FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE AUGUST 11, 2018 - Pine Street Coalition
BURLINGTON--An important step towards a possible Champlain Parkway public redesign
process occurred at Chittenden Superior Court Wednesday, August 8. Pine Street Coalition
and Burlington Fortieth, LLC, owner of Innovation Center, undertook separate appeals of the
legalities of the City's May project land takings and the Necessity Hearing, likely to stall
the $43 million South End project advance nine months.
Judge Robert A. Mello ordered legal arguments submitted by November 8 followed by
a reply period leading to a mid-winter Court proceeding. Meanwhile further project right-of-
way actions cannot proceed.
The Coalition stated purpose is to stop what it terms the obsolete and unsafe Parkway
current design and start a new public design and environmental document, an Environmental
Impact Statement (E.I.S.), process.
In April the grassroots Pine Street Coalition challenged the City, VTrans, and Federal
Highway Administration (FHWA) to stop the out-of-date $43 million Champlain Parkway.
The Coalition detailed numerous changes in laws and policies, traffic and demographics,
and on-the-ground development since the 2009 environmental document. The
Coalition's challenge documents totaled over 240 pages. The Coalition calls for a “cheaper,
greener, quicker, and highly safe roadway with savings of up to $8 million!”
The Parkway purpose now, speeding cars between I 189 and downtown, belongs to the car
centric 1960s not the multi-modal world of today, the Coalition states.
The Coalition will likely challenge the project in federal courts should a new design process
and Environmental Impact Statement (E.I.S.) process is not begun by the VTrans, FHWA
and the City. The last Parkway public hearing dates from 2006 and official environmental document 2009. FHWA and VTrans in response the Coalition April filing communicated they will take the Coalition submission into consideration when
making the next required decision on whether the current design goes forward.
The Coalition condemns the Parkway project for among other reasons: (1) the
six new unsafe traffic signals causing an estimated eight additional injuries a year to
residents and visitors over current best practice, roundabouts; (2) permanently
severing the Pine Street corridor short of Queen City Park Road, one of only two
South End north-south routes; (3) interfering with or blocking current GMT transit
vehicle routings and central facility access; (4) negative impacts on the low income
Maple/King Streets neighborhood in violation of environmental justice regulations; (5) lack of safe and separate walk and bike facilities in the corridor; (6) building an
excess 1.5 lane miles of asphalt roadway consuming about eight acres of land better employed for economic development, open space and protecting stressed Englesby Brook; (7) wasting tens of thousands of gallons of gasoline and excessive climate change pollutants annually; (8) wasting up to $8 million in scarce transportation funds; (9) serious water related issues involving undetected wetlands and expired wetland permits; and (10) inconsistencies or violations of the Parkway design and documents with new laws, policies and plans at federal, state, region and City levels since the 2009 ruling project documents.