The word is in and it's a big win for safer roads for everyone! VTrans is making the lane reconfiguration aka “Road Diet” on the Barre-Montpelier Road in Berlin permanent. The roadway resurfacing project, which has been tested and reviewed in a pilot process over the past two months, and includes a reduction in the number of vehicle travel lanes from two-lanes in each direction to one lane in each direction with center left turn lanes, and the addition of buffered and conventional bike lanes.
Final tweaks to the design and final resurfacing work including paving and line striping will begin the week of August 15th. Research from FHWA has found the nationwide, road diets reduce crashes by 19%-47% (average of 29%) depending upon whether the corridor is located in an urban or suburban setting.
The project has had significant spillover benefits and the opportunity to leverage more bike friendly road projects at both ends. The City of Montpelier has already restriped wider bike lanes between the Barre-Montpelier Road roundabout and the Wayside Restaurant (the northern terminus of the road diet project) and Barre City has an upcoming Class 1 repaving project from the Barre City line (the southern terminus of the project) and the Granite Museum which is expected to be implemented in 2017 and there is already strong support for the addition of bike lanes. If you are interested in supporting the addition of bike lanes to extend the bike lanes into Barre City, get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org.