Spring Newsletter 2020

We hope this newsletter finds you safe and well. As spring blooms right before our eyes, we are adapting to our current environment to ensure our programs continue to operate successfully. 

We are holding public online workshops to help folks get out on their bikes, continuing to advocate for safer and more equitable streets, monitoring and giving feedback on infrastructure proposals, and pushing officials to take notice of the inadequate infrastructure that this crisis has highlighted. Not only that, but we’re also working on projects that will make our other programs even more effective once they restart. Scroll through our Spring Newsletter and see for yourself all the great work we have been up to!

Jump to a newsletter section:

 Advocacy for Better Streets & Connections  | Education & Commuters

Recreation & Fun | Volunteers

Advocacy for Better Streets & Connections

Welcome to Jonathon, Thank You to Allegra

We’re welcoming Jonathon Weber as our new Livable Streets Program Manager! Jonathon has been with Local Motion for almost three years and has been a strong advocate for our work and asset to the organization. He has supported our education programs, led our Everyday Bicycling workshop and E-bike Lending Library programs, and so much more, before taking on the Livable Streets role. 

We also want to thank Allegra Williams, who has moved on from Local Motion, for all of her excellent advocacy work over the past couple of years!

VTrans Bike/Pedestrian Strategic Plan Update

VTrans is currently working on an update to its Bike/Pedestrian Strategic Plan, a document that outlines clear steps VTrans will take to improve bike and pedestrian connections throughout Vermont, and will further establish bike/ped considerations throughout the Agency of Transportation. This effort matters quite a bit and Local Motion staff from each program area are participating in various focus groups being convened by VTrans. We are providing guidance that will hopefully result in an effective, forward-thinking plan.

Bike Lanes and Other Improvements Coming to Burlington’s Winooski Ave

In partnership with Burlington Walk/Bike Council, Old Spokes Home, and other local partners, Local Motion has advocated for multi-modal improvements to Winooski Ave over the past two years that would truly make it safer for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers. Although Winooski Ave is Burlington’s primary north-south transportation corridor, it remains the most dangerous in the city in terms of crash history. In March, thanks to the tireless work of local advocates and stakeholders, the City Council voted to move forward with these roadway enhancements. Some of the improvements could be implemented as soon as this coming fall! Learn more about the changes slated for 2020-21 and beyond in the final report of the Winooski Ave transportation study.

Bike Count Report Out

The first year of our regional bike count program is complete!

Through our partnership with CCRPC and with the help of dozens of volunteers and interns, we’ve collected bike count data on 20 locations in Burlington, South Burlington, Winooski, and Essex. Look for a report on the count in the near future.

A Vermont Guide to Shared Streets During COVID-19

Some forward-thinking communities are rebalancing their streets to create more room for people to walk and bike during the pandemic. Here are some ideas and resources for rebalancing streets in your community. This guide is intended primarily for town administrators but is also useful for residents who want to encourage their towns to implement these changes.

Shared Streets for Social Distancing

Burlington has launched a Shared Streets initiative to give residents safe spaces to recreate and access essential services! Certain streets throughout the city have been designated either as "Local Traffic Only", which means that the street should only be used for driving if that street is the destination or as "Shared Streets," where drivers should go slow and be extra cautious. On Pine Street, DPW has removed parking on the northbound side to make room for a temporary bike lane. We’re looking for volunteers to help maintain it. You can check for available volunteer shifts here. Local Motion and the Burlington Walk/Bike Council will continue to work with the City to improve and expand the Shared Streets initiative.


Jonathon Weber explains in this VT Digger op-ed how parklets, which have always been good for businesses, could soon be a lifeline for downtown restaurants and retail struggling to accommodate customers while abiding by social distancing.

Petition: Bike Shops are Essential

We recently launched a petition advocating for bike shops to receive the same treatment as automotive dealerships during Stay at Home orders. This would allow them to sell parts and accessories with curbside pickup, and continue to perform repairs. The recent change to the Stay at Home order now allows shops to perform all of these services, but we’re keeping the petition up and continuing our advocacy to ensure bike shops can operate if stronger restrictions return. Please sign on!

Education & Commuters

Bike Smart Update

While spring’s Bike Smart programming has been canceled, we had a great fall season. We went to 33 schools and provided liberating and valuable on-bike time for over 5,800 students. This work would not have been possible without support from our funders, VTrans and Kohls Cares.

Bike Games for the Whole Family

Cabin fever is real, but it's spring, and the outdoors are not canceled. Looking for some socially distant bike games to play with your kids? Check out our acclaimed Bike Smart curriculum. It's jam-packed with game-based bike skills and bike safety activities you can do with your children. Don't have cones or signs? Improvisation is totally fine. Sponges, rags, outdoor toys, and (non-favorite) stuffed animals will all do for obstacle courses. Need signs for "look back?" Grab picture books and use the covers of those as part of the game, or print/draw some images of your own. 

Check out the Bike Smart Curriculum

(Please take extra care when biking in order to avoid injuries that might put additional stress on our medical system).

Fun Outdoor Recreation Resources

We know what we’re doing when it comes to encouraging kids to walk and bike more! We’ve got great materials for teachers and families to encourage skill development, safe behavior through games, and fun activities.

We highly recommend engaging in the Scavenger Hunt! Click to check it out.

(Please take extra care when biking in order to avoid injuries that might put additional stress on our medical system).

ABC Bike Safety Check and Chain Lubrication Live Workshop

We conducted a Facebook live tutorial on how to lubricate your bike's chain and fix a flat tire. 

Missed the workshop? No worries!

 Watch the tutorial here!

LIVE Biking Basics for Beginners (and experienced riders too!) Q&A

May is Bike Month!

The warmer, longer days are calling for us to get out on our bikes. If you haven’t ridden in a while, or even just since last year, join us for a quick refresher on how to stay safe while biking.

We will go over how to check that your bike is in good riding shape, review correct hand signaling, and talk about safely biking with traffic. 

Bring all your biking questions and join Local Motion in celebrating Bike Month!

Q&A Details:
Thursday, May 7th, 2020
12:30pm - 1:00pm
Facebook Live

Recreation & Fun

Bike Ferry Status

Local Motion had scheduled the Bike Ferry season opening to coincide with the completion of the Causeway work, which was scheduled to be May 23rd. We have been notified by the Town of Colchester that the reopening of the Causeway will be delayed due to the Governor's COVID-19 order to halt construction projects. We plan to reopen in July*, and will be keeping a careful eye on all of the factors that can impact our schedule. In the meantime, we continue to prepare for the season with boat and dock maintenance, equipment repairs, hiring and training staff, and facilitating Coast Guard inspections. Many thanks for your patience and continued support of Local Motion.

 *call 802-861-2700 option 2 or check our website for ferry updates!

News from the Trailside Center

Local Motion continues to monitor developments related to COVID-19 to determine if they will impact our bike rental business this summer. The Trailside Center is an important source of funding for Local Motion. Our top priority is to provide a safe working environment for our employees and our customers. Our operational plan will reflect this commitment in determining this season's schedule and the implementation of social distancing and equipment cleansing protocols as required. We will be updating our website as we know more.

Vermont's Best Bike Routes

Here’s a selection of Vermont's best bike routes. These routes can all be completed using a road bike, but you'll appreciate gravel-oriented tires on select segments. 

Which one will you try?

Click for your next bike adventure!


Yoga for Bicycling

Bicycling is a great way to exercise while practicing social distancing, especially as the weather begins to warm. However, bicycling, like any repetitive movement, can lead to aches and pains or even injury if not counterbalanced by other movements. Yoga is a great practice to cross-train for cycling.

Here are some yoga moves to try!

Check out this great deal!

Evolution Yoga and Physical Therapy, who authored the above blog post, is offering a special discounted pass during this time of social distancing. The Support & Solidarity 10 Class Pass ($100 - usually $140) applies to all drop-in classes online and in person, and expires after 2 years.


Keeping Busy During the Winter

We had some bold volunteers help us distribute “Winter Warrior” goodie bags for Winter Bike-to-Work Day on February 14th.  Each volunteer took a different section of Burlington and the surrounding area and scouted out parked bikes, leaving a goodie bag on the handlebars as a thank you to those who chose to bike even on one of the coldest winter days.  

The sun was shining, but with a high of 11 degrees and a low of -7 degrees, it was a very chilly day. Our team of volunteers bundled up and went searching for brave bikers who chose to pedal to work. Thank you for facing the cold and helping spread some love to winter bikers!

We have also had volunteers in and out of the office all winter helping with some of the more mundane but important tasks that need to get done to keep our programs running. It’s inspiring to have so many people invested in helping Local Motion even through the cold months!

Share Your Opinion

If you have volunteered with Local Motion in the past, we would love to hear from you! Do you have feedback or stories to share?  Is there something we could do better for Ferry volunteers? Something you thought of to make Valet Bike Parking volunteering easier? Did you love the time you spent volunteering for Learn to Ride? Please let us know! Send in any constructive feedback or stories/experiences you want to share. Please share your thoughts here.

Thank you, City Market!

A huge thank you to City Market for offering the Member Worker Program! City Market Member Workers earn a discount on groceries when they volunteer with Local Motion. Partnering with City Market has been incredibly rewarding for Local Motion and for our volunteer network. Our volunteers are invaluable—we cannot do our work without them—and we are very thankful that City Market helps us offer something in return for their time and hard work in support of our mission. We have been partners for nearly 10 years and we are excited to continue working together!

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Our e-newsletters are released on a quarterly basis. Stay tuned for our summer edition.