GETTING A WALKABLE, BIKABLE BURLINGTON, VT—THE PATH AHEAD
...plus a touch of rail passenger services
1. Burlington traffic decline started 25 years ago—8% to 28% declines on major routes into downtown area—North Avenue, Beltline, Pearl, Main, Shelburne and Pine. The State projects that traffic decline continues.
2. Burlington workers travel to work—a third on foot, transit, and bike—is a remarkable statistic, over three times the U.S. urban average of 10%.
3. Those traveling to downtown and the waterfront will increasingly go by bus, passenger rail, bicycling and walking—it’s been the trend for decades now and will continue into the future.
4. While walking and bicycling occurs in a “bike and walk friendly” City, the City is mostly neither walkable or bikable along busy streets with two notable exceptions, the Marketplace and Riverside Avenue.
5. Only through major investments on busy streets of cycle track (protected bike lanes) and intersection roundabouts can a walkable bikable City become a reality.
6. Bicycle and walker injuries and fatalities—car occupants too—continue on our streets with the costs of poor safety infrastructure outweighing by far the dwindling costs of congestion as car traffic declines. The tragic deaths of Sam Lapointe on the crosswalk at the Colchester/Barrett intersection last year and Dealer.com employee Karen Borneman while driving through the St. Paul/Main Street intersection two years ago illustrate the need for safe street infrastructure investments.
7. Most busy City intersections can be served by single lane roundabouts, cutting walker and car occupant serious injuries by about 90%. First step, analyzing all busy intersections for roundabout conversion, then building five or so yearly, a figure based past Western European rates.
8. All in Burlington who walk and all who bicycle--regardless of age and skill--deserve walkable and bikable infrastructure on major streets.
9. Large increases in State funding from general funds must occur for the State’s cities and town walkable and bikable infrastructure as well as for needed rail passenger services (intercity and commuter).
10. A truly walkable, bikable busy street features sidewalks and cycle track along its sections paired with roundabouts at key intersections.