Thursday May 24, 2018
An enthusiastic and involved community is part of what makes South Burlington a great place to live. Every year, nearly 100 South Burlington residents, appointed by the city council, volunteer their time to serve on different city committees. The South Burlington Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee (BPC) is comprised of nine of those volunteers, South Burlington residents Amanda Holland, Bob Britt, Cathy Frank, Dana Farr, Donna Leban, Jamieson Goodwin, Jim Grossman, Roy Neuer, and Shawn Goddard. Their mission is to oversee the general operation of the city’s many recreational paths, including field trails and sidewalks, and to advise the city council of operational needs and future development plans for the path network. The unique combination of experience and background of BPC members generates lively committee discussion and novel solutions.
The BPC meets monthly, on the second Wednesday of each month, to discuss how to best accommodate modes of transportation and recreation as the city grows. In the last several years, the committee describes the city as becoming more multimodal, and they work towards responding to and anticipating the changing needs of residents.
In 2016, the BPC invited residents from the four quadrants of the city to share their desires and priorities for improving the bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure within the city. Local developers and businesses also shared their insights. The committee reports that one of the takeaways from this information gathering was that the community wants to be connected. The committee notes, in particular, an interest in filling the gaps between segments of South Burlington’s existing recreation path and sidewalks. They add that residents expressed a desire for crosswalks to be placed where crossing is difficult, along with suitable time to comfortably cross. In addition, the committee notes they heard requests for the city to provide bike lanes for commuters, connecting to Burlington, Shelburne, Williston, and Colchester and other destinations. BPC also noted a need for more accessible public transportation was also stated.
BPC members state that an improved and interconnected, safe bicycle and pedestrian system allows greater access to enjoy the city’s green spaces, parks, neighborhoods, and businesses. They believe the more walkable and bikeable the city is, the more connected it is. To create these improvements, the committee is actively searching for a source of funding.
In this year’s budget, the city council designated funds to improve the frequency of striping along the sides of the road to clearly mark travel lanes and accommodate more space for cyclists and walkers. This spring, look forward to seeing improved markings on several streets including Dorset Street and Allen Road.
SOURCE: Dana Farr, Chair, South Burlington Bicycle-Pedestrian Committee