Sunday, May 29, 2022

Time Sensitive Petition--Pushback on City Rush to Cut Trees, Natural Areas

 Time Sensitive Petition May 29, 2022

Push back on City action to cut trees and natural areas subject in the US District Lawsuit

Please take a moment to sign:


https://chng.it/ydFKs5WRVk

Petition: TO HALT THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE CHAMPLAIN PARKWAY
We the undersigned residents of Burlington hereby petition Mayor Miro Weinberger and the Burlington City
Council to protect our neighbors in the King Maple neighborhood, and our natural resources in Englesby Brook and the
half-mile corridor of woodlands around it, by halting construction of the Champlain Parkway until the US District Court has a
full chance to hear our concerns.





Pine Street Coalition submitted this past week a motion at VT US District Court for an injunction stopping any Parkway construction set to start July 1 until the case is decided. But Mayor Weinberger in a stealth action began cutting the trees and natural areas which are the very subject of the lawsuit!
This petition is a push back on this haste after a half century!  What's the hurry Mayor and Council?

Please sign and send to folks you know who could add their names!

Time Sensitive Petition May 29, 2022
Push back on City action to cut trees and natural areas subject in the US District Lawsuit
Please take a moment to sign:
https://chng.it/ydFKs5WRVk
Petition: TO HALT THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE CHAMPLAIN PARKWAY
We the undersigned residents of Burlington hereby petition Mayor Miro Weinberger and the Burlington City Council to protect our neighbors in the King Maple neighborhood, and our natural resources in Englesby Brook and the half-mile corridor of woodlands around it, by halting construction of the Champlain Parkway until the US District Court has a full chance to hear our concerns.

Thanks to Carolyn Bates who prepared this clear graphic!

Thank you for your help.  Note past petitions include 647 who signed the Vermont Racial Justice Alliance petition  http://chng.it/tS9Ts5FjDx

        Tony Redington
        for Pine Street Coalition

City Cutting Trees before July Parkway Construction Start--Pine St Coalition Update May 28--Petition Likely in a Day or Two

 Alert! Alert!—City starts cutting acres trees, natural areas prior to July 1 construction start. Coalition working on a petition this weekend to push back—Coalition filed court injunction this week to stop any Parkway construction until litigation completed!  Stay tuned to this space!

Pine Street Coalition Update May 28, 2022

Pine Street Coalition Get Together Saturday, June 4, 9 a.m., Hilton Garden Inn, Dining Area, Main St (next to TD Bank) to Converse, Learn, and Discuss/Prepare High Noon June Saturday Events to Condemn Current Parkway Design, Cheer On Getting a Parkway Street We Can All Love!

With coffee and toast or bagel on the house, please join us this Saturday, June 4, to catch up on recent Pine Street Coalition actions, get a legal team update, and discuss events at high noon for Saturday June 11 at Filecase Sculpture opposite City Market South; June 18 in King Maple at Pine/Maple intersection; and June 25 at Pine St/Road to Nowhere Un-Greatful Dead End!  Please join for one or more Saturday to show support for RIGHway!

We need your help and ideas as the US District Court litigation starts after we waited around the court house door since June 6, 2019 for three years!  Now suddenly the Mayor is in a hurry and in a huff to build the hurtful, harmful Parkway!  And in spite of unanimous public hearing opposition to stop blatant environmental racial injustice in King Maple, the City sits on its hands and does nothing!  Racism is a Public Health Emergency says City Council—apparently King Maple not subject to that policy!

Note the cavernous Hilton Garden dining area off the lobby has long tables and space so social distance can be maintained.

Pine Street US District Court Filings  Pine Street Coalition (Coalition) filed a motion to stop Parkway construction until the US District Court decision on our contention of a stale obsolete base environmental document is determined.  A Court insistence on an sound environmental document or Parkway design reflecting laws, regulations and policies along with change on the ground since the current 2009 environmental document means a Parkway can become a street our community can love rather than the loathsome, decades long harmful current edition.

We must be willing to adopt a modern, safe, environmentally sensitive and equitable  shortened roadway while safely serving along the entire corridor in equal measure all who walk and bike—an equality and complete street and corridor!  Simply the 2009 foundation environmental document is stale and obsolete!  

    Champlain Elementary Students Join the RIGHTway Cause

Important news! The late additional statements to the Court this week regarding the injunction to stop construction include two Champlain Elementary School fifth graders from a science program who state their concerns over loss of habitat and protection of Englesby Brook (Parkway puts Englesby into a long pipe).  Science Instructor Judy Dow who also submitted an affidavit is an Abenaki and carries out experiments  and research on Englesby with a group of Champlain Elementary students as part of their learning experience.

Add a thorough statement by one of our original presentation team members and proponent of a linear park/natural preservation area (including Englesby), architect Diane Gayer.

The Coalition injunction motion emphasizes the irreparable damage to the natural resources of the corridor including: (1) cutting of trees and natural areas; (2) permanent racial and low income blatant injustice, for example, placing signals in the core of King Maple  community of color; (3) waste of money; (4) ending connectivity from Pine Street to Queen City Park Rd for all modes; (5) installing six injury generating traffic signals which add tens of thousands of gallons of added gas consumption to heat the planet; (6) jamming up already increased traffic along Lakeside Ave; (7) building about 3/4 mile of worthless roadway which the City must maintain into the future; and (8) failure to provide a single inch of safety for all ages and skills cyclists accommodation as well as not providing a single inch of pedestrian-only sidewalk—in spite of the now out of bounds $125 million investment (our RIGHTway addresses all these and more while costing less!).

City Payback of Parkway Monies No Longer an Issue

With the November 2021 Infrastructure Act, it is clear the City no longer can be placed in the position of paying even a dime back for Parkway development costs now or in the future—the claim of millions of payback which clouded City Council action on the Parkway was always likely a false flag.

“This is a City Project”

When pressed by two Coalition members as to why a safe, modern and equitable Parkway design was not on the drawing board, former Vermont Transportation Secretary and then candidate for governor Sue Minter replied simply “this [Parkway} is a City project.”  Minter clearly pointed her finger at Mayor Weinberger as key to any change.  Note that similar 98% federal/State and 2% city share monies were used by the City of Montpelier to fund a half mile road diet with a sidewalk along side connected to the city system, and the US 2/302 roundabout which replacing a signal system generating 45 crashes a year—the roundabout has two private commercial driveways onto the now highly safe intersection!).  That same Economic Growth Center (MEGC) in the Montpelier project is the same as for the Parkway—it is extremely flexible!  Let’s do it right the first time!


Three High Noon June Coalition Actions—Mark the Dates:

    Noon Saturday June 11 at File Case Sculpture/Flynn Ave Next to
    Flynn Coop Housing and Across from  City Market South

    Noon Saturday June 18 for a King Maple “Wave and Hello” at
    Pine St/Maple St All-way Stop Safe Intersection  Set to become a
    high speed, dangerous to all, traffic speed, Dan Burden, legendary
    urbanist said facing Mayor Weinberger at the AARP VT Workshop
    walk audit converting this intersection to a traffic signal would be a
    “huge mistake.”   Clear case of transport racism in a certified
         community of color, 32% of King Maple resident no car access!

    Noon Saturday June 25 at Pine St/Road to Nowhere Intersection
    to recognize this Un-Greatful Dead-End for all modes to access
    Queen City Park Rd and Burlington/South Burlington adjacent
    residential areas and connections to Hannaford, Lowe’s etc.



Let’s gather to express opposition to this Shamplain Parkway, and support  the RIGHTway at these June Saturday events so the US District Court gets our message as litigation begins and an injunction to stop construction is on the docket!  
WCAX covers Pine Street Coalition lawsuit May 10—report by Melissa Cooney https://www.wcax.com/2022/05/10/champlain-pkwy-opponents-seek-injunction-stop-june-construction/  Coalition injunction to stop July construction.


Thank you all for your continued support and counsel!


      Tony Redington
      Walk Safety Advocate
      for the Pine Street Coalition
 

Coalition presentation by Steve Goodkind and Tony Redington to NPA 5 RIGHTway safe approach with a pedestrian only sidewalk and bicycles only 2-way bikeway along oner 2 miles of the Parkway route including the new section from Pine though the railyard to Battery Street.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Pine Street Coalition Update on the Now $125 Million Parkway May 18--Rally Events June 11 and June 18

 Pine Street Coalition Update on the Now $125 Million Fatally Flawed Champlain Parkway—May 18, 2022


WCAX
covers Pine Street Coalition lawsuit May 10—report by Melissa Cooney https://www.wcax.com/2022/05/10/champlain-pkwy-opponents-seek-injunction-stop-june-construction/  Coalition injunction to stop July construction. Tony Redington interviewed.

Note 1: Burlington no longer has an obligation to pay back even a postage stamp to Federal Highway Administration in regard to Champlain Parkway now the Infrastructure Act signed by President Biden in November removes power to force state or locality of payback.  In fact it appears even under the old law we did not owe a dime. The Federal Highway and VTrans threat was a false flag! The Coalition has asked the City Council Transportation Committee to look into this and obtain a detailed legal opinion.

 
Note 2: Champlain Parkway which among other elements cuts King Maple neighborhood in two, lacks an inch of safe bicycle accommodation, lacks a single inch of sidewalk now reaches a cost of $125 million!  Construction cost about double long term estimates. See attached estimation.  Railroad Enterprise Project (REP) another $26 million! RIGHTway cut Parkway cost by millions!

In this update:

Pine Street Coalition Files Amended Complaint, First Steps of Injunction to Stop Any Parkway Construction as US District Court Lawsuit Begins May 16!


Call to Action Time to Take to the Streets!—Mark the Dates: Noon Saturday June 11 at File Case Sculpture/Flynn Coop Housing; and Noon Saturday June 18 for a King Maple, a “Honk and Wave” at Pine St/Maple St Intersection

Youth Movement—Champlain Elementary Englesby Brook Study Students Support RIGHTway’s Saving Acres of Trees, Englesby Brook and Natural Areas Preservation/Protection—May Testify at US District Court

Infrastructure Act signed last November deleted language allowing Federal Highway to seek any payback from Burlington for Parkway expenditures


                                   ———————————-

Pine Street Coalition Files Amended Complaint, First Steps of Injunction to Stop Any Parkway Construction as US District Court Lawsuit Begins May 16! Pine Street Coalition (Coalition) filings at US District Court this week were the first paper to move since we filed June 6, 2019. Papers were filed Monday, May 16, and include first steps for an injunction on any Parkway construction now set for July 1 until litigation ends.  The almost three year delay occurred as the City/VTrans through the now known totally empty and insulting steps to apply new Environmental Justice rules.  Yes City/VTrans ignored all the lengthy comments, meetings, etc. The City/VTrans concluded—though they had totally failed to meet the letter and spirit of the new rules (our position)—the box they checked in 2009,13 years ago, continued to be sufficient!  The 2 1/2 year process did in fact certify King Maple neighborhood a community of color but no need to change a whisker of design change. Then City/VTrans went lickety split to bid and OK’d construction ($45 million, about double budgeted) the single bid less than four months later!  An unfortunate example of government reenforcing distrust in it performance!

Call to Action Time to Take to the Streets!
—Mark the Dates: Noon Saturday June 11 at File Case Sculpture/Flynn Coop Housing; and Noon Saturday June 18 for a King Maple, a “Honk and Wave” at Pine St/Maple St Intersection Let’s gather to express our opinion on the Parkway at two June Saturday events as the US District Court mulls action to stop the July 1 Parkway construction!  We have just gone through 3 years delay as the City/VTrans went through the nothing burger on the deeply serious Environmental Justice regulations—King Maple is a blatant example of transport racial injustice!  Low-income injustice too!  Let the Court know what our community thinks of the current design of the Champlain Parkway!

    Saturday June 11—Flynn Ave at Filecase Sculpture Opposite Coop

We will have speakers and exchange views and ideas on the Parkway across from City Market South End on Flynn Ave at the Filecase Sculpture.  Consider bringing a sign, help us let our District Court know we do not want this harmful, hurtful and 1950s design in an era when we want to preserve our natural areas, stop installing unsafe signals and roadway, keep our connection to SBTV, etc.  We actually thinks a sidewalk and separate and safe bicycle accommodation would be a good idea a la Vermont’s Complete Streets law (not an inch of either on the Parkway!)!  Hope to see you there!  More to come on this. Will need some volunteers to make signs, organize, etc.

    Saturday June 18—King Maple Neighborhood—Pine St/Maple St
         Intersection

A good old fashioned “honk and wave” event.  With this all-way-stop intersection we can all be reasonably safe as pedestrians—each car at the stop signs can read our signs like “No Parkway through King Maple,” “No Way for Parkway Transport Racism in King Maple!,”  “No 22% and 37% Parkway traffic jump!”  We will need some sign makers—four signs allows us to give the message to all four approaching vehicle streams!!  Parkway installs a traffic signals at this and the next intersection at King upping speeds, forcing kids to push a button and wait around to cross streets, colored lights all day and night onto adjacent housing, etc., etc.   

Youth Movement—Champlain Elementary Englesby Brook Study Students Support RIGHTway’s Saving Acres of Trees, Englesby Brook and Natural Areas Preservation/Protection—May Testify at US District Court An expert in natural areas who instructs in schools, Judy Dow who is Abenaki, has been working with group of 5th graders on scientific learning experience with adjacent Englesby Brook including how wildlife cannot traverse the Pine Street tunnel—similar to what is in the Parkway.  They students want to testify at the Court on the importance of the RIGHTway keeping Englesby out of another pipe, preservation and protection of the Brook floodway and the roughly one mile narrow natural corridor enabled by a scaled back road design between Home Ave and Lakeside Ave.


Infrastructure Act signed last November deleted language allowing Federal Highway to seek any payback from Burlington for Parkway expenditures The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), commonly referred to as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill deleted language that in the past allowed Federal Highway Administration to on a discretionary basis seek repayment of federal transportation from states but only to the point of completing right-of-way purchases.  Since about 2012 Federal Highway (FHWA) and VTrans have threatened payback demand if the Champlain Parkway did not go forward—even though opponents have always sought making the project safe, climate positive, and avoid cutting King Maple neighborhood in two (to cite just three changes the Coalition seeks!).  In fact, the base right of way for the project from Shelburne Road through to Lakeside Ave was mostly obtained in the 1980s and all expenditures one planning and engineering since are not eligible for repayment!  That issue is moot since the new law deletes the power of FHWA to obtain payback of any funds spent on highway projects.


Thank you all for your continued support and counsel!


      Tony Redington
      Walk Safety Advocate
      for the Pine Street Coalition