Summer has come to a close and fall is in full force with winter fast approaching! Before the snow falls, we wanted to give you an update on all the great things that we worked on over the summer.
- We formed a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team and have set out to understand and address structural racism within our organization and in the context of the work we do.
- We operated our Bike Ferry and Trailside Center safely and successfully during this summer of COVID-19.
- We turned our in-person safety, education, and Learning Network workshops into webinars and reached more people than ever.
- We continued to offer our E-bike Lending Library so Vermonters could get outside in a new and fun way.
- We maintained over three miles of protected bike lanes in Burlington.
But that’s not all! Read more about what we’ve done this summer by scrolling through our fall newsletter.
If the last several months have taught us anything, it’s how important it is for Local Motion to be adaptable and resilient. Practically overnight, we have transformed the way we communicate with our community of supporters, volunteers, and partners, reimagined much of our programming, and found new ways to deliver it. As we learned of the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too many others, we began the difficult process of evaluating our role in becoming antiracist in our work.
These are challenging times, and what we do has never been more important. We have provided leadership and expertise in supporting communities as they create new spaces for people to recreate, commute, shop, and be outside by advocating for—and even helping to maintain—everything from expanded parklets to new and improved bike infrastructure. Our instructional video series is helping new and returning riders (and there are many of them!) be safe as they discover the joy and utility of bicycling. Many of these same riders are utilizing our expanded E-bike Lending Libraries as a way to try an electric bike for the first time.
While we eagerly await the reopening of the Colchester Causeway and the Bike Ferry, our Trailside Center has reopened with enhanced safety measures. Bike rental income provides essential support for our programming, so please help us spread the word and send visitors to see us on the Burlington Waterfront. I don’t know what the next year or even the next month will bring, but I do know that, with the support of folks like you, Local Motion and our staff will meet whatever challenges we face and continue to work towards a more walkable, rollable, and bikeable Vermont.
We hope you take the time to read about the work we’ve been doing in this newsletter, and that you find the time and space to walk, bike, or roll during these long summer days.
Take good care,
Karen Yacos, Executive Director
By Sarah Illingworth, Local Motion's Communications Coordinator
I’ve lived in the South End of Burlington for 4 years now. Every second was a blast! I was within walking distance to literally EVERYTHING. Farmer’s Market? Check! Church Street? Check! Waterfront Events? Check! Food Truck Fridays? Check! Shy Guy Gelato? CHECK! Fitness Gym? Check! Having the ability to just lace up my shoes and walk to anywhere my heart desired was a total bulls-eye. It enabled me to move my body, help the environment, become immersed in my community, and be present. So when I got the Communications Coordinator job at Local Motion it was the icing on the cake! Now I didn’t even need to turn my car on ALL week.
By Mary Catherine Graziano, Local Motion's Senior Manager, Education, and Safety Programs
I work for a bike organization, and until a week ago, I didn’t really enjoy biking. For me, biking has always been more theoretically fun than actually fun—there was fun, sometimes—, But it occurred in brief snatches gleaned from a trip like chocolate chips in a particularly fiber-filled trail mix. For me, biking is hard work, requires a lot of concentration, and I always felt a little like I was skating on the edge of a painful disaster.
We’ve had new guidance from Governor Scott on outdoor recreation, and we’d like to help folks parse it out a bit.
As the state begins its “Play Smart and Play Safe” protocol, the golden rule will continue to be: be mindful of your most vulnerable family members and neighbors, and err on the side of caution to protect them.
The new guidance doesn’t change much for people recreating, but more places will be open.