WILLISTON, Vt. – Several Williston residents are concerned about the traffic and property value impacts a potential park and ride could have on their neighborhood.
In April, the Vermont Agency of Transportation notified several homeowners that the project would require a section of Route 2A to be widened, cutting into several lawns in the process.
The entrance and exit for the park and ride was originally supposed to be closer to Interstate 89, but V-Trans has since moved it further away and into a residential neighborhood.
Larry Reed, who has lived on the road since 1970, said he’s concerned about what the project would mean for his home.
“There’s already tremendous traffic out here that there didn’t used to be, and to add more confusion and complication to it with the outlet of this new park and ride right in front of our houses, it’s just plain wrong,” Reed said.
Next door to Reed, Nick Martin owns a house that he rents out to tenants. He purchased it two years ago and made significant renovations, and said even the possibility of a park and ride has already impacted him.
“The tenants that we chose specifically loved the property for its privacy,” Martin said. “As soon as I heard about the project, I immediately addressed it with our tenants and both tenants said that if the project did move forward, they’d likely look for somewhere else to live.”
In 2016, residents in the neighborhood were notified of the plan through a letter from V-Trans, but Reed says only four homeowners were notified of the latest changes.
“I assumed everybody on this road from Walker Hill down to the Intersate would’ve gotten notice of this because this is a whole different plan than the original plans that were submitted,” Reed said.
V-Trans’ Municipal Assistance Bureau Manager Sue Scribner sent the following statement to Local 22 & Local 44 regarding the project:
A project to construct a park and ride facility in Williston on a parcel off VT2A has been under development for several years. The project has advanced to the stage where the Agency of Transportation (AOT) is acquiring any outstanding property needed to build the project. Earlier this month, AOT representatives met with each affected property owner to provide project details and how their property will be affected by the project. Minimizing impacts to property owners was the goal. Based on feedback from individual property owners, AOT will continue to work to minimize impacts and to incorporate design features if possible to accomplish this. Ongoing dialogue with property owners will continue through the negotiation phase.