On April 17, 2017, Burlington adopted its first-ever Walk-Bike Master Plan, called "PlanBTV Walk Bike." The plan lays out an ambitious but achievable vision for making Burlington the best small city for biking and walking on the East Coast. Here are some useful links for learning more about the plan and what it will do for Burlington.
Local Motion was deeply involved not only in shaping this plan, but also in building the community consensus that made the plan possible in the first place. From 2012 through 2015, we assisted the Mayor's office with a project called "Burlington Go for Gold," which laid out a blueprint for achieving gold-level national recognition as a Bicycle-Friendly and Walk-Friendly Community. This blueprint identified what Burlington was already doing well to support walking and biking, as well as where we needed to improve. Based on that assessment, the Weinberger administration committed the City to developing a walk-bike master plan.
Local Motion then served as a member of the core Technical Committee that guided the development of PlanBTV WalkBike from 2015 through 2016. Our role was twofold:
- To provide an in-depth review of all project documents to ensure that they included both an inspiring vision for the future and a practical plan for getting there
- To mobilize community residents in support of the plan, with the goal of securing near-unanimous support from City Council and an aggressive push for implementation from the Administration
As the implementation strategy for year one of the plan has come together, Local Motion has focused primarily on bike-related improvements. We put most of our attention there for two (interrelated) reasons. First, bike infrastructure in Burlington needs a lot more improvement than walk infrastructure. (Burlington's sidewalks may not be in great shape, but—unlike our bike lanes—they at least exist across most of the city.) And second, improvements to bike infrastructure will take considerable political will, as they will in some cases require changes to vehicle lanes or removal of on-street parking.
Local Motion fully supports and endorses the plan as presented to City Council. While the plan is not perfect, it will serve as an effective guide for improving conditions for biking and walking in Burlington over the next decade or so. We encourage all Burlingtonians to support immediate approval and rapid implementation of the plan.