Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Bike path public meeting 10/30 - 6pm

The Bicycle Advisory Committee would like you to know that  tomorrow (10/30) at 6:00 in the City Council Chambers there will be a public forum to present the preliminary plans for the Montpelier Bike Path that will extend the current path from Granite Street to Gallison Hill Road. Dubois & King, the design engineers, will be on hand to review the plans in full.  Preliminary drawing will also be posted so you can see the ideas as of today.  The city is looking for public input on this preliminary plan.

The forum will open at 6:00 with an opportunity for participants to walk around, view the plans, and talk to the designers.  The speaking program will start at about 6:15 with an introduction by the Mayor and then a full presentation by the design engineers and public comment. 

We would love to see you all there, and any help spreading the word on this is appreciated.   There is a notice for this event on the city's website:  http://www.montpelier-vt.org/notice/896/BIKE-PATH-PUBLIC-FORUM.html

For more info, contact Jessie Baker, Assistant City Manager,  (802) 262-6250, email jbaker@montpelier-vt.org

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Montpelier has been designated bronze level bike friendly city!

From the Times Argus

bike lane metro net.JPG
MONTPELIER — The Capital City has been designated a bicycle-friendly community by the League of American Bicyclists.

The city has been recognized with the “bronze level” achievement after an application was submitted by the city’s bicycle advisory committee. The award recognizes Montpelier’s commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investments in education programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies. Montpelier joins Burlington as the only Vermont cities to be recognized for such a distinction.

Mayor John Hollar and city officials joined a group of cyclists in front of City Hall for a ceremony Tuesday, which was followed by a parade of cyclists pedaling down State Street and finishing at the high school.

One of the City Council’s goals is for Montpelier to become “a nationally known bike- and pedestrian-friendly city,” according to a statement from the city. Since setting that goal, Montpelier has hosted a bike summit, formed a bicycle advisory committee and secured funding to develop a bicycle master plan. Designs are being finalized to extend the bike path from one end of Montpelier to the other, and bike lanes are being marked as city streets are repaved.

"Urban Dreams" - Great things being planned for Montpelier

From the MontpelierBridge.com
In the following interviews, The Bridge asked a range of people—architects, planners, artists and others—to describe Montpelier as it is today, then to look beyond the present moment and share their dreams of what Vermont’s capital city could one day become.
compiled by Amy Brooks Thornton and Nat Frothingham
Top left: The City-State Commission Master Plan of 2005 adds density, relocates cars away from the river, provides garages and new parking, integrates pedestrian and bike friendly pathways, and creates riverfront parks. It won awards from the Vermont chapters of the American Institute of Architects and the American Society of Landscape Architects, and the Vermont Planners Association. See legend. Images courtesy of ORW Landscape Architects and Planners, orw.biz and GBArchitecture.
Top left: The City-State Commission Master Plan of 2005 adds density, relocates cars away from the river, provides garages and new parking, integrates pedestrian and bike friendly pathways, and creates riverfront parks. It won awards from the Vermont chapters of the American Institute of Architects and the American Society of Landscape Architects, and the Vermont Planners Association. See legend. Images courtesy of ORW Landscape Architects and Planners, orw.biz and GBArchitecture.
Irene Facciolo architect, and former member
of Montpelier Planning Commission

Irene Facciolo would like to “close State Street from Elm Street to Main Street” at least once a week to create “an eddy in the center of town. “The town is lacking a quiet center,” she said.
If State Street were closed Saturdays, she’d like to bring the farmers’ market even more into the center of town, onto the street. It’s such a vibrant experience and so well attended, she argues, it should be celebrated even more.
Facciolo is concerned about the intersection of Barre and Main streets, which she believes is only going to become more congested with the inevitable increase of development on Barre Street. She suggests taking down the beverage store and creating a road going over the bridge behind the beverage store. This would also remove traffic from the center of town.
If she were to think big, Facciolo would “bring the train back into the center of town” and put the train station back close to where it was, near Sarducci’s. “What people love about this town is that it’s walkable” Facciolo said. “The more transportation options downtown the better.”

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Williston Bike-Ped Facilities Improvements public meeting

Local Motion
Would you like biking to be easier, safer, and more fun in Williston? You now have an opportunity to cast your vote for dramatic improvements to bike paths and lanes community-wide. Tomorrow -- Thursday at 6 PM -- is your chance! The Town of Williston is advancing three major projects to improve infrastructure for walking and (especially) biking in town, and they need to hear from you that these projects are wanted!

WHAT: Williston Bike-Ped Facilities Improvements public meeting
WHERE: Town Hall Meeting Room, Williston
WHEN: Thursday, October 17, 6:00 PM

The meeting will focus on three major projects:

A multiuse path and wide shoulders on US 2 from Tafts Corners to Williston Village
A multiuse path and wide shoulders on Mountainview Road from VT 2A to North Williston Road
Filling gaps in the multiuse path and wide shoulders on VT 2A from US 2 to Mountainview Road

Local Motion is strongly in support of these projects and is working closely with the Town and with the Regional Planning Commission on designs for all three. We need YOU to speak up at the meeting in support of these major improvements to infrastructure for biking, thanking Williston for their leadership and asking them to do more!

So why should you make the time to be at this meeting? Three reasons:

These projects are NOT yet funded for construction. The powers that be need to hear loud and clear that bike infrastructure is a priority. There are a lot more projects on the waiting list than there is money to fund, and public support is crucial to bumping a project up the list for funding.
Plans currently call for wide shoulders -- but NOT bike lanes. The Town has committed to incorporating wider shoulders into the designs, but they have not committed (so far) to mark them as bike lanes. They need to hear that, while shoulders are great, people want the legal protections and the visibility of actual bike lanes.
Plans do not yet go the extra mile for making intersections safe for bikes. Most car-bike crashes happen at intersections or other places with cross traffic. There are many proven strategies for increasing visibility and safety for bicyclists at intersections, from bike boxes to bike signals to enhanced intersection treatments. Williston can and should be a leader in implementing these strategies in our region -- and is more likely to step up if you ask them to!

So come on out and speak up for bikes. If ever there was a time to make your voice heard, this is it.

See you there.
Jason Van Driesche
Director of Advocacy and Education
and Co-Interim Executive Director
Local Motion
1 Steele St., Burlington, VT 05401
802-861-2700 ext. 109

Friday, October 11, 2013

Bike Rally at Montpelier City Hall Will Feature Bike Announcement from Mayor

Montpelier, Vermont, October 10, 2013

Bicycle riders and community members are invited to the Montpelier City Hall plaza on Tuesday October 15 at 5:15 p.m. to hear Mayor John Hollar make an important announcement related to the city’s Bike Friendly Community efforts.  After the announcement at City Hall, there will be a community bike ride through town to Montpelier High School where The Central Vermont Food Systems Council Harvest Festival takes place from6:00 to 9:00 pm.  

The Montpelier City Council goals for 2013­-14, include Montpelier becoming “a nationally known bike and pedestrian friendly city”.  Since then a city bike summit has been held, a bicycle advisory committee has been formed, and the city has secured funding to develop a bicycle master plan.

What:  Bike rally, announcement, community bike ride

When:  Tuesday, October 15, 20135:15 p.m.

Where : the front steps of Montpelier City Hall

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Bike Commuting up 10% Nationwide in 2012

From the League of American Bicyclists
UPDATED: We've updated our data list for the 70 largest U.S. cities, including share of bicycle commuters and percent change.Download it here.  
This morning, the American Community Survey (ACS) confirmed what many people have felt anecdotally: More people are commuting by bike.
According to the ACS, in 2012 about .64% of commutes are made by bicycle, which represents an almost 10% increase from 2011. This is the largest year-on-year increase since 2007-2008, showing that people are choosing to use their bicycles for transportation not just in response to economic crisis, but because bicycles are leading the way to recovery. In total, there were 864,883 bike commuters in 2012.
Since 2000, ACS data shows a 61.6% increase in bicycle commuting.
Looking at the gender breakdown, the data shows the total number of women bike commuters in 2012 grew to 236,067, which is an almost 11% increase from 2011. More broadly, women commuting by bike has grown by 58.8% since 2006. What's more, the ACS data shows that the growth in bike commuting by women is outpacing that of men. Between 2011 and 2012, the growth in bike commuting by women was 10.9%, compared to 8.4% for men. (Read our 'Women on a Roll' report for more additional data).
In the coming weeks look for more reports on what this new data tells us about commuters in large cities and the demographics of biking. Check out our other commuting data for past reports and more information on the historical trends of ACS data.
The ACS is a major data source used by communities throughout the nation to plan investments and services. These figures estimate the number of commutes that take place by all modes of transportation, and do not estimate non-commute trips. TheNational Household Transportation Survey estimates what modes of transportation are used for all trips.
Stay tuned for a full analysis and report on this new data by the first week of October.
(Photo by Alan Crawford)

Tell VT Transp. Board: Walking & Biking Count!

From Local Motion
The Vermont Transportation Board holds hearings every year to get feedback from Vermonters on how to improve our state's transportation system.  Walk-bike safety and access are high on the list of priorities for the Board.  They want to hear from you about how to make our streets and roads work better for people on foot and on bike.  

Attend a hearing and tell the Transportation Board what's on your mind.  Hearings begin October 16 and continue through mid-November at sites across the state.  Click here for a list of Transportation Board hearing dates and locations.

Want to learn more about the Board and how it is working to improve walking and biking?  Check out last year's Transportation Board report, which has a hefty section on walk-bike issues and priorities.   

Burlington Gets $500K for Safer School Crossings

From Local Motion
In a couple of years, walking and biking to school will be a whole lot safer for kids in Burlington's south end.  Burlington Public Works was awarded almost half a million dollars by the Vermont Agency of Transportation for improvements in the Five Sisters and Birchcliff neighborhoods.  Go Burlington DPW!
Here's what the project will include:
  • About 365 feet of new sidewalk on the north side of Birchcliff Parkway between Cherry Lane and Bittersweet Lane.  This will have the added benefit of slowing traffic down as it comes down the hill, as the sidewalk will replace asphalt and make the street substantially narrower.
  • Improved pedestrian crossings at Birchcliff Parkway / Cherry Lane, at Locust Street / Charlotte Street, and at Locust Street / Caroline Street.  These will likely include bump-out curbs, speed tables, and other features to shorten crossing distances and discourage speeding.
Big kudos to VTrans for putting real money into the Bike-Ped grant program.  They are making active transportation a priority, and it shows.  Let Jon Kaplan, VTrans' bike-ped coordinator, know that you support Vermont's investment in walking and biking!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Rising cycling star from Vt. killed in crash

A native of Jericho and rising star in cyclocross racing has died.
Amy Dombroski, 26, was training in Belgium when she was hit by a truck.
She was part of the top 'cross racing squad in Belgium.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

International Walk to School Day, Oct. 9

Chamberlin WSB   
International Walk to School Day is around the corner! With over 50 schools signed-up, we are excited to have the largest number of Vermont schools participating ever! Here are some things to help you with your last minute planning:

All of these materials and more can be found on our website:http://saferoutes.vermont.gov/events.

 We love hearing about your events! Send your pictures and stories to us atinfo@saferoutesvt.org or post them on our Facebook page!

Way to Go Week, Oct. 14-18 coming up!

Keep your iWalk energy and momentum going by participating in Way to Go Week Oct. 14-18. This state-wide event is an opportunity to encourage and educate your students about clean commute options. 

Even better is that this year's theme is Zombies! 

In order to prevent Zombification students are encouraged to walk, bike, scooter, skateboard, bus or carpool to school! Use this Zombie-themed poster to promote your school's event! 

Score an iPad mini, Bash Badge ski pass, or
some great outdoor gear! Zombies hate prizes.

Help us stop 250,000 lbs of carbon pollution
in one week! You can make it happen.

Join other businesses, schools, and
organizations to make a big difference.

Vermont Transportation Board seeks public input

This fall, the Vermont Transportation Board will hold six public hearings at various locations around the state for the purpose of gathering public comment about transportation-related issues that face the State of Vermont.
Working with the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) as well as the state's 11 Regional Planning Commissions, the Board identified six transportation topics on which it would like public input:
  • Transportation Revenues and Energy
  • Bike & Pedestrian Issues
  • The Future of Both Freight and Passenger Rail Services
  • Park & Ride Expansion
  • Roadway Safety
  • Public Transit - Intercity Service and Service for the Elderly
At each hearing, the Board will present background information regarding each topic to set the stage for discussion and comment. Following the hearings, the Board will submit a written report to both VTrans and the Vermont Legislature. The Board also will post the report on its website.
All public hearings will be held at 6:00 PM on the following dates:
  1. Oct. 16 in Springfield at the Springfield Town Hall, Third Floor Selectman's Meeting Room, 96 Main Street, Springfield, VT.
  2. Oct. 22 in Bennington at the Bennington Fire House, Second Floor Meeting Room, 130 River Street, Bennington, VT.
  3. Oct. 23 in Morristown in the Community Meeting Room at the Morrisville Town Office Building, 43 Portland Street, Morrisville, VT.
  4. Oct. 30 in Newport at the Gateway Center, 84 Fyfe Drive in Newport, VT.
  5. Nov. 14 in St. Albans at the Green Mountain Room of the LaQuinta Inn & Suites, 813 Fairfax Road, St. Albans, VT.
  6. Nov. 20 in Middlebury at the Addison County Regional Planning Commission Offices at 14 Seminary Street in Middlebury, VT.
People who cannot attend a hearing can submit written comment by visiting the Board's website at http://tboard.vermont.gov/.
For more information, contact the Board's Executive Secretary John Zicconi at john.zicconi@state.vt.us or by calling 802-828-2942