Spring Newsletter 2021

Spring is one of our favorite seasons, as we’re busy planning out the year ahead and getting ready for summer!

What are we doing this spring?

  • Installing a Demonstration Project to make a village safe and pleasant for pedestrians
  • Sending our Bike Smart trailer to 20 schools
  • Developing a new interactive mobile Island Line Map
  • Prepping our Bike Ferry for a long fun season on the water
  • Tuning our rental bikes for the Trailside Center
  • And more! Scroll down to discover what we’re doing!

We’re excited for all our programs and services to roll out for the season and encouraging all Vermonters to experience the joy of biking and walking!

Upcoming Events

(Like us on Facebook or check out our events calendar to stay in the know)


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 Complete Streets  | Education  | Recreation  | Volunteer Opportunities


Complete Streets

It’s Demonstration Project Season!

Our Pop-Up Mobile Support unit is getting ready to roll out to Vermont communities this spring and summer. It’s a trailer that contains all of the equipment that communities need to make temporary changes to roadways, allowing residents to experience and experiment with changes before they become permanent. We’re involved at varying levels depending on the community. Sometimes we lead the project from proposal to design and feedback collection, and in some cases, we loan the trailer out and let the community pull it off on its own.

In May 2021, we’ll be installing a Demonstration Project in Greensboro to make the village safer and more comfortable for walking. The changes will reduce dangerous driving and sidewalk parking while also improving crosswalk visibility. Here’s what’s planned. We’re excited to share photos of this project once it’s in place!

The major change is narrowing the car travel lanes by delineating the parking. This will reduce speeding while ensuring that drivers don’t park on the sidewalk, which is a common issue. We’ll also add curb extensions which will shorten the pedestrian crossing distances and make people crossing more visible to drivers. There are various improvements that could be made in addition to what this project will demonstrate, but these adjustments will boost safety for all users in a way that’s implementable for a small, rural community. Ultimately, that’s the goal of a Pop-Up Demonstration Project—to result in permanent improvements!

Interested in learning more about our Pop-Up Demonstration Projects? Contact [email protected]

Local Motion Learning Network Webinar: Where Recreation Meets Transportation

May 13, 3 - 4:30 PM

Where does transportation end and recreation begin? This webinar will explore the overlap of transportation and recreation, highlighting examples of projects completed here in Vermont. We'll look at three examples of Vermont projects from Northfield, East Burke, and the Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail that served to better connect and integrate recreation with transportation.

Register here (it’s free!).

Help Make Streets Safer for Everyone

The MUTCD is a little-known federal regulation that gets in the way of safe streets. Right now, we have a unique opportunity to speak up in support of better and safer walking and biking. Join us and People for Bikes in asking the Federal Highway Administration to update the MUTCD. 

Submit a comment here (stock letter provided, feel free to personalize).

Summit on the Future of Vermont

May 26 & 27, 1 - 5 PM | Virtual

Learn more at futureofvermont.org/summit

Join the Vermont Council on Rural Development to consider transformational goals and actions for the future of our economy, environment, communities, and people at the Summit on the Future of Vermont!

  • Consider ideas for a Proposition for Vermont’s future
  • Think with experts and leaders
  • Contribute your ideas for action
  • Engage in partnership for the future of Vermont

Share your voice and shape action for Vermont’s future.

Produced by the Vermont Council on Rural Development. Questions? Visit futureofvermont.org/summit or contact [email protected] or 802-223-6091


Education

GoVT Winter Bike/Walk Challenge Results

This year Local Motion partnered with Vital Communities and VT Agency of Transportation to run the Vermont Winter Bike/Walk Challenge from February 1st to the 12th. Since work and commuting look very different than normal, we opened the Challenge to everyone who recorded a bike, roll, stroll or run at least two times during the Challenge period.  We wanted to help encourage everyone to get outside and get moving this winter!

2021 saw 94 participants from all over Vermont!

Spring Bike Tips

The birds are chirping and the fresh scent of spring is in the air! Been itching to get back on your bike after the long winter break? We've compiled a list of 6 key biking tips to help get you ready to ride again! Like for example, that it's okay to become a pedestrian if there is a turn or a crossing that makes you uncomfortable by getting off your bike and walk it instead. It's always important to build up your confidence at your own pace! Learn more about other great tips here. 

Goodbye, Sandy! 

Sandy Bender, our Program Coordinator, has decided to move in another career direction. During her time at Local Motion, she helped coordinate our services, including the Bike Ferry, Trailside Center, and Valet Bike Parking, ran the E-Bike Lending Library program, managed our volunteer program, and transitioned our standard workshops to online content, including short educational videos.

We will greatly miss Sandy, but are excited for her as she embarks on a new adventure!

Traveling E-bike Lending Library Plans

The Traveling E-bike Lending Library will be heading east then north this year to reach towns it hasn’t yet been to! Starting in Randolph, then moving to Montpelier, Stowe, Glover, Craftsbury, and ending the season on the islands in South Hero.

Check out the Local Motion Facebook page for updates and when the Lending Library will be coming to your town!

Bike Smart: What Schools Are We Working With This Spring? 

Bike Smart will be headed to 20 schools this Spring! We’re very excited that we have been able to work out a way to provide Bike Smart loans to schools even with the many different ways that school schedules are structured throughout the state.

Keep an eye out for our trailers at the following schools: 

  • Founders Memorial School, Essex 
  • Academy School, Brattleboro
  • Cavendish Town Elementary School, Proctorsville 
  • Westford School ,Westford 
  • Doty Memorial Elementary School, Worcester  
  • Westminster Center School, Westminster
  • Middletown Springs Elementary School, Middletown Springs 
  • Mettawee Community School, West Pawlet 
  • Thetford Elementary, Thetford 
  • Fairfield Center School, Fairfield 
  • Neshobe, Brandon 
  • St. Albans City School, St. Albans 
  • Ludlow Elementary School, Ludlow 
  • Richford Elementary School, Richford 
  • Mary Hogan School, Middlebury 
  • Twinfield Union School, Plainfield 
  • Thatcher Brook Primary School, Waterbury 
  • Dothan Brook School, White River Junction 
  • Charlotte Central School, Charlotte 
  • Charleston Elementary School, West Charleston 

Everyone at the schools are always so excited to receive the trailer when it arrives.  One school had such a great time with the trailer, that they kept using it even during spring break--even scoring an article in the Brattleboro Reformer! 

From our Bike Smart driver, Kevin Rose, here’s a lovely prelude to “Bike Smart excitement”:

“When I pulled up at the Academy School on a beautiful early April morning, the assistant principal (Jon Session) was standing with another teacher greeting the kids as they arrived for school. As I got out of the truck he realized who I was and what that trailer behind me contained. I heard him exclaim excitedly to the teacher next to him, "It's the bikes!"

Such fun, as always, taking Jon through the orientation as kids walked by and their eyes lit up when they saw what was inside the trailer.”

You can see the incredible impacts of giving children an opportunity to bike during the school day--one of our favorite parts was hearing that the school didn’t have any behavioral issues during the time the trailer was at the school.  This year, in particular, we’re so glad to give our Vermont kids something to get so excited about.

A Word from Way to Go!

Way to Go! Vermont’s sustainable transportation challenge had a great winter season, with many schools reporting their winter activities-- from an Iditarod Sledding activity at North Hero to a Winter Walk to School Day event at Poultney, a light show at Twinfield, Snow Robots at St. Albans City School, a Kindness Village of Snowpeople at Salisbury, and so much more. Affiliated with a K-12 School, and want to participate? Report your activities here.

And not just schools can participate in Way to Go! All Vermonters are eligible to participate! Grab your bike, rollerblades, or sneakers and join hundreds of Vermonters participating in the May 1-16th Spring Transportation Challenge! Log at least two walks, roll, or shared-ride trips for your commute (or fun destination) between May 1st and 16th and be entered to win great prizes including $50 gift cards to grocery stores, Darn Tough Socks, walk/bike safety gear and more. Check out the grand prize, a DJ foldable fat-tire eBike. The more you do, the more chances you'll have to win. All K-12 schools are invited to participate. 

Way to Go!: Mask-Up Art Project

Way to Go! Sponsored the Mask-Up Art Project provided schools with free cloth masks to serve as students’ canvases. The project encouraged students to battle pollution by learning about earth-friendly sustainable transportation and representing some of their favorite ways of getting around by designing a face mask depicting eco-friendly alternatives such as walking, biking, skating, and skiing, that reduce their carbon footprint.

Learn more about the project here.

Elements of Bike Riding by Peter Burns

Peter Burns is a long-time bike enthusiast, and one of the original year-round bike riders in Burlington. He writes amazing monthly blogs and teaches a variety of Everyday Biking workshops! For his April blog post, he featured little tidbits about his March rides and how to properly navigate the recreation paths.

To read Peter’s April blog, click here.

Webinar: Why E-Cargo Bikes Might Be the Missing Link in Your Municipal/Business Fleet

How do you keep your employees mobile while achieving goals of sustainability, equity, health, safety, and of course, cost? We conducted a webinar that explored how electric cargo bikes can be a low-cost, sustainable, and accessible addition to vehicle fleets. We discussed the results of a pilot project by Saris Infrastructure and the City of Madison, Wisconsin, which integrated electric cargo bikes into its municipal vehicle fleet, and considered how e-cargo bikes can meet the needs of Vermont communities. 

View the webinar recording here.


Recreation

We are very excited about the upcoming season as we contemplate lovely Vermont summer days that are just a little more normal than 2020. We expect bike rentals and ferry ridership will be up reflecting the explosive interest in safe outdoor recreation. We also anticipate more people will choose to remain in the US for their summer vacations and that Vermont’s proximity to major metropolitan markets will bode well for our overall tourism industry. We’ve got great bikes and friendly expertise to make for an awesome visit to Burlington fun for both locals and tourists alike.

News from the Trailside Center

The waterfront railroad construction that began late last summer continues along the west side of the Wing Building, where our shop door used to be. Once finished in late fall, our block will welcome Amtrak back to town and will feature a brand new section of bike path!

Bike rentals service will continue to operate on the Steele St. side of the Wing Building where we can send our renters up a detour to Battery St. and down Lake St., We will be open for daily service on May 8th through mid-October. For the safety of our customers and staff, we will continue with our equipment cleaning and mask-wearing protocols. We have added new RAD e-bikes bringing our total to 8, and are almost finished overhauling our large fleet of conventional bikes, kid’s trailers, and tag-a-longs.

Our newish online bike reservation system worked so well last year, so we’re giving it another go this coming season when we expect a significant increase in volume and demand. We’re happy to welcome lead staff member Tanawat Leukr-u-suke and head mechanic Tom Bennett back this season and we continue our search for more awesome Trailside Center staff.

To learn more about joining our team, visit here.

New Island Line Map

This year we will replace the paper version of the Island Line Map with Local Motion’s new Biking and Walking interactive map. This map turns a visitor’s smartphone into a wayfinding tool that helps them to navigate our streets and trails, assists them in finding landmarks, points of interest, and participating advertisers’ businesses. This season, our map will allow advertisers to reach thousands of visitors who can get around town, up the trail, and out to the Lake Champlain Islands by viewing our map on their phone. Participating advertisers get a map location icon with web interactivity, a rotating ad display, and a link to their website as part of our program. Our map users can connect to a link to the map simply by scanning a QR code connecting them, locating their current position, and to begin tracking their progress.

Want to add your business to the map? Contact Tom at [email protected] for more information.

Friends of the Ferry

We launched our Friends of the Ferry campaign from early March to the end of April. Special thanks to five families who made leadership gifts to kick off this campaign! Donors from all over the country have already thrown their support behind the idea that Everyone Rides regardless of their ability to pay. We exceeded our with more than $16,100 raised so far! A big thank you to all our awesome friends, a true testimonial to the value and the joy the Bike Ferry brings to so many cyclists and walkers.

There is still time to join this effort! With a minimum donation of $50, you become part of something truly transformational as the ferry will operate on a pay-what-you-can basis. The more support right now, the better foundation we'll build for Everyone. As a Friend of the Ferry, you will receive the “Friends of the Ferry” donor sticker and the 2021 Velcro “bike band.” A proudly displayed bike band will identify a donor’s support for Everyone Rides! as Local Motion welcomes all on board. To become a Friend of the Ferry, visit here by April 30.

2021 Bike Ferry Season

We look forward to welcoming back many of our regular staff this season. Everyone is keeping their fingers crossed that we will return to a full season schedule that begins the Friday of Memorial Day weekend (May 28th ) through Indigenous Peoples Day (Oct 11th). Check schedule details and times here.

Going into the 2021 season we will stay current with cleaning and distancing guidelines and enforce protocols to ensure passenger and crew safety. We will also continue with the pay-what-you-can model onboard. Rather than exchanging money for tickets, we will encourage passengers to generously donate to keep the boat running and our fantastic crew paid. It worked well over the abbreviated 2020 season and we hope that between the Friends of the Ferry campaign and on-board donations, we’ll generate the revenue we need to keep the ferry on a firm footing.

Finally, Local Motion is committed to taking steps that will enhance the safety and courtesy between its ridership and the communities that the Bike Ferry serves. As part of a collaborative effort with residents and businesses, we will inform our passengers about safe and courteous bicycle travel, and how to best enjoy the communities they visit. 

Valet Bike Parking

We are excited to announce the return of Valet Bike Parking at events in Burlington and South Burlington this summer. Leave the car and stress at home - plan to bike! 

Check here for events as they are confirmed. Volunteer sign-up will start mid-May.


Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers make our work possible! 

Every year, hundreds of volunteers donate thousands of hours to support Local Motion’s mission to make biking and walking a way of life in Vermont.

Volunteer opportunities will resume in summer 2021. Local Motion follows current State of Vermont COVID safety guidelines.

Volunteer hours with Local Motion are eligible for City Market member-worker credit!  If you are a City Market member and have attended a member-worker orientation, your hours can translate to a discount on groceries! 

Sign up to volunteer and to receive our Volunteer Newsletter here


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