Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Be Careful Out There! Data shows one bicyclist/pedestrian and two car occupants injured weekly in BTV!

Be careful out there!! Based on 2013-2017 roadway crash data an average of one bicyclist or pedestrian is injured each week in BTV plus two car occupants. So about 50 bicycle/pedestrian injuries occur each year, 100 motor vehicle occupants injuries--150 overall. One fatality occurs on BTV streets every 5-6 years--last six three pedestrians, two drivers, and one cyclist with all but one fatal at one of the City's 75 signalized intersections. Roundabouts cut serious and fatal injuries on average 90%. Cycle track on street sections provide separate and safe accommodation of cyclists between busy intersections.

Safety First! Winooski Draft Material Mirrors Pine Street Re-Design Approach

Clear that Winooski Transportation Corridor Study places safety first! Great news! Winooski study draft plan material adopts Pine Street Coalition Re-design elements for a beneficial Champlain Parkway and basics of the North Avenue Corridor Plan (2014): roundabouts at busy intersections and cycle track end to end. Thank you Winooski Corridor planners! Time now to re-design a proper scale Parkway to incorporate safety and climate change best practices of today not those of 2006! Like the Winooski draft and North Avenue Plan--safe and separate walk and bike facilities and the "intersection safety belt", the roundabout, at busy intersections.

See Check out the four "Alternatives"

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Three Parkway Tweets--Sully on Safety First, $3.28 Million Contaminated Soils, Climate Change

Hero pilot Sully Sullenberger Saturday on 737 Max 8 crashes: “quality and safety pay for themselves...always better & cheaper to get it right than repair the damage after..." Re-design Champlain Pkwy. group targets no safe walk/bike facilities, no safe intersections

Tweet March 17
BTV facing $3.28 million taxpayer bill for Parkway contaminated soils—figure City Engineer Baldwin revealed at CCRPC Board last month? He says construction start 2019--Pine Street Coalition safety re-design cuts $43 million cost ~$8 million, likely soils too.

The fight to re-design the Champlain Parkway here in BTV from the start included climate change—absence of separate and safe walk and bike facilities, half mile of unneeded street, 1,000s of gallons gas wasted yearly at intersections. Safety 1st of course.

BTV Winooski Corridor Bike/Ped Injury Rates Astronomical Compared to VT Downtown Roundabouts

Data from the Winooski Corridor Transportation Corridor reveals real carnage on Burlington streets in addition to the fatality recorded about every 5-6 years, the latest in December Jonathan Jerome, a pedestrian who died in a crash on North Avenue.
Based on five years of data through 2017, about 150 injuries occur each year on Burlington streets, three per week. About 50 injuries or one a week are bicyclists and pedestrians in roughly equal numbers and 100 card occupants or two a week. 
About 10% of all 150 annual injuries on BTV streets occur on North and South Winooski Avenues.  And 43% of all yearly crashes occurred at intersections.    On the 17 Winooski corridor  intersections 0.21 injuries occurred to bicyclists per year per intersection--no injuries in a half century have occurred at the six downtown VT roundabouts (Manchester Center, Middlebury and Montpelier).  A similar rate for Winooski intersections injuries per year--0.21 pedestrian injuries per year per intersection--occurred for the 2013-2017 survey period.  Comparison the Winooski 0.21 figure compares to 0.0032 injures per year per downtown VT roundabout.For car occupants the Winooski Avenues figure is 0.13 injury per year per intersection (2.8 injuries yearly 17 intersections).  
 Car occupant injuries for the 6 downtown VT roundabouts:  0.013 per year (4 injuries recorded total for lifetime of the six roundabouts through about 2016).
So on the Winooski Avenues, an injury occurs about once every two months--7.2 per year.  For comparison, the six downtown VT roundabouts record an injury about once a decade! 

In addition to crashes involving personal injury, the vast bulk of crashes are property damage only--about 1,200 average yearly, almost ten times the injuries, about 150, recorded.
These are metrics BTV Police Chief Del Pozo would likely love!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Governor Scott: Stop the Hurtful Parkway!! Start a Neighborhood Roadway Re-Design!!

December 12, 2018

Governor Phil Scott
Pavilion Office Building 
109 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05609 

Dear Governor Scott:

The members of the Pine Street Coalition would like to congratulate you on winning another term as Governor of our State of Vermont. Our Coalition is a grassroots and volunteer citizens' organization with about 100 members dedicated to safe and quality transportation in Burlington's South End neighborhood.

In addition, we thank you, along with Transportation Secretary Flynn for meeting with a delegation of the Coalition May 8 at your Capitol Building office to learn more about our neighborhood concerns over the outdated and unsafe design of the Champlain Parkway. Its last public hearing now dates back 12 years to November 2006.

The Parkway design, a vestige of 1960s thinking, was originally thought of as a segment of a four-lane limited access ring road surrounding the center of Burlington. The public comment on the project ended in 2006 and the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact (FSEIS) issued 2009. The total project cost now estimated at $43 million funding share -- 95% federal, 3% State and 2% City monies.

Since the FSEIS was issued in 2009, the neighborhood has blossomed into the most vibrant section of our City, and major changes in laws and policies affecting highway design have also occurred. The Pine Street Coalition steadfastly maintains it would be best for all if the current obsolete and invalid iteration of the Champlain Parkway roadway design is abandoned and a modern design begun through a new Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process. A new EIS would be driven in great part by the neighborhood itself whose very economy and safety are at stake. We have suggested Re-Design Guidelines for improvements meeting current and future transportation needs—particularly by providing separate, safe walk and bike facilities totally lacking in the Parkway design. We can meet current and future needs far better and overall at lower cost. Additionally, both safety and climate change emissions now possible through “best practices” were left out of the current design considerations. Using “best practices” serious injuries could be reduced over current levels and significant reductions in climate change emissions achieved.

A re-design certainly will reduce two streets between Home and Flynn Avenues to one street, the most glaring financial waste. As well, connectivity between Burlington and So. Burlington can be preserved instead of severing one of the only two north-south corridors here in the City. Upwards of six acres can be retained for protection and preservation of Englesby Brook, park and open space, and economic development. Again, new regulations require minimizing impacts on our low income Maple/King neighborhood not even considered in the FSEIS process.

This April, the Coalition issued a detailed 240+ page set of documents detailing the changes since the 2009 FSEIS on the ground and in new laws and policies at Federal, State and City levels. This documented challenge to the City, State and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) calling for a new EIS process will be considered by the FHWA in re-evaluation as required in federal law and regulation and
sets the basis of possible subsequent federal court action. Already since spring alleged errors in land taking procedures under State laws by the City lead to the current suits before Chittenden Superior Court.

With City representatives recently stating the project could be tied up in courts for an unknown number of years, we respectfully request it is in the interests of all to stop the Parkway now and start a new EIS. This promises a far better result than the uncertain outcome of years of litigation, increasingly likely to lead to a new EIS as time goes on. This is the same contention put forth by the Coalition to Federal Highway, Vermont Agency of Transportation and local officials in meetings since early last year.

Finally, the Pine Street Coalition respectfully requests your taking action for a new EIS process at this juncture in favor of a quality and safe roadway project. Such a decision promises not only a safe and quality project, but financial savings and certain economic progress for our neighborhood, the City of Burlington, our County and our State.

Yours truly,

Pine Street Coalition

Tony Redington  -  President 
Charles Simpson -  First Vice President
Jack Daggitt - Second Vice President
Steve Goodkind  -  Treasurer
Ib Nar - Secretary

cc Vermont Secretary of Transportation Joseph Flynn
Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger
Mathew Hake, P.E., Vermont Division Administrator, FHWA
Members of the Burlington City Council