By Peter Burns
I can use the map apps on my phone, but I prefer paper maps. In an unfamiliar place, the phone maps are difficult to follow. They give a micro view of where you are, but not the bigger picture. When you zoom out, street names disappear. Last summer when I ventured across the lake to ride south to Port Henry and then took the ferry back to Charlotte, I almost got lost. I used my phone and maps copied from a New York State Atlas, but I would have preferred a regional map. Sometimes I can tell where I am but I am not sure if I am heading in the right direction. There is also the option of mapping out a route using one of the map apps and then printing it out. I first learned to use maps in England, when I was walking through the countryside. I used Ordinance Survey maps which are beautifully designed. Perhaps I inherited a bit of map reading ability from my father. He was a flight navigator for B-52 airplanes, although he was never involved in any actual bombing runs.
By Karen Yacos, Local Motion Executive Director
Curt McCormack is the new Chair of the House Transportation Committee in Vermont, and he doesn’t own a car! We love how this guy gets to work (watch how here) by walking to a regional bus for his Burlington to Montpelier (and back) commute to the Statehouse. Everyday. He, and all the folks who are opting to use their feet, a bike or transit rather than a car, will help infuse some new thinking and ideas into the transportation discussion in Vermont, and at the perfect time. Although Vermont has made progress creating safe space for bikers and pedestrians on some roadways, and continues to work on the initial stages of a network of transit and other options that make travel without a car possible in such a rural state, local and state transportation policy, plans, and projects are still substantially about the car first and foremost. This will change because it has to. We all can see more and more people out, in all weather, waiting for a bus, biking, jumping in a carshare or on a share bike trying to get where they need to be WITHOUT A CAR. Our state policies, and expenditures, need to support this shift in the biggest way possible because the result will be healthier people and planet, more livable communities, and a better quality of life for Vermonters.
As part of Transportation for Vermonters (T4VT), a coalition of likeminded partners who support a vision for a sustainable and accessible transportation system for Vermont, Local Motion helped develop a shared 2019 Policy Agenda which was sent to Vermont legislators last week to welcome them to their job and reinforce the importance of bringing forward-thinking and new ideas about our transportation system with them. The T4VT agenda calls for, among other things, increased funding for infrastructure for walking, biking, carpooling and other choices, and the public transit that knits it all together. See the full agenda below or by clicking here.
Features that help make biking and walking safer have been installed across Burlington in many places this summer! And DPW isn't done yet, as several more safety features are being completed into this fall. These are all a part of the City's effort to create a network of connected streets where people of all ages and abilities can easily get around and feel safe doing so, as outlined in planBTV Walk Bike. Neighborhood Greenways are an important part of this--that is, streets with low vehicle volumes and speeds designed to prioritize bicycling and enhance conditions for walking. "The Wiggle" in the ONE is a great example of this, where folks of all ages and abilities can get from the NNE or Battery Park and the Waterfront to the top of the hill (UVM and UVMMC), downtown, or anywhere in between.
Below is a sample of the wonderful bike and walk infrastructure that the City of Burlington has or is in the process of completing this summer. Fear not, much more superb bike and walk infrastructure is planned for upcoming years to help complete a connected citywide network.
Local Motion will reinstate the Island Line Bike Ferry service for the 2018 season. The Vermont Agency of Transportation announced a joint effort today with, the Town of Colchester and Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department to rebuild the Colchester Causeway, targeting early July for reopening.
I am beginning a series about the complexity of riding a bike. I am interested in the many elements that go into a bike ride, and as I use a bike as my primary form of transportation, I've given these elements a lot of thought.
Vermont is home to "one of the country's most spectacular bike trails," according to a recent Washington Post travel piece, and we couldn't agree more! Local Motion owns and operates a bike ferry on a section of the trail, the Colchester Causeway, ferrying cyclists and their bikes from one side of the 200 ft "cut" to the other. Last year, more than 16,000 cyclists rode our ferry enjoying views of the Adirondack mountains to the west and the Green mountains to the east - at the same time! It truly is a spectacular ride and beloved by locals and visitors alike.
In partnership with the Vermont Agency of Transportation, and a number of other participating organizations and sponsors, the Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission and the Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission will host the 2018 statewide Vermont Walk/Bike Summit of May 4th, 2018 at the Barrette Center for the Arts through a partnership with Northern Stage in downtown White River Junction.
A few days ago, we received an interesting email from an anonymous Burlington resident. The email included a number of questions about the emerging bike network in Burlington. We took this as an opportunity to take a deeper dive into some of the issues that have surfaced over the past six or eight months as Burlington has begun implementation of PlanBTV Walk Bike. Read on to see what was asked—and how we responded.