Local Motion partnered with Richmond's Trails Committee and Climate Action Committee to document community support for making Route 2 in Richmond safer- especially through better accommodation for biking and walking. The Local Motion online petition was a huge success and has triggered action. Richmond Select Board wrote to VTrans to support the re-striping and to recognize the problems and challenges on that key section of road that serves as a key link to Richmond Park & Ride and to residences, businesses and conserved land. An email from the Planning Coordinator at VTrans informed us that the Manager of the VTrans Highway Safety and Design section has agreed to the West Main Street re-striping requests, specifically to work to "identify potential ways in which this work can be accomplished/funded this upcoming season."
It has long been recognized that this section of Route 2 should be improved, but the planning process had stalled. In response, 248 users of this road endorsed the Local Motion petition asking for the state to once again look at bike/pedestrian improvements that could be made on Route 2. Local Motion also loaned committee members a laser rangefinder to document the current existing lane widths. In some places the shoulders are as narrow as one foot wide, often where there is a crash barrier effectively eliminating the usefulness of the shoulder.
The immediate request (prior to eventual Route 2 rebuild) is for a low cost, sensible improvement: re-striping the shoulder marking (white lanes) to increase shoulder widths by 1 foot on each side, reducing the vehicular travel lane from 12 ft to 11 ft.
Fifty of the petition endorsers also wrote comments. Of these 50, 20 stated they were actual or intended bike users, including bike commuters. Three were specifically about walking on the section of road identified in the petition. 28 respondents emphasized safety as their main consideration, in many cases that safety concerns currently prevent them and their families from biking to and from Richmond on Route 2 or using the bus that serves the Richmond Park & Ride. Others emphasized the accessibility of businesses and residences on Route 2. A comment from a former Hinesburg Select Board member gave encouraging information about their experience with widening marked shoulders there.
The show of public support brought important results - important steps towards action!