Pop-Ups Offer Proof of Concept in Downtown Vergennes
As part of the Downtown-Basin Master Plan public input process, the City of Vergennes and its community partners held a series of pop-up demonstration projects to illustrate how the streets connecting Downtown and the Basin could be made safer and more walk and bike friendly. Partners and volunteers used spray chalk and traffic cones to demonstrate the concepts below:
- bike lanes
- curb extensions/bulb‐ outs
- pedestrian refuge islands
In addition, an information kiosk, which has long been recommended, was constructed in Falls Park.
An information tent at the Vergennes Green provided project information and allowed observers to share their reactions to the demonstrations with staff and Steering Committee members. Along with input gathered during the walking tours, this feedback provided the basis for the Issues and Recommendations for the Downtown-Basin Master Plan.
The demonstration projects were helpful because they offered “proof of concept” of the feasibility of the preliminary recommendations, for example, that there is enough roadway width to accommodate bicycle lanes, and that curb extensions work to slow driving speeds and increase pedestrian visibility.
Photo above: Cones were used to demonstrate a pedestrian refuge island while maintaining adequate travel lane widths.
Staff and volunteers use spray chalk to mark out a 5' bike lane while maintaining VTrans' recommended 11' travel lane for an arterial.
A 5' bike lane with a 2' buffer was demonstrated while maintaining 11' width for trucks in the adjacent travel lane.
Traffic cones show how a curb extension would decrease traffic speeds while reducing pedestrian exposure to vehicles.
The hay bale and cone show how a curb extension would work to shorten pedestrian crossing distances and calm traffic.
A gateway sign on the west side of the bridge was placed to show drivers that they were approaching the village and should adjust speeds accordingly.