Monday, September 19, 2011

Speak Up For City-wide 25mph Speed Limit in Burlington!

Help change the culture of Burlington's streets!

Whether you live, work or play in Burlington, please speak up for a 25mph city-wide speed limit.
7:30 pm on September 28, 2011
Contois Auditorium
At this meeting, the Public Works Commission will hear public comments and they may even vote that night.  Your participation is invaluable!

Keeping traffic moving at a slow constant speed is much safer than traffic going fast, stopping, and going fast again.  A city-wide 25mph speed limit is one of the most important policy decisions the City will make this decade. Some main roads will have higher speeds (North Avenue, Northern Connector, Shelburne Road, etc) but everything else will be 25mph.  Chapin helped start this discussion 12 years ago when he was on the City Council and passed a resolution calling for a city-wide speed limit.  Now we need your help to make it happen.  Want more info?  Click here and scroll down.

Vehicle speed determines how severe car/pedestrian crashes will be.  The chance of a pedestrian dying when struck by a car is 9 times greater at 30mph than at 20mph. Slow streets are safe streets.

Here are background materials from the City of Burlington website:
A major component of the Transportation Plan is a shift to a "complete streets" strategy. Streets are classified as Complete Streets, Transit Streets, Bicycle Streets, Slow Streets, State Truck Routes, and Neighborhood StreetsClick here to view a map of the Transportation Plan street system.

The Transportation Plan recommended that all Slow Streets become 20 mph and all other streets become 25 mph unless otherwise posted. During review of the draft Transportation Plan by the various Commissions and Committees, discussion largely focused on which streets should be "otherwise posted."

Although the Transportation Plan recommended 20 mph for the Slow Streets between and including Pearl to Main Streets and South Winooski Avenue to Lake Street, a portion of that area is outside of the Designated Downtown Development District. Under state statute, only streets within this designated district may have speed limits lower than 20 mph. To still allow for an east-west street as a boundary line, we are recommending 20 mph speed limits between and including Pearl Street to Main Street and South Winooski Avenue to Lake Street, except Battery Street (recommended 25 mph) and Church Street (remain 5 mph). The speed limit on Battery Street would be further evaluated as part of a future corridor study.

Outside of the downtown Slow Streets, the broad focus was on the Complete Streets. The Transportation Plan recommended Complete Streets undergo detailed planning through future corridor studies (see Colchester Avenue described above). Using this approach, we are recommending that the 4-lane and arterial segments of Complete Streets that have not yet been the focus of a corridor study remain 30 mph. The speed limit would then be reviewed as part of the future corridor studies. This includes North Avenue between the Rt 127 entrance/exit ramps and Plattsburg Avenue, and Shelburne Street between the South Burlington town line and Locust/Ledge Street. We are also proposing Plattsburg Avenue remain 30 mph and be included in the North Avenue corridor study.

Lastly, we are not recommending changes for streets that have current speed limit exceptions. This includes the Northern Connector/Rt 127 and Church Street.

The general concept for our recommended speed limits and the streets excepted from this is to envision entering Burlington at a higher rate of speed, then decreasing travel speeds on the approach to downtown.

Our recommendation to the Public Works Commission will include a 25 mph speed limit on all Burlington streets, except:
  • 30 mph speed limit would remain on 1) North Avenue between the Rt 127 entrance/exit ramps and Plattsburg Avenue, 2) Plattsburg Avenue, and 3) Shelburne Street between the intersection of Locust/Ledge Street and the South Burlington town line
  • 50 mph speed limit would remain on the Northern Connector/Rt 127
  • 35 mph speed limit would remain on the Northern Connector/Rt 127 beginning 500' south of Plattsburg Avenue north to the Colchester town line
  • 5 mph speed limit would remain on Church Street between Main Street and Pearl Street
  • 20 mph Slow Streets would be created in the downtown core, between and including Pearl Street to Main Street and South Winooski Avenue to Lake Street, except Church Street (5 mph) and Battery Street (25 mph)
Additional resources for the 25 mph citywide speed limit:

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