a Democratic Path to a Safe, Quality Parkway for the
South End! “Let's Do It Right the First Time”
FOR RELEASE APRIL 3, 2018
Pine Street Coalition Tony Redington 343-6616
Post Office Box 8726 Steve Goodkind 316-6045
Burlington, VT 05402 Charles Simpson 865-5110
BURLINGTON—The Pine Street Coalition today announced its challenge to Federal, State
and City governments to redesign the Champlain Parkway, citing a paradigm shift in
highway safety, environmental justice, and water quality law since the proposed road was
last publicly evaluated by federal and state regulators ten years ago.
Federal and state highway design laws changed in 2012, making safety for vehicles,
bicyclists and pedestrians the top priority. The Champlain Parkway uses older highway
designs that Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) documents say are significantly less safe.
“FHWA Proven Safety Countermeasures and Vermont’s Complete Street Laws adopted
in the last decade require safety first,” says Tony Redington, leader of the Pine Street
Coalition and retired Vermont and New Hampshire transportation planner. “Roadway
elements like roundabouts, which reduce serious accidents by 90%, and dedicated cycle tracks which make biking a safe, environmentally sound transportation option, are not part the Champlain Parkway’s outdated design. Failure to re-evaluate the Parkway in light of current knowledge and law about highway safety will, quite simply, costs lives.”
Since the last public hearing on the Parkway in 2006, Burlington’s South End has
become one of Burlington’s most vibrant communities, filled with restaurants, breweries,
new housing, shops, and a growing technology enclave and new incubator spaces. “The
Parkway design fails because it does not take into consideration today’s realities,” says
Steve Goodkind, Burlington’s former Public Works Director who has joined the Pine Street
Coalition’s efforts. “The Parkway would cut off the Pine Street corridor, and prevent planned future development in the City’s Enterprise Zone,” Goodkind added.
Burlington’s poorest and most diverse communities. “Federal laws adopted in the last ten
years require environmental justice review to ensure that the voices of affected residents
are heard in the planning process,” says South End resident and community development
expert Dr. Charles Simpson. The Pine Street Coalition cites a lack of agency outreach, as well as an absence of aesthetic and noise impact analysis in the Maple-King Street community.
The South End 2.3 mile Parkway costing an estimated $43.1 million remains a vestige
of the four-lane roadway thinking of the 1960s. The plan for a Burlington ring road now
long abandoned included the Parkway super highway rammed through the waterfront
and Old North End.
If the Federal and State agencies do not re-open the environmental review process
within 90 days, the Pine Street Coalition says it will file action in federal court this summer.