Share your thoughts about walking and biking in Essex Junction and what we can all do together to make it better!
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.
I live in Essex Junction and as many others I've spoken (dozens at this point) to both at work and in my neighborhood that also live there, the #1 reason why they don't commute by bike when the weather is decent is the cyclist's suicide strip that is Rt 15 that goes from Pearl St/Susie Wilson into Winooski. Honestly even if the sidewalk was redone that would make such a difference. There are so so many hospital and UVM employees that live in Essex Junction that would love to be able to safely commute to work via bike/ebike but are deterred by this large section. Yes, Lime Kiln road is an option but my point is that those of us in EJ have to get there first....and we can't do that safely without dancing around a military base and dodging cars pulling out because it's also a residential neighborhood that really should not be used for bike commuting. I appreciate the work you guys do, and I think everyone has kind of had it at this point with nothing happening, ever, on this area for cyclists despite talking about maybe doing something. It's doesn't make sense to push bike commuting so much if one of the largest towns in VT is given barely any resources to do that safely. I'm consistently confused as to why one of the healthiest states in the US is one of the most bike-unfriendly to those in the main city/around it (So. Burlington, Essex town and Colchester are exceptions). I've tried 4 different routes of getting to the UVM hospital for work, 3 of which I nearly got hit by a car, 1 of which I took such a round-about way I ended up 20 minutes late for work because I had to take more round-abouts than previously thought to avoid getting hit by people taking their kids to school in the morning and pulling out of their driveways, and none left me feeling like commuting to work via bike was a safe or even remotely enjoyable option. Instead, I ride my bike to the bus stop (1 mile) every day and take the bus straight to the hospital. It works out well, I get to listen to my music and chill for a bit before work, but on a morning where it's 65 and sunny, it feels awful to not have any safe and/or reasonable options to commute via bike the whole way. Thanks for all you do. I wish you all well and your impact on the community is immense and does not go unnoticed.