while helping to provide safe and secure bike parking at events around Burlington on evenings and weekends.
- Support people choosing a sustainable transportation option.
- Sign up with a friend - multiple spots are available for each event
- Earn a discount on groceries as part of the City Market member worker program
Volunteer as a Bike Ferry Dockside Ambassador
- Travel out to “the Cut” on the beautiful Causeway - part of the Island Line Trail
- Greet cyclists, walkers, and rollers and provide helpful information about the local area and about Local Motion
- Assist with managing the flow of passengers waiting to board the Bike Ferry
- Earn a discount on groceries as part of the City Market member worker program