I have recently started bike commuting be Essex Junction and UVM. The scariest part of my commute is having to cycle along 15. There is no shoulder and no bike lane. There is an uneven side walk for some of it, but as a cyclist I feel uncomfortable using side walks. If there were a full on bike lane or even a slightly wider shoulder it would make this commute safer and more accessible to other individuals.
Thanks, Alisha. You are right that that is a scary ride. People biking deserve better. Luckily, a solution is in the pipeline.
The most exciting part is that VTrans has designed and budgeted for a separated path from Lime Kiln Road to Susie Wilson Road that will get built in the next couple of years. Also, the Village of Essex Junction is planning to add bike lanes this year or next (I'm not sure of the timing) from Susie Wilson to West Street Extension and from Post Office Square almost to Five Corners. This will get you almost all of the way there. We're working on a connection from Lime Kiln into Winooski, which will take a bit longer.
In the meantime, you can cut through Fort Ethan Allen and St. Mike's, which will let you head direction into the Winooski neighborhood next to the college. It's a bit roundabout, but it's all on roads instead of sidewalks.