Mayor’s Office

Mayor Miro Weinberger Promotes Active Transportation Options During 3rd Annual Mayor's Multi-Modal Tour

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 9, 2014
Contact:  Mike Kanarick
                802.735.7962

Mayor Miro Weinberger Promotes Active Transportation Options During 3rd Annual Mayor's Multi-Modal Tour; Announces Pine Street Pedestrian Safety Improvements, Partnership to Achieve National Recognition for Walking and Biking, and planBTV Process for South End

Burlington, VT – Mayor Miro Weinberger today promoted active transportation options by leading the 3rd annual Mayor’s Multi-Modal Tour around the City by foot, bike, bus, electric vehicle, and vanpool.  At the conclusion of the tour during a news conference at the ArtsRiot restaurant and events space, Mayor Weinberger highlighted the completion of the City’s short-term pedestrian safety improvements on Pine Street, the new partnership with AARP Vermont, Local Motion, and others to achieve recognition as a national leader in active transportation and recreation as part of the “Go for Gold” initiative, and plans to engage in a planBTV process for Burlington’s South End.

“The third annual multi-modal tour underscores the importance of a great Burlington active transportation system for job creation, health, and environmental sustainability,” said Mayor Weinberger.  “Today, we are reviewing some of the progress made on active transportation initiatives over the last year and launching a new partnership with AARP to ensure that we continue to make steady progress towards our vision of an active and vibrant City.”

The Mayor’s Multi-Modal Tour (itinerary and modes of transportation attached below) coincided with the kick-off of the annual Way to Go! Statewide Commuter Challenge, which will take place the week of May 12-16.  So far this spring, Way to Go! participants have logged more than 210,000 miles of travel by sustainable modes – including walking, biking, transit, carpooling, or telecommuting – and saved about 150,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions in the process.  The overall goal is to avoid 300,000 pounds of carbon pollution in Vermont in just one week.  To learn more about and/or register for Way to Go! week, please visit www.waytogovt.org

Completion of Pedestrian Safety Improvements on Pine Street
The Department of Public Works (DPW) completed the installation of six crosswalks with rapid-flashing beacons and about 750 feet of new sidewalks along the Pine Street corridor.  The new crosswalks and sidewalks are an example of the City’s commitment to improved pedestrian facilities along the Pine Street corridor, and are located at the intersections of Pine with Locust, Howard, Kilburn, and Marble Streets, as well as additional crosswalks in front of both Bobbin Mill Apartments and Dealer.com’s headquarters. 

The rapid-flashing beacons at each of the new crosswalks are activated by pedestrians, and the flashing lights alert motorists that people are crossing Pine Street.  National studies have shown – and experience on Pine Street has confirmed – that this new technology substantially increases the rate of motorist compliance with crosswalks.

“We are very grateful for the priority the Weinberger Administration has placed on keeping pedestrians, including our own employees, safe in the Pine Street corridor,” said Mike Lane, a co-founder of Dealer.com.  “The City’s quick response of rapid-flashing beacons and new sidewalks makes a significant difference in the level of safety in this area.  These and other improvements help strengthen the infrastructure of the South End, and are instrumental in efforts to continue to grow this area of Burlington.”

Joining Mayor Weinberger at the news conference was Adam Brooks, Executive Director of the South End Arts & Business Association (SEABA), who said:  “SEABA thanks the City of Burlington, Mayor Weinberger, and other City departments for their efforts in the South End.  The addition of crosswalks with beacon lights along the Pine Street corridor already is providing residents, visitors, pedestrians, and bikers safe access to businesses east and west.  We are excited about and support the new and upcoming developments happening here in the South End Arts District.”

Andy Vota, Director of Strategic Technology Services at Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC), located in the South End, noted the importance of pedestrian safety along the Pine Street corridor:  “These improvements are important for the safety of the many people who walk or bike along Pine Street.  This is the community in which I live and work – as this area continues to grow, I am glad to see the City prioritizing the thoughtful development of much-needed pedestrian and bike infrastructure.”

Broad Partnership to Improve Walk-Bike Infrastructure Across City
The City also announced a new partnership with the following organizations to form a Leadership Team that will assist in the City’s “Go for Gold” initiative to make Burlington a world-class, walkable city:  AARP Vermont, Local Motion, the Burlington Business Association, the University of Vermont, the Vermont Department of Health, the Burlington Walk-Bike Council, and the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission.  These organizations have been focused on livability and active lifestyle issues for years in Burlington or across Vermont, and the new Go for Gold partnership will facilitate progress in planning and implementing new bike and pedestrian infrastructure across the City.  To help with that effort, these organizations are providing resources to facilitate an active, meaningful community process around livable community projects, bringing ideas and best practices from around the country to Burlington for consideration, engaging in research on Burlington specifically, and making it possible for nationally recognized transportation and mobility experts to visit and exchange ideas with City staff.

“Making Burlington a place where everyone feels safe and comfortable getting around on foot and on bike is a top priority for Local Motion,” said Emily Boedecker, the walk-bike advocacy organization’s executive director.  “We are delighted that Mayor Weinberger has made it a top priority for his Administration as well, and look forward to working with him and others to engage a broad cross-section of Burlington’s population in moving forward.  Together, we can accelerate the pace of improvement in Burlington’s walking and biking infrastructure.”

The work of the Go for Gold Leadership Team is guided by the Go for Gold Blueprint, a document released by Mayor Weinberger in May 2013 in cooperation with Local Motion and other partners.  The Blueprint outlines what Burlington is doing well to support active transportation and recreation, as well as identifies areas of needed improvement.  (The full text of the Blueprint can be downloaded at this link.)  The goal of the Leadership Team’s work is to achieve gold-level recognition for Burlington as a Walk-Friendly Community and Bicycle-Friendly Community by 2016.  

One of the upcoming Pine Street pedestrian-bike safety improvements will be the re-signalization of the Pine and Lakeside streets traffic signals.  The new design will include the following improvements:

  • Attractive pedestal-mounted signals to replace the aging aerial signals;
  • New, full pedestrian signalization with countdown timers for this route to school; and
  • A traffic signal for the Feldman’s Bagels driveway to add greater clarity for vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic entering the intersection.

The signal design has begun and will be complete in summer 2014 with construction to begin in fall 2014. 

“Improving and enhancing transportation and mobility options for older Vermonters are top priorities for AARP across the State,” said Greg Marchildon, State Director of AARP Vermont.  “We applaud Burlington's continued leadership in this regard and look forward to working with the City as plans are developed along the Champlain Parkway, in the South End, and across the entire City.  Burlington is becoming nationally recognized as a great place to grow old, thanks in large part to efforts such as this.”

Engagement in planBTV Exercise for South End
In 2014, one of the key focal points of the Department of Planning and Zoning (DPZ) will be to engage in a planBTV exercise for Burlington’s South End,* guided by the successful process used to create the planBTV: Downtown and Waterfront Master Plan, adopted in June of 2013. 

“Burlington’s South End is the most rapidly growing area in our City,” said Sandrine Thibault, Burlington’s Award-Winning DPZ Comprehensive Planner.  “It’s time to engage in a planBTV process, complete with significant public participation, to define a comprehensive vision for the South End that allows our community to proactively prepare for the expected continued growth of the area.” 

The South End area on which this planBTV process would focus runs from Maple Street to the southern City boundary and from Union Street/Shelburne Road to Lake Champlain.  This process will begin in September 2014 and continue during 2015.  Much like the Downtown and Waterfront planBTV, this new process will offer many opportunities for community engagement and collaboration among members of the public, South End businesses, and members of the City team.

*Please see attached map of proposed area for planBTV exercise for Burlington’s South End

 

2014 Mayor's Multi-Modal Tour Itinerary:  May 9 from 9:00am – 12:00pm

9:00                      Meet in Front of City Hall (149 Church Street)
                              Welcome from City of Burlington, Local Motion, and CATMA

9:05                      Depart on foot (with bikes) up Church Street to the Cherry Street CCTA Station

9:10                      Board #7 North Avenue bus, heading for the Bagel Café/Ethan Allen Shopping Center; CCTA staff will join the group (Adrienne Cochrane, CCTA Marketing & Outreach Manager; and Jon Moore, CCTA Planning Manager)

9:20                      Pick up Principal Brian Williams and six students from Sustainability Academy on North Street

9:26                     Arrive at Ethan Allen Shopping Center (1127 North Avenue)
                            Brief stop in front of the Bagel Café to discuss protected bike lanes
                            
Speaker: Nicole Losch of the Department of Public Works (DPW); Jesse Bridges, Director of Parks & Recreation 

9:45                      Depart on bikes south through protected bike lane

10:00                   North Avenue stop in parking lot of North Avenue Christian School (901 North Ave)
                             Discuss the North Avenue Corridor Study
                            
Speakers: Nicole Losch, DPW; and Ali Kenney, Burton

10:15                  Arrive at Burlington Police Department/adjacent Battery Park (1 North Avenue)
                            Discuss BPD take on multi-modal travel in the City, interdepartmental collaboration, Pearl Street corridor study, Go Vermont/Go Chittenden
                            
Speakers: Deputy Police Chief Bruce Bovat, BPD; Nicole Losch, DPW; and Ross McDonald, Go Vermont

10:25                   Mayor and seven others depart in Go Vermont vanpool; remainder of group departs on bike via Battery Street, Maple Street, Pine Street toward the South End

10:45                   Arrive at Feldman’s Bagels (660 Pine Street); Mayor and others arrive in Go Vermont vanpool. Focus on Lakeside/Pine intersection improvements
                             Speakers: Roy Feldman, owner Feldman’s Bagels; Chapin Spencer, DPW Director 

10:55                  Walk to Calahan Park (97 Locust Street)
                            Discuss pedestrian improvements, Safe Routes to School
                            
Speakers: Jason Van Driesche, Local Motion; Annie Bourdon, CarShare Vermont  Director; Mayor leaves riding in electric Smart Car with Chad Nichols from VEIC

11:05                   New pedestrian crossing at Locust and Pine
                             Speaker: Chapin Spencer or Nicole Losch, DPW

11:10                   Arrive at the Burlington Electric Department (585 Pine Street), Mayor and Chad by Smart Car – discuss the role of electric vehicles    
                             Speakers: Mary Sullivan and John Lincoln, BED; Jen Green, Sustainability Director for the Community and Economic Development Office (CEDO)

11:30                   Arrive at ArtsRiot (400 Pine Street)
                             News conference with Mayor Miro Weinberger and others

 

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Press Release Date: 
05/09/2014
City Department: 
Mayor's Office