Finding Alternatives for I-89 Exit 14 Pedestrian, Bike Crossing

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. - Traveling on Route 2 in South Burlington can sometimes be dangerous for drivers, walkers and bikers.

Hannah Lister, a student at the University of Vermont, knows firsthand. She often walks and drives through the area.

"There are a couple of crosswalks that don't have any lights and it's hard to see around the corner, and I know even when I'm driving in this area, um, I don't always expect to see people around the corner," said Lister.

Heather Lawton lives in Middlebury, but was walking across Route 2 on Tuesday afternoon.

"It's hard to get across there. It seems like everybody wants to get through the intersection, so they're accelerating fast," said Lawton.

The Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission has been working with the City of South Burlington for the last nine months to find a better way for pedestrians and bicyclists to get through the area off of Interstate 89.

Senior Transportation Planner Christine Forde says the idea has been talked about for years.

"It's a really important bike pedestrian link regionally. It's important to the City and to the whole region to be able to cross here," said Forde.

South Burlington Project Director Ilona Blanchard says there are up to five alternative options for the area.

"Some of them, we really want to see them and see what the public thinks about them. It doesn't mean definitively they'll get built, but we have an opportunity to talk about them," said Blanchard.

While one option is to do nothing, other alternatives for the area include a pedestrian bridge, plus other different variations of bridges.

"And there's a non-bridge option, which is a gondola or a tram," said Blanchard.

Blanchard says right now, all options are on the table.

If you were unable to make it to the public workshop Tuesday night, there will be another survey posted on the city's website.

After all the feedback is in, the city will prepare draft recommendations in May. Final recommendations will be presented to City Council for consideration in June.


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