Monday, May 23, 2016

RE-DESIGN THE CHAMPLAIN PARKWAY!

...cover message and letter of Burlington Walk Bike Council to Mayor Weinberger and City leaders

May 5, 2016

Dear Mayor Weinberger,

Attached please find a copy of a letter from the Burlington Walk-Bike Council regarding our support for the Pine Street Coalition's call for additional redesign of the Champlain Parkway.  This same letter was also mailed to you via USPS on May 3, 2016.

Please strongly consider supporting additional rethinking and redesign of the Champlain Parkway, despite the perceived reluctance of the City's partners at the state and federal level to support major changes.  We think that the proposed changes to the design will both improve the project and also make it less expensive.  And I'm sure we all would like to ensure that this major public investment is designed for the long-term benefit of our entire community, including safety for all transportation modes.

Thank you for your attention to this important topic, and for your commitment to creating a more walkable and bikable Burlington!

Sincerely,

Erik Brown Brotz
for the Burlington Walk-Bike Council
May 2, 2016

Honorable Miro Weinberger, Mayor
City of Burlington, City Hall

Burlington, VT

Re: Support for additional redesign of the Champlain Parkway

Dear Mayor Weinberger,

The Burlington Walk Bike Council (BWBC) strongly supports additional redesign of the Champlain Parkway to bring it into line with a 21st century vision of safe and complete streets, reduced reliance on single-
occupancy automobiles, and human-scaled walkable neighborhoods. We believe, as described in our December 15, 2014 Comments on Champlain Parkway Design, that the goal of the project should be to:

"Achieve a high quality transportation facility that offers safe and equal access for those who

walk, bicycle and travel by motor vehicle or transit, and that serves to enhance the social and

economic vitality of Burlington’s South End."

The current design for the Champlain Parkway is a significant improvement over earlier versions, and we appreciate your administration’s efforts to bring the design more into line with a vision of a livable South End. However, these incremental changes have not erased the flaws stemming from the project’s outdated original concept of bringing more cars downtown. It still reduces connectivity in its southern half, increases traffic problems in its northern half, and fails to adequately accommodate walking and biking. At the November 30, 2015 presentation of the current plans for the Parkway, Public Works

Director Chapin Spencer acknowledged that the design would look very different if we were starting from scratch today. Why should we settle for something less than what is best for the community?To that end, the Burlington Walk Bike Council endorses the concepts proposed by the Pine Street

Coalition to re-vision and redesign the Champlain Parkway project, as described in that organization’s “Champlain Parkway and Pine Street Corridor Re-design Guidelines” dated March 21, 2016. The Pine Street Coalition Guidelines incorporate many of the BWBC recommendations submitted to the City in oucomments from 2014. These recommendations include safe, separate walking and biking facilities throughout the corridor, roundabouts at key intersections, and maintaining connectivity between the southern end of Pine Street and Queen City Park Road.
We recognize that re-visioning and redesign requires additional time and may be resisted by the City’s partners at the state and federal levels. However, we also believe that the redesign proposed by the Pine Street Coalition is both less expensive and easier to implement than the current plan. If this is communicated effectively to the City’s partners, the resistance may be less than expected. The Burlington Walk Bike Council urges you and your administration to do all you can to ensure that this major investment meets our City’s vision for a walkable, bikeable, sustainable community.

Sincerely,
The Burlington Walk/Bike Council

The Burlington Walk/Bike Steering Committee

Erik Brown Brotz, Chair (erik@burlingtontelecom.net)
Phil Hammerslough (phil.hammerslough@gmail.com)
Stu Lindsay (Stulindsay@comcast.net)
Steve Norman (stevenorman@fastmail.fm)

cc: Chapin Spencer, Public Works Director
Nicole Losch, Transportation Planner

DPW Commissioners
Jeff Padgett, Chair
Tiki Archambeau, Vice Chair
Robert Alberry
Jim Barr
Chris Gillman
Solveig Overby
Tom Simon
Peter Owens, Director of CEDO
Jesse Bridges, Director of Parks and Recreation & Harbormaster
David White, Director of Planning & Zoning

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