Speak Out for Change
Most of the change that we want will happen one street and one road at a time.
And most of it will happen because of people like you. It is our thousands of supporters who email their city councilors and select board members. Show up at meetings and speak out. Join big public rides and walks to bring attention to things that need to change. Local Motion provides the wheels. You turn the pedals.
This section of our website is being rebuilt around goals: that is, around getting specific, tangible things done.
Whether it's closing the gap at the northern end of the Shelburne Road bike lanes in South Burlington or making it safer to cross the street at Main Street and Eastern Avenue in St. Johnsbury, we have more impact when we define what we want to change and then work together to make it happen.
YOU can help decide what Local Motion's goals should be!
Add your thoughts to the Suggestion Box in the sidebar. Let's make change happen, one street or road at a time.
(Photo credit: Chris Radder, Brattleboro Reformer, used with permission)
Goal: Create a safer way to cross Putney Road in Brattleboro, VT
Putney Road is one of the busiest, most heavily traveled roads in Brattleboro, and it offers critical amenities that residents cannot safely access in its current state. It has a large supermarket, a smaller grocery store, a hardware store, a barber shop, a clothing store, as well as several banks, restaurants (including locally-owned Indian, Mexican, and Chinese restaurants) and hotels. There is also a substantial amount of multi-family housing along Putney Road and on side streets like Landmark Hill Drive that often frequent these businesses, but cannot do so safely on foot or by bike.
Local Motion, in collaboration with local residents, is advocating for crosswalks at various intersections along Putney Road to help residents and visitors better access the various amenities. Proposed crosswalk locations include at the entrance to Hannaford, at Black Mountain Road, at the Staples driveway, and at other key locations where there is an identified need.
THE OPPORTUNITY: Ask the State of Vermont and Town of Brattleboro to install crosswalks in order to create a safer Putney Road for everyone. A show of public support will help make these changes possible.
CURRENT STATUS: According to the state, improvements to Putney Road (including safer crossings) are slated to happen six years from now, but they are needed sooner. On October 4, 2017 a woman was hit by a truck while she was walking across Putney Road between the Hannaford grocery store and the True Value hardware store. She was taken to Dartmouth hospital because of the severity of her injuries. There is no existing crosswalk at this intersection, despite the fact that it is frequently used by pedestrians. On a per-capita basis, Brattleboro has the nation's highest pedestrian-death-by-vehicle rate.
THE NEXT STEP: Add your name via the above link to show your support for creating a safer Putney Road. Please also consider contacting state Senators Jeanette White (email@example.com) and Becca Balint (firstname.lastname@example.org), and the Brattleboro select board.
GOAL: Add Bike Lanes for a Safer Flynn Ave
Flynn Ave serves as a critical connection for those traveling to City Market, Oakledge Park, the Burlington bike path, and other destinations in Burlington’s South End. It also provides a low-stress route for those commuting by bike between Burlington, South Burlington, and other surrounding communities. In the longer term, it will link directly to the shared-use path planned alongside the Champlain Parkway. Adding bike lanes along both sides of Flynn Ave will improve safety and fill a missing gap in the regional network.
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THE OPPORTUNITY: Ask the City of Burlington and the Public Works Commission to install bike lanes in both directions this summer on Flynn Ave. Help fill this critical gap in the existing network and make these changes possible with a show of public support.
CURRENT STATUS: The only bike lanes that currently exist on Flynn Ave are the advisory lanes between City Market and Oak Ledge. Although the city plans to install an eastbound climbing bike lane between City Market and Shelburne Road this summer, Plan BTV Walk Bike recommends bike lanes in both directions along Flynn Ave to ensure that this route can be traveled safely by everyone. Local Motion, in collaboration with the Burlington Walk Bike Council and other local residents, is advocating for bike lanes on both sides of Flynn Ave between Pine Street and Shelburne Road.
THE NEXT STEP: Add your name via the above link to show your support. Please also consider contacting DPW at email@example.com or 802-863-9094 x 3, and/or coming to speak on this issue at the Public Works Commission meeting on May 15th, 2019 at 6:30 PM.
GOAL: Improve Biking Infrastructure Along Colchester Ave
Colchester Ave serves as a critical connection for bike commuters traveling between Burlington and other destinations in the region. Given the frequency of use by cyclists, this corridor is identified in both Plan BTV Walk Bike and the Chittenden County Regional Active Transportation Plan as a route to prioritize for improvements. Specifically, a safer connection is needed both for those climbing and descending the hill between the Winooski Bridge and UVM.
Local Motion, in collaboration with the Burlington Walk Bike Council and other local residents, is advocating for better bike infrastructure between the bridge and East Ave.
THE OPPORTUNITY: Ask the City of Burlington and Public Works Commission to repurpose the existing public right of way with better biking infrastructure in order to create a safer Colchester Ave for everyone. Utilizing the public right of way along both sides of Colchester Ave (both on the lower part of the hill by the bridge, and along the upper portion by UVM) would create space for safer bike facilities. A show of public support will help make these changes possible.
CURRENT STATUS: Although the City of Burlington has recently added a climbing bike lane to the bottom portion of Colchester Ave, there is insufficient room for cyclists to travel comfortably and safely along this stretch, particularly during winter months. What's more, the bike lane disappears when it reaches the top of the hill, and there is no downhill bike facility. Improvements are needed to make this critical connection more accessible, and on-street parking removal will be a key factor in making these changes possible.
THE NEXT STEP: Add your name via the above link to show your support. Please also consider contacting DPW at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-863-9094 x3, and/or coming to speak on this issue at the Public Works Commission Meeting on Wednesday, May 15th, 2019 at 6:30 PM. Please fine sample letters and email addresses here.
Better biking is coming to Burlington in 2017—if you stand up and speak out! Local Motion is organizing Burlington residents in support of six bike infrastructure improvement projects that are on DPW's list for this year. We want to make sure they all get done, and YOU are the key to making that happen. Click each link below, and if you like what you read, add your name in support of that project.
connecting north ave to downtown
bike lanes on pearl street
protected bike lane on union street
building the old north end wiggle
southbound bike lane on willard
green intersections and super-sharrows
OCTOBER 2017 UPDATE: The protected bike lane on North Union is currently being installed! One down, five to go.
Local Motion is pleased to partner with Shelburne residents to document community support for making Bay Road safer for biking and walking. Bay Road is an important route for people biking & walking to school, for recreation, and for transportation, and is also a neighborhood with a long history and a strong sense of place. It will work better for everyone with a few sensible improvements.
ADD YOUR NAME TO MAKE BAY ROAD SAFER
THE OPPORTUNITY: Ask the Shelburne Selectboard to move ahead as soon as possible on practical, locally appropriate bike & walk improvements for Bay Road. This road connects the bike lanes on Route 7 with Shelburne Bay Park, the Ty Haul Path, Shelburne Farms, and Shelburne Point. It is a heavily used route for both biking and walking, and at the same time, it sees significant car traffic. The Town and the CCRPC have identified a number of possible improvements, and there are other options as well that could make a difference for biking and walking within the context of the unique character of this road.
CURRENT STATUS: Over the past few months, Town of Shelburne and the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC) worked to identify both near-term and longer-term improvements for biking and walking on Bay Road. The Shelburne Selectboard recently reviewed those options, and decided to hold off on taking action at this point. With a focus creative, low-cost improvements, progress could be made in the near term.
THE NEXT STEP: Add your name via the above link and spread the word!
FOR MORE INFO: Read the Bay Road Pedestrian & Bicycle Mobility Study that was recently completed by the CCRPC.
Local Motion has asked the City of Burlington to install a long-term pilot version of the recent pop-up walk-bike safety demonstration at Winooski, Howard, and St. Paul by the end of 2017 using paint, bolted-down bollards, and other semi-permanent materials. Our hope is that the pilot would stay in place through the winter and into next spring. This would allow for much more in-depth data collection, as well as provide significant safety improvements without having to wait for full reconstruction of the intersection.
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Background on this Project
On July 26, Local Motion worked with the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, AARP Vermont, RSG (a consulting firm) and Burlington DPW to install temporary improvements to this intersection based on the RSG design at right. The improvements were in place through July 30, and consisted of chalk lines plus moveable posts and planters that approximated how the intersection would work if the curbs were moved out to the edges of what is actually needed by vehicles to safely move through the intersection. The result was shortened crosswalks, a reduction in speeding, and additional space for seating in front of two neighborhood stores—without any impact on parking or travel lanes. Feedback on the project was mostly positive, with a few suggestions for improvements.
- High-res version of RSG's original pop-up design
- webpage with a summary of feedback about the short-term project and some FAQs from the consultant team at RSG
The changes made as part of the July pop-up were never intended to be permanent. The point of the pop-up was twofold: to gauge community reaction, and to do a real-world test of the design so as to identify improvements. Based on community feedback and on-the-ground experience, RSG is currently preparing recommendations for next steps, including a semi-permanent pilot project. The marked-up design at left summarizes Local Motion’s feedback on the pop-up. Our staff monitored the project closely, identifying traffic flow issues as well as opportunities for improving walk and bike safety. We have submitted our feedback to RSG and DPW and asked them to incorporate these design changes into the next phase of the project.
The LaPlatte Crossing footbridge is a community project to link the trails of the LaPlatte Nature park on the east and west side of the LaPlatte River. A bridge design by Scott Silverstein of PERCH engineering has been approved by the Shelburne Development Review board. The building permit will allow construction of the footbridge to begin this fall, and hopefully to be completed by next spring. Actual construction will be done by an all volunteer crew.
THE OPPORTUNITY: To help make the LaPlatte Footbridge a reality! Your dollars will literally make this project happen. Your dollars will help purchase the materials needed to complete the bridge as Scott designed it.
Local Motion is pleased to have partnered with Richmond's Trails Committee and Climate Action Committee to document community support for making West Main Street safer - especially better accommodation for biking and walking. This road is a key link to Richmond Park & Ride and to residences, businesses and conserved land. The immediate request (prior to eventual Route 2 rebuild) is for a low cost, sensible improvement: re-striping the shoulder marking (white lines) to increase shoulder widths by 1 foot on each side by reducing marked lanes from 12 ft to 11 ft. This campaign gained a huge community response, and has now been submitted to the planning authorities at Town, County and State levels
THE OPPORTUNITY: Ask the Richmond Select Board, the Regional Planning Commission and Vermont's Transportation Agency to move ahead as soon as possible on practical, locally appropriate bike & walk improvements on West Main Street. This heavily used route connects the Village to the Park & Ride, and I-89 ramps and is currently unsafe for bicycle and pedestrian traffic. The Town and the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC) have identified a number of possible improvements - now is the time to implement them. A show of public support will help to make this a priority.
CURRENT STATUS: The Town of Richmond and the CCRPC worked to identify both near-term and longer-term improvements for biking and walking on West Main Street. With a focus on creative, low-cost improvements, progress could be made in the near term. The speed limit has already been changed to a maximum 40 mph in preparation for lane width changes.
THE NEXT STEP: Add you name via the above link and spread the word!
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Read the Vermont Route 2 Bicycle & Pedestrian Scoping Study that was commissioned by the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission.
Local Motion is pleased to have partnered with Shelburne residents to win selectboard permission for a primitive (unpaved) path on public, town-owned land between Shelburne Heights and Boulder Hill. The path—which is now being built—runs entirely on public land and is being constructed by volunteers at no cost to the town or to taxpayers.
THE OPPORTUNITY: A path from Shelburne Heights to Boulder Hill will give a major new section of Shelburne a walking and biking route to the village. Shelburne Heights residents will be able to get to the Webster Road path without having to walk or bike on Spear Street. This will benefit a large number of families and kids, promoting physical activity and connecting them to the village.
CURRENT STATUS: The path was approved 5-0 by the selectboard on September 27, 2016. Volunteers are now moving ahead with path construction. (Note that the photo above is an example of the type of path that is being built; it is not a photo of the path itself.)
THE NEXT STEP: Add your name, then sign up for a trail workday! Click the red button above to endorse the construction of a path from Shelburne Heights to Boulder Hill, then email or call Mike Ashooh (see below) to volunteer. The next trail workday is Saturday, October 15 from 10 to 2.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This path is NOT located in or near any wetlands. It runs entirely through upland forest. Click the button below for a map showing the location of wetlands relative to the path location.
FOR MORE INFO: Contact Mike Ashooh of 87 Ravine Court at 985-3734 or email@example.com.
Local Motion, in collaboration with city, neighborhood and other local leaders, helped to shape the vision for a safer North Avenue for everyone: people walking, biking and driving. North Ave serves as a critical connection between downtown Burlington with many of Burlington's most important destinations. So, what happens to North Avenue affects the daily transportation needs of residents across the city.
THE OPPORTUNITY: A pilot project was designed to convert the 4 vehicle lane section of the Avenue between Institute Rd and Shore Rd/Heineberg Rd to 2 lanes with a center turn lane and bike lanes in both directions. This design was chosen because it would improve safety on North Ave for everyone: people walking, biking and driving. A 4-lane North Avenue would never be built today because it is an unsafe, outdated design. The center turn lane allows a continuous flow of traffic, while reducing potential rear end and sideswipe conflicts, while making more room for bike lanes. It's a winning design that will increase the safety of North Ave for all users, regardless of choice of transportation.
CURRENT STATUS: After a year of temporary implementation, the pilot was voted into permanence on Monday, July 10th, 2017!
The goal of this pilot was to show that North Avenue can be safer and align with contemporary needs.
All Burlingtonians deserve a better street and a better neighborhood that ensures that the kids, adults, and grandparents in the New North End (and Old North End) are safer, healthier, and wealthier.
Protected bike lanes are part of a transportation revolution in cities and towns across the US!
GOAL: Making South Burlington a more bicycle and pedestrian friendly city by closing the gaps in our existing path and creating pedestrian-friendly intersections and crosswalks.
THE OPPORTUNITY: Penny for Paths - Close the Gaps" will provide a dependable source of funding for the next 10 years to start closing the gaps in our multi-use paths, as well as provide needed crosswalks and pedestrian-friendly intersections. In some cases, a short stretch linking existing paths could open up miles of new opportunity for walkers and cyclists of all ages and abilities.
CURRENT STATUS: While we are lucky to have a great system to build upon, gaps in the city's sidewalks and recreation paths leave many unable to connect to the rest of South Burlington without driving. Many neighborhoods are isolated, leaving numerous residents unable to safely ride or walk to school, city parks, or our new City Center. Sometimes the gap is as short as a quarter of a mile, or a busy intersection, and sometimes it is a long stretch that lacks commuter access.
Examples of Gaps:
1. The south section of Dorset Street between Old Cross Road and Sadie Lane lacks a recreation path.
2. Williston Road lacks crosswalks linking the sidewalks serving the Chamberlain neighborhoods and Williston Road businesses.
On Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 residents voted to connect South Burlington's many paths and sidewalks by endorsing Penny for Paths on the ballot!
Thanks to all who helped support this initiative!
ARTICLE 1: APPROVAL OF 10 YEAR TAX FOR BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS
Starting in FY 2020 for a period of ten years, shall the City be authorized to levy an additional one penny on the annual city tax rate, the entirety of the proceeds of which are to be deposited into a reserve fund established by the City Council for the sole purpose of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure improvements within the City? [ ] YES [ ] NO
ARTICLE II: INCURRING BONDED DEBT FOR BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS
If Article I receives a vote in the affirmative, shall bonds of the City be issued in an amount not to exceed the anticipated proceeds of the ten year one penny tax levy on the annual city tax rate, of an anticipated total amount of $2,968,537.25, for the sole purpose of funding bicycle and pedestrian improvements within the City? [ ] YES [ ] NO
For more information, check out the FAQ or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.