Sunday, May 29, 2022

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  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.

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