Fall Newsletter 2019

Summer has been full of activity and we aren't slowing down as we enter the fall season. Here’s a look at what we’ve been up to and what’s on the horizon!

Upcoming Events:

(Like us on Facebook or check out our events calendar to stay in the know)

Featured Event: Jeff Speck Series

Local Motion, in partnership with the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission, AARP, UVM, and the Burlington Business Association, will host an event series on October 16-17th featuring Jeff Speck, an internationally recognized city planner, and author. Speck has devoted his 30-plus year career to designing and advocating for more bike and pedestrian-friendly places. He has also written several award-winning books, including Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream, The Smart Growth Manual, Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America One Step at a Time, and most recently, Walkable City Rules: 101 Steps to Making Better Places. His TED talks and YouTube videos have been viewed more than 3.5 million times! Check out our website later this month for more details!

Jump to a newsletter section:

Better Streets & Connections  | Education

Recreation & Fun |  #GivingWheelsDay

Better Streets & Connections

Inspiring Pop-Up Projects

This summer, our pop-up trailer has traveled to five different communities giving our partners a chance to try out temporary street improvements and envision how to make travel safer for those walking and biking. We’ve been at work all over the state, from the 3D crosswalk on display in the middle of the Barre Heritage Festival (pictured), to experimental advisory bike lanes along a well-traveled stretch of the Lake Champlain Bikeway in St. Albans, to the creation of a mini traffic safety town/traffic garden in Hinesburg. And we have even more projects planned this fall - so stay tuned!

Highlights from Across the State

There are so many exciting walk-bike efforts underway across the state, and we’re proud to have helped make many of them a reality! From the installation of new bike lanes and wider shoulders on Rt. 15 between Essex and Underhill, to the development of a regional Walk Bike Plan currently underway in Addison County, to the formation and dissemination of an online petition to help residents advocate for safer streets in Brattleboro, there are so many stories to share. We’d love to hear what your community or region is up to and how we can help! Send an email to [email protected], give us a call, or stop by our office to chat.

Count Bikes to Make a Difference: Volunteer with Us!

Advocacy for bike-friendly streets is most effective when there's data to back it up, and that cannot happen without you! The Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission and Local Motion have launched a regional bike count program this summer to assess travel patterns and identify priority locations for better bike infrastructure.

We are looking for dedicated volunteers to help review footage from 15-20 locations and tally numbers of those traveling by bike. We’ll provide tutorials for all volunteers, at your convenience.

Please contact Allegra at [email protected] if you’re passionate about helping build public support for better bike facilities and have time to dedicate to this new initiative. 

Story from the Street

Colchester Ave Campaign

Local Motion helps make change across Vermont by bringing together and leveraging our base of supporters on a local level. Over the past spring and summer, we collaborated on a successful campaign with the Burlington Walk Bike Council, Old East End Neighbors (thanks to them for this awesome T-shirt!) and other activists to help fill a critical gap in the regional bike network. In the wake of an opportune repaving project on Colchester Ave, we helped organize concerned residents, created an online petition that generated over 250 signatures, and rallied people to speak at public meetings! The results paid off. Buffered bike lanes will be coming soon to the section of Colchester Ave between East Ave and the Winooski Bridge!

Educating Kids & Commuters

Traveling & Local E-bike Lending Libraries

Our E-bike Lending Library has gone statewide this season! We’re partnering with outdoor shops and public libraries in towns like Middlebury, Montpelier, and Norwich to provide a commuter E-bike and a cargo E-bike for communities to try—for free! Check this page to see if the bikes are coming to a town near you! 

Our Burlington-area E-bike Lending Library is still going strong. Sign up to borrow one for free here. The local lending program will run through the fall and into the winter so you can try out all-season bike commuting.

Bike Smart is Rolling Out!

School is back in session, which means that our four Bike Smart trailers are rolling out and being utilized across the state. Hundreds of kids every year learn to ride through this program, and everyone gains skills that make them more comfortable and safe on the street. We will be in Richford, Westford, Underhill, Williston, Essex, Shelburne, White River Junction, Putney, Ludlow, Montpelier, and so many other places!

Want Bike Smart in your community? Find out how here!

Back in Action with Way to Go! VT

Good news! Way to Go! TO School is back after a great 2018-19 school year! We are looking forward to another full year of fun! We are excited to support schools’ efforts to encourage students, staff and the community to choose green, healthy, and more active transportation habits.

Story from the Street

Trading Car for Cargo Bike - A Lending Library Story

Along the lending library's trek across towns in Vermont, it stopped at Onion River Outdoors in Montpelier where Kate and Tom had the opportunity to try it out! 


Recreation & Fun

Summer at the Bike Ferry

The Bike Ferry has had an excellent season with ridership up about 5% over 2018 and tracking ahead of our best year in 2017! Investments in off-season upgrades to the boat have had a noticeable and quantifiable impact on operations. Many of our crew members returned this year, and we welcomed two new captains: Carol Stenberg and John McHugh.

Colchester Causeway Closure Announcement 

This year’s Bike Ferry service began during a sustained period of high water levels due to spring runoff and rainy days. Consequently, the Colchester Causeway incurred similar damage to that of 2018 but fortunately remained open for Causeway-goers and Bike Ferry passengers. The Town of Colchester has secured financing and initiated a Causeway reconstruction project that will start on September 3, 2019. That means that the last day of Ferry service will be September 2, 2019. We expect a timely start to our 2020 Ferry season on a new and improved Causeway. Very exciting!

An Update on the Trailside Center

The 2019 bike rental season got off to a solid start in May and continues into the early fall. The weather is cooperating, shop traffic is up modestly over last year’s record year, and the TC staff is, as always, crushing it! We added five brand new E-Bikes to our fleet this year and they have been flying out the door—and up the Island Line!

Thank You to Our Volunteers! 

We are awestruck by the volunteer involvement filling literally hundreds of seasonal shifts at our Valet Bike Parking Events and on our Bike Ferry. The shifts fill up almost as fast as we can post them. The volunteer program works because people believe in the work Local Motion does, and thanks to the support we receive from City Market where our volunteers can apply hours worked for discounts.  Thanks, City Market!

Shout-Out to Our Two Unsung Heroes! 

Sandy Bender joined us this year as Services Coordinator, and she’s done a terrific job behind the scenes in the day to day staffing/planning, support, and organizing of the Bike Ferry, the Trailside Center, and Valet Bike Parking. Speaking of Valet Bike Parking, a huge thank you to Stu Lindsay for another fine season. Stu is the Valet Bike Parking mastermind and face of this awesome service. We provide bike parking at over 80 events locally, encouraging more and more people to choose bikes over their cars. Great job to both of you!

Story from the Street

From Argentina to Montreal & Beyond!

This couple has been riding their bikes for 22 months covering over 13,000 miles. Their epic bike journey crossed paths with the Bike Ferry where we got to hear their story! Check out their blog to hear more about their travels.


#GivingWheelsDay 2019 is Local Motion’s inaugural four-day online fundraising campaign in support of purchasing and deploying a child-size adaptive cycle! The campaign will run 9/11- 9/14 so watch your email inbox for more details.

Why? Because the social and wellness benefits of bicycling are profound, and we believe that all children should be able to enjoy them. Mark your calendars for September 11 and watch for an email, so that no Vermont child is left watching from the sidelines.

Want to get a jump on the fundraiser? Click here to donate now

The colors of fall are just around the corner! Get out there and explore your community via bike or on foot.