Owning a bicycle is not a static experience. As my bike riding evolves, and my needs change and so does the bicycle I ride. Most daily practices change over time, sometimes slowly and sometimes quickly.
Burlington is finally set to make real progress on becoming a biking city! This year, the City has committed to an ambitious list of bike-related improvements to streets (as well as a whole lot of improvements for walking) to ensure that Burlington becomes as bike and walk friendly as possible. Local Motion has been working closely with DPW and the mayor for the last six months to shape a high-impact package of improvements that focus primarily on the "center city" area (Old North End, downtown/waterfront, hill section up to the UVM green, and south end to Howard). By the end of 2017, Burlington will have a basic connected network throughout this area!
The Vermont uniform crash report form gets tweaked just about every year in response to requests from law enforcement and others. This year, it got a significant upgrade to bike-related fields. This will begin to address a chronic problem with regard to data on bike crashes in Vermont: way too many crashes where the bike-related factors are "other" or "unknown." This is something Local Motion has been quietly but doggedly working on for the last few years. Progress!
Are you a transportation engineer or planner? Are you interested in a job that will make a real difference for biking in Vermont? If you answered yes, than make sure to check out this opportunity with VTrans. The agency is committed to investing in better biking statewide, both on state highways and on local roads and this position will play a leading role in making good on that commitment.
On February 21, 2017, Governor Scott named Emily Boedecker as Commissioner of Environmental Conservation. “Emily is an inspired choice for this position,” said Eric Hart, President of the Local Motion Board of Directors. “She is enormously knowledgeable in environmental matters, manages people and finances with equal dexterity, and builds consensus and shared vision among groups with varying opinions. She has put Local Motion on a strong footing for continued growth, and I know she will serve our state well in this new role.”
For some time I have been building up a formidable array of reflectors and lights for night riding - I currently have reflective tape on the bike frame, a reflector on the handlebars, two lights for my helmet and lights for my backpack and handlebars. For the last couple of years I have also been wearing high visibility clothing. I have noticed that when I wear it I get more courtesy from drivers, especially when I am on a crosswalk. I believe that drivers think I have some sort of official position so they hesitate to ignore me.
We are excited to introduce Small Town and Rural Multimodal Networks, a new guide from the USDOT Federal Highway Administration Bicycle and Pedestrian Program that will help make streets and roads in Vermont towns work better and be safer for everyone! The guide is a great new resource for advocates, municipal staff and leaders in Vermont's small towns and rural communities. It applies existing national design guidelines for safer streets and roads in rural settings and highlights small town and rural case studies -- even one from Vermont's own Lyndonville!
Because of your support, US DOT has acknowledged that biking and walking have a role to play in reducing congestion and improving air quality!
With winter comes cold weather, and with cold weather comes challenges for the intrepid winter cyclist. One of the greatest challenges is the simple act of locking and unlocking a bike. When it is very cold, simply taking off mittens to unlock the bike means cold hands before the ride even starts. Glove liners only help so much. In a dream world, there would indoor bike parking everywhere and the locking and unlocking of bikes would take place in the comfort and warmth of the indoors. Until that day however, we winter cyclists will have to make do with what we have.
Check out this sure-to-be informative, free(!) America Walks webinar series on building walkable communities. Coming your way on the second Wednesday of every month throughout 2017, experts as well as advocates and municipal representatives will present sase studies from around the country, and discuss what makes a city walkable and how to do it in your community.