Addison County Planning Commission receives feedback on Triangle Bike Loop

By BENJAMIN GLASS

In recent months, the Addison County Regional Planning Commission (ACRPC) has worked to gauge local communities’ critiques of the proposed Triangle Bike Loop, an initiative to update a network of roads between Middlebury, Vergennes and Bristol in order to further accommodate cyclists.  Three weeks ago, on Aug. 15, the ACRPC held an Open House outside the New Haven Town Hall, where locals showed up to look at maps of the route and offer their opinions. 

Mike Winslow, transportation planner for the Addison County Regional Planning Commission, estimated around 55 people attended the event.

“The plans were very well perceived [at the Open House],” Winslow said. “Folks were able to provide some input as to their preferred routes and identify any locations along the routes that were worth visiting or areas that needed particular focus for future upgrades to make them more walk-bike friendly.” 

Winslow also said there has not been much criticism of any sections of the bike path plans so far.

“People have been very receptive,” he said. “This might be because we have been really good about reaching out to bikers and walkers. The bikers are very excited.”

COURTESY PHOTO
Community members were able to critique and show support for the ACRPC’s proposed Triangle Bike Loop on August 15 outside the New Haven townhall. The ACRPC estimated that more than 50 people attended the Open House.

In a summary of the event written by the SE Group, the project’s lead consulting firm, attendees pointed out around 15 points of interest on the proposed routes, including resources like public bathrooms and the Frog Hollow Bikes shop in Middlebury, and a farmer’s market and ice cream shop in Vergennes. A few attendees noted proposed roads that were too busy, including Route 17 and Route 116. The majority of attendees said they would use the bike path for recreational riding and commuting, and prefer paved roads to dirt roads. There were also six additional roads proposed by attendees to add to the route. 

Next steps for the project include finalizing a proposed route, which is the job of the SE Group, the consulting firm that is spearheading the project. Winslow said the SE Group is  “reviewing traffic and safety data to make their recommendations.” In terms of infrastructure, Winslow said the SE Group is investigating things like large road signage, fog lines on roads, and widening dangerous sections of road. 

There is still opportunity for community members to offer opinions and criticisms on the Triangle Bike Path loop website. Community members are encouraged to take the bike path survey. 

Another open house event may occur, with a date and place to be determined. The ACRPC continues to develop the Triangle Bike Loop project under the help of the SE Group Consulting Firm this fall, and hopes to finalize a route proposal by February 2020.

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