Local Motion has been involved for well over a year in the planning process for the Champlain Parkway. Our goal has been to ensure that, if it is built, this major new artery into Burlington (which includes reconstruction of upper Pine Street) creates the best possible facilities for people on foot and on bike. Our work began to pay off this past week when the City of Burlington notified the Act 250 District Commission that it will be designing the Champlain Parkway project as a “Complete Street,” as outlined in the city’s newly adopted Transportation Plan.
The City of Burlington’s Transportation Plan calls for bike lanes, sidewalks, benches, bus shelters, and other bike-ped amenities throughout a Complete Street. It also specifies that curb cuts, crosswalks, and other key infrastructure elements should be designed for smooth and efficient movement of people on foot and on bike. And the plan places great emphasis on keeping vehicle speeds low so as to promote a safe and vibrant environment for walking and biking.
In the City’s letter to the Act 250 Commission (see below), the City thanked Local Motion for bringing to the Commission’s attention the fact that it had mistakenly submitted its OLD transportation plan — which doesn’t call for Complete Streets — in its original Act 250 package. (Several weeks prior, we had highlighted this issue and many others in our first letter to the Commission.) Many thanks to the folks at Burlington Public Works for creating such a forward-looking Transportation Plan. Now it’s time to make sure that the Champlain Parkway lives up to the plan’s high standards!