Monday, June 22, 2020

Burlington "Systematic Safety" Program for Dummies

 June 12  @TonyRVT60 :
BTV [Burlington] "Systematic Safety" Program for Dummies: Now, 150 injuries/yr, 1 fatal/3 years. Convert our 21 VT high crash intersections (1.4 injuries/yr. each) to roundabout. After: 20% injury drop to 130, 1 fatal/3 yrs. to 1/5 yr.; 100,000 gallons gas/yr cut cools planet! #btv #vtpoli

Upon further reflection additional background to "BTV Systematic Safety for Dummies" connects directly with AAA's study of the impact of roundabouts being 30% of the estimated US reduction of 63,000 deaths and 353,000 serious injuries.  

That background is combined with the known downtown roundabout safety performance uniquely recorded right here in Vermont--we are reasonably confident that  90% or more reduction in injuries can be obtained by converting signals with poor injury performance to roundabouts.

BTV "Systematic Safety" Program for Dummies: Now, 150 injuries/yr, 1 fatal/3 years. Convert our 21 VT high crash intersections (1.4 injuries/yr. each) to roundabout. After: 20% injury drop to 130, 1 fatal/3 yrs. to 1/5 yr.; 100,000 gallons gas/yr cut cools planet! #btv #vtpoli

The identification of the current U.S. yearly pandemic of excess highway fatalities—21,000—and 4-5 times as many serious injuries along with actions led by roundabouts is reflected in the American Automobile Association Foundation (AAA) 2017 report calling for a Vision 0 fatality policy on highway safety and advocating 10 proven roadway treatments to decrease over 20 years 63,000 deaths and 353,000 serious injuries. The top of ten proven treatments is the roundabout, alone responsible for 30% of the reductions. Roundabouts “first,” again. (See AAA report Safety Benefits of Highway Infrastructure Investments” )  

If Burlington, VT were not itself part of the US national highway fatality/serious injury pandemic and its infrastructure were up to snuff of the four leading nations (Norway, Denmark, Ireland and Switzerland) then instead of a 20% drop in injuries with installation of 21 roundabouts at high crash locations, then the comparable pro rata figure would be 8 less injuries, a 5.3% reduction.

In US highway safety no lives seem to matter much. Note the City's transportation plan states that in regard to transportation safety is “critical.”  Yes, we know the drop of injuries will be about 90% when roundabouts are installed in Burlington. The five downtown Vermont roundabouts first half century of service recorded 0 bike injuries, one pedestrian and four car occupant injuries—none serious. At least four of the Burlington roundabouts—along the four intersections on North Street between North Avenue and North Union would be mini roundabouts. 

Only two for certain would be two lane roundabouts—Colchester/Barrett/Riverside (site of a pedestrian death) and Shelburne Road/Home Avenue (site of a pedestrian death and a car occupant death). Vermont's one two-lane roundabout safety record—five years before and five years after the roundabout was installed in 1990 at I 91/US 5/VT9--was 55 injuries including a fatality as a signalized intersection and just 1 injury as a roundabout—a 98% injury reduction. The majority of the remaining Burlington high crash intersections would be single lane roundabouts similar to the Shelburne Roundabout (at the “rotary”) now scheduled in 2022 after a decade of delay.

Note there are many, many more benefits of roundabout magic—scenic quality, reduced delay, reducing sprawl, global cooling, etc., etc.

              Converting Burlington's "Crash 20" High Crash Intersections to Roundabouts

 The following which shows the impact of converting 21 of Burlington's 75 traffic signals to roundabouts using just those on the current official list of high crash rate intersections. This integrates a number of data sources but to me suggests a complete lack of most jurisdictions in the United States rationally addressing the 21,000 excess fatalities a year on our highways—in this case addressing urban highway deaths and injuries. AAA, Geico, IIHS, AARP—among others—clearly provide research and policy leadership which is wholly ignored. 

In other words, systematic safety programming is the answer to address our home grown pandemic of highway deaths and its “hot spot” of pedestrian fatalities (up 90% over the last decade and hitting numbers not seen since 1990, the last time the US  was number one in worldwide safety).

Burlington is just a few miles across Lake Champlain from New York State where the NY State DOT adopted a landmark “roundabout first” regulation (except NYC which fought them for more than a decade) in 2005. While Vermont once led New England in roundabout development in the 1990s, the Burlington “metro” (our only one!) has the distinction of 0 roundabouts on a busy public intersection. Expect to change during the coming decade! 

Friday, June 19, 2020

"Dutch Treat" Roundabout Coming to BTV's East Ave/Colchester Ave High Crash Info

East Ave/Colchester Ave Roundabout Magic Dutch Style?

The Neighborhood Planning Assembly Wards 1/8 update June 10 on the East Ave/Colchester Ave intersection and corridor walk/improvements brought evidence the roundabout with a safe separate bicycle lane now gaining favor as reported by NPA advisory committee Dave Cawley and regional planner Jason Charest. Thanks to Rick Sharpe, Segway tour service owner, who questioned the initial design at Walk Bike Council in February, the pure Dutch separate lane now the selected candidate is easily accommodated with the ample publicly owned rights of way available.   ( see the NPA meeting here with the discussion of Colchester/East beginning at 1:36:53  

The roundabout has many, many magical properties but key for East Avenue, the a speed challenged connection between Colchester and Main Street, is the traffic calming property extending several hundred feet along each leg.  The traffic calming at each end with a roundabout at both Colchester and Carrigan Drive enables addressing safety and speeds between.  With roundabouts in place, speed management can take place in the central area.

Charest explained that a slight shift of the roundabout placement a few feet toward the former Trinity College side of Colchester not only removes any interference with the India House restaurant facility but also results in a better alignment with East Ave.  The roundabout is a real asset to the India House parking area as no vehicle will ever have to make a left turn to enter the parking area, and experience has shown here in Vermont exiting right or even left at peak hours involves little or no delay because of reduced speeds of traffic at the roundabout. 

From a safety standpoint, East Ave/Colchester is one of the “BTV Crash 20” intersections (all but one signalized) and all averaging at least one injury in the five year span used to determine the 111 current Vermont high crash intersections (18% in BTV!).    Our five downtown Vermont roundabouts by comparison in over a half century of service recorded not a single cyclist injury, one non-serious pedestrian injury and four non-serious car occupant injuries—less than one injury a decade.  Note that bicycle designs for roundabouts have evolved since 2000 and are being applied to the Shelburne Street (“rotary”) roundabout at the “intersection of death” as some in the neighborhood call it and here at Colchester Ave/East Ave.

And just a reminder, the Winooski traffic circle, the size of Thunder Road, would easily hold three roundabouts with plenty of room left over!  And roundabouts fit without much trouble at over 90% of signalized intersections—there are about 75 signalized intersections in Burlington. 

         Safety—Colchester/East 15th Worst in Vermont

The U.S. in falling from first to fifteenth in the world in highway safety now has more than twice the deaths per vehicle mile of travel of the four top nations, 21,000 excess deaths yearly, a truly highway pandemic of deaths and serious injuries—about 30 excess deaths here in Vermont.  An AAA highway infrastructure investment of ten proven death reducing fatals by 63,000 over 20 years finds roundabouts first on the list, roundabouts alone accounting for 30% of the reduced deaths (about 20,000 or 1,000 a year).  Overall the roundabout cuts serious and fatal injuries by about 90%.  That is why in New York since 2005 and increasingly now in other jurisdictions intersections policy is “roundabouts first.”  

Burlington Crash 20 intersections averaged 28 injuries a year, about 20 percent of the 150 injuries on our streets yearly.  We experience a fatality about once in three years, with most recent since 1998 at intersections, three pedestrians, three car occupants and one cyclist.  One of the pedestrian fatals was on the crosswalk on Barrett at Colchester/Riverside, Sam Lapointe of Winooski.  Each week during “normal” times two car occupants are injured and one pedestrian or cyclist. 

Colchester/East is the 15th highest high crash intersection in Vermont with the following recorded in the five year period tabulated:  44 crashes, 9 injuries and 35 Property Damage Only crashes.  Based on Vermont experience a roundabout would cut the injury rate from rate of about 18 a decade  to one or two.  Few of us have escaped the pain and suffering experienced in our family or those we know each decade from car crashes.  There is also the heavy cost in police/emergency incidents and incident management as well as the cost we all bear in car insurance rates.  The fact that car insurance is done at the provincial level in British Columbia and the experience of few claims at roundabouts led to that province being first in Canada to adopt a highway “roundabouts first” regulation about 2010. 

It is my suggestion that Burlington seek full 100% funding with federal funds of the roundabout conversion at Colchester/East as the project could quite easily move ahead because of its priority and right-of-way availability.  The Shelburne Roundabout is 100% safety funded (including utilities).

Let’s hope whoever is Mayor in 2021 that the roundabout demonstration goes forward on North Winooski at the North St intersection (another Crash 20 member), the “intersection of death” after a decade of waiting gets it roundabout in 2022, and East Ave/Colchester Ave “Dutch” roundabout (first for Vermont!) move swiftly to bring roundabout magic to the area.

Website at CCRPC with all study documents, background, etc.:

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Let’s shape a street the City can love!

                                     PINE STREET COALITION PROPOSAL:


      …An economically viable, environmentally sound alternative to the
 “Champlain Parkway/Southern Connector"

NEW STREET is the forward-thinking transportation alternative to the stalled, obsolete Champlain Parkway/Southern Connector project. NEW STREET incorporates many  elements of the plan, so can proceed to construction with minimal additional state and federal review. 
NEW STREET eliminates previous safety, environmental and social justice roadblocks, addressing much community opposition which has until now stymied the Champlain Parkway. 
NEW STREET protects the safety of travelers (vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists) and vulnerable adjacent populations. It bolsters long-term sustainability and development of Burlington's South End. We anticipate that NEW STREET should cost millions less to build than the proposed Champlain Parkway project. The New Street design cuts 1.5 lane-miles of roadway construction, maintenance, and storm-water infrastructure.
NEW STREET incorporates the most recent Environmental Justice initiatives from the Federal Highway Administration, thus avoiding disproportionate impact to Burlington's predominant minority and low-income neighborhoods.  NEW STREET responds to the Climate Emergency resolution adopted by the Burlington City Council on 9/23/19 and signed by the Mayor on 9/25/19. New Street reduces pavement,  promotes bike and pedestrian travel, and protects the Englesby Brook natural wildlife corridor.

                           NEW STREET OUTLINE: SECTION by SECTION 

  1. RESTORE and REFURBISH as a two-way, two-lane road the EXISTING PORTION of the never-completed SOUTHERN CONNECTOR. This runs from I-189 at Route 7 to Home Avenue. 
A roundabout intersection at south end of Pine Street retains connection between I-189, Queen City Park Road and South Burlington. LARGE TRUCK traffic, is REROUTED to the restored CONNECTOR roadway. Automobiles, light trucks, and bikes may travel this route or travel NORTH on PINE, and WEST or EAST on QUEEN CITY PARK ROAD.

From the Pine Street roundabout to Flynn Avenue the road will be posted as “TRUCK ROUTE.” The restored road ends at HOME AVENUE.
A sidewalk and separate bikeway is built on the west side of the restored connector from Pine Street to Home Avenue.
Beginning on NEW STREET, at the intersection of restored CONNECTOR and HOME AVENUE, light trucks, cars and bicycles may travel NORTH or SOUTH on NEW STREET, or EAST or WEST on HOME AVENUE.  LARGE TRUCKS continue SOUTH ON NEW STREET which ends at FLYNN AVENUE.
A new intersection on NEW STREET serves as entrance to CITY MARKET and PETRA CLIFFS businesses.
Between HOME  AVENUE AND FLYNN AVENUE the sidewalk and separate bikeway continue on the West (City Market) side of NEW STREET as well a sidewalk on the East side.   

NEW STREET replaces BRIGGS STREET and a small section of BATCHELDER STREET in the new design remains as in the current design on the east side for residences access to the adjacent Addition road network.

From NEW STREET intersection with Flynn Avenue cars and light trucks will be routed  WEST and EAST on Flynn and SOUTH on NEW STREET. LARGE TRUCKS are REROUTED West on FLYNN.

The Westside sidewalk and separate bikeway continue NORTH to ENGLESBY BROOK—the sidewalk and separate bikeway crossing the Brook will likely feature an historic iron bridge of the VTrans program of historic preservation.  The sidewalk and separate bikeway continue to Sears Lane and through to Lakeside Avenue.   At Lakeside Avenue the sidewalk and bikeway turn East one block to Pine Street, then North toward downtown on the  Westside of Pine to Kilburn Street-Curtis Lumber. From Kilburn Street  to Main Street the sidewalk continues and bicyclists use a protected bike lanes on Pine Street.  No traffic signals would be installed at either Pine Street/Maple Street or Pine Street/King Street intersections. 

May 16, 2020   Pine Street Coalition L3C     Rev. 1

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Climate Emergency, Safe Walking and Biking, Quality Transportation for South End--Demand Action, Now!

A $47 Million Coming Together? Champlain Parkway “New Street,” Pine Street Coalition's new template, being explored as a collaborative choice to end litigation, speed a quality, safest and fairest neighborhood access serving BTV's South End's economy/environment.

Pine Street Coalition starts contacts to reach agreement for project redesign, construction.  Parkway dead in water.  Time to do it right--New Street is cheapest, greenest, quickest, safest modern transportation facility for our South End, far beyond any such facility in Vermont!!

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Parkway Court Delayed by Federal Officials 4 Months--Again, No Construction 2020, New Design Chance Increases

   Champlain Parkway: Let's shape a roadway our City can love!


The Pine Street Coalition—a Grassroots Volunteer Community Group
              For a Cheaper, Greener, Quicker and Much Safer Roadway


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 21, 2020  

Pine Street Coalition Tony Redington 343-6616
Post Office Box 8726 Steve Goodkind 316-6045
Burlington, VT 05402 Charles Simpson 865-5110
Donna Walters 734-2339
                                           For photos: Carolyn Bates  238-4213


BURLINGTON VERMONT,  JANUARY 21, 2020 -- Environmental justice impacts of

the Champlain Parkway receive four more months scrutiny as the Federal Highway 

Administration (FHWA), VTrans and the City of Burlington further examine the project's 

possible disproportionate impact on affected minority and low-income residents.

After local grassroots organization Pine Street Coalition (Coalition) filed a 

federal National  Environmental Policy Act lawsuit last June, FHWA admitted that 

outreach to minority and low-income residents, required by new federal regulations, 

needed attention.  Last October US District Court (Court) granted a 90 day stay of the 

lawsuit to allow the City,  VTrans and FHWA to hear comments about the impacts of 

the $47 million project on one of the City's most disadvantaged neighborhoods.  In a January 17 Court filing FHWA—following a September public meeting, neighborhood 

meetings and receiving comment—requests an additional four months to prepare a 

report and possible reinstatement of an environmental document rescinded last 

October 11.  

The  project corridor runs along Pine Street through the  heart of the Maple King 

Streets neighborhood, Burlington's second highest low income and most diverse 

neighborhood.   Census data shows over 80% of households have  either moderate or

poverty incomes.  The neighborhood is home to many refugee and immigrant families 

as well as retirees.  

Although the project has been under consideration since the mid 1960's, the 

decision to run the highway along Pine Street to Main Street is a recent change in the

project design, introduced in the now obsolete controlling 2009  environmental

document.   "The City  previously opposed this route, because of the impacts to the 

community," said Steve Goodkind, the former Burlington City Engineer. 

“The City had already rejected this route because it does not meet the objective of the 

project, which is getting traffic out of community streets,” he said. 

Donna Walters, a Maple Street resident who spoke at the September Outreach 

Meeting pointed to substantial future traffic increases in the King Maple neighborhood 

when fumes from backed up traffic now pollute the air to the point that many in her 

apartment building have to keep their windows shut in the summer for protection 

from breathing vehicle exhausts.  “This will only worsen living conditions for us,” she


"The project shifts the negative impacts of a highway -- traffic, noise, pollution, 

and most importantly serious safety risks to pedestrians and bicyclists -- from a 

high income neighborhood to this low-income neighborhood," said Tony 

Redington of the Coalition.   "That is exactly what federal environmental justice review

is meant to avoid."  The grassroots group has long advocated 

for a slimmer Parkway with “best practices” safe-for-all-modes roundabouts

instead adding a half dozen dangerous traffic signals. 

“Clearly the Parkway construction cannot occur this year, unlikely in 2021,” said 

Redington for the Coalition.  “Time and money can be saved by undertaking a 

Parkway re-design meeting the needs of the South End of today now

unaddressed,  including safety for those who walk and bike and global heating,” said 

Redington.   The current design has no sidewalks or safe/separate bicycle facilities, 

Redington added. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2019


Roundabouts are the safest intersections in the world and great places to celebrate any holiday with creative abandon!

Friday, December 20, 2019

A democratic organization with majority of voting members representing eight grassroots, volunteer groups: Downtown Neighborhood Association, Keep the Park Green, People for Peace and Security, Pine Street Coalition, Save Open Space, Save Memorial Auditorium, Save Our City, South End Arts Alliance

SEE CHANNEL 22/44 NEWS REPORT 12/20/2019:


Contacts: Andrew Simon 999-5275
Tony Redington 343-6616

BURLINGTON—The Coalition for a Livable City issues the following statement:

The Coalition for a Livable City (CLC), a union of eight Burlington-area civic organizations seeking to implement social justice and a progressive municipal agenda, voted unanimously on Tuesday, December 17 to condemn the culture of harassment of dissent that is fostered by the current city administration.

Further, we stand to defend Charles Winkleman, local activist and blogger, in his call for the resignation of Mayor Miro Weinberger. Ex-BPD Chief Del Pozo used an anonymous account to harass Charles on social media, lied about it, then failed to correct the record for three months after he returned to work. Such malicious interference with the First Amendment rights of a city resident in their exercise of free speech cannot be tolerated in this city, especially by those charged with maintaining public order and security.
 We demand that the harassment of activists like Charles by police officers or any other city officials stop and that a culture of respectful debate be established and welcomed in Burlington.

Government officials have the legal responsibility to facilitate the processes of democracy, not suppress civic engagement through intimidation and harassment. Such harassment amounts to punishment without due process of law. The CLC demands that Burlington officials who engaged in such behavior or who allowed it to happen under their supervision be identified and held accountable. We have no confidence in Mayor Weinberger or in his ability to control or correct the current culture of harassment which he has allowed to prevail in this city.”