City Highlights "Green" Transport Options

Published 05/09 2014 05:46PM

Updated 05/09 2014 06:20PM

BURLINGTON, Vt. - Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger strapped on his helmet, and laced up his shoes, for a transportation tour of the city Friday. The morning began on bikes in the New North End, an area now being studied by the city, and targeted for improvements.

"We consider everything from bike facilities to improved connections, street trees, the landscaping, the aesthetic side of things," Nicole Losch of the Department of Public Works says.

One possibility: the creation of a protected bike lane.

"So far at the public meetings we've had, the protected facility has had a really good response," she added.

The rave reviews poured in again Friday after cyclists enjoyed a demo.

"The single protected bike lanes are one mode that we think makes bikers feel more confident," Burlington resident and biker Jennifer Green said.

Riders hope a permanent lane would encourage cycling in this growing part of the city.

"It actually makes it better for motorists too because then it’s very clear as to what is expected, what is okay on the road, what is not," said resident David Lustgarten.

The North Ave. study wraps up in a few weeks, and then a Pearl Street study begins.

"Our waterfront is really our biggest tourist draw, along with Church Street, and so having a solid connection between the waterfront and the downtown is really important," Losch said.

If the thought of bigger bike lanes or improved sidewalks doesn't excite you, the city has other modes of transportation that it hopes will pique your interest.

Take van pooling for example. Groups of commuters can save hundreds each month by using state provided vans.

The mayor also checked in with Car Share Vermont. It just added its 14th car, and hopes to have two more by year's end.

As if that's not enough, new charging stations were installed in the Lakeview Garage this week, with others at BED.

"The level three charger will charge this Nissan Leaf from almost flat to full up in about a half hour," John Lincoln says of the new Burlington Electric Department equipment.

Improvements to the South End, such as new pedestrian crossings, were also highlighted today. More traffic light upgrades are planned for Pine Street soon.

The DPW also said the city's repaving budget is up some twenty percent this year. They're working to make fixes after the harsh winter.

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