The June meeting of the Walk Bike Council of Addison County was held on June 4, 2019 at the ACRPC.
- Next Meeting
- Recreational Trails
- Triangle Bike Loop
- 2020 Walk-Bike Summit
Adam, Mary, Bud, Paul, Van, Katie, Porter, Erik, Nate, Michele, Tim Clark, Laura, Carrie, Larry, Tim Cook, John, Mike, Bethany, Allegra
Trail-building efforts in Addison County: lessons learned
This great summary of the discussion was compiled by Carrie M.
- Working within existing organizational and/or governmental structures helps to ensure sustainability. It also establishes eligibility for grant funding. For example, in Bristol, the Bristol Recreation Club helps care for the Bristol Trail Network because their mission is to maintain outdoor recreation space.
- Seeking partnerships increases community buy-in and labor supply. For example, in Bristol, the Bristol Historical Society and the Bristol Conservation Commission partnered with the Bristol Trail Network to establish a loop that brings visitors to the foundations of the Bristol Manufacturing Company.
- When landowners are uneasy about allowing an easement, building other segments of the trail first allows them to see how it might affect them. Often, they come to view the trail and its supporters as friendly neighbors, and they get on board. Ultimately though, community building is more important than trail building, so if a landowner says no, alternative routes should be selected.
Creating a vision statement helps with both decision-making and publicity. For example, from Bristol:
- The mission of the Bristol Trail Network is to create and maintain trails around Bristol…
- … to promote access to and appreciation for natural, historical, and cultural resources in the vicinity & to support the recreation and education of residents and visitors alike
- … to foster human connections within our community, tie us all more closely to our landscape, and enhance Bristol’s potential as an all-seasons destination for recreation and tourism
Establishing a maintenance plan is crucial. Without one, a trail will cease to exist.
- Who will keep each segment of the trail clear and inviting? What are the expectations? How often will they check it? What should they do if heavy-duty maintenance is needed?
- In Bristol, trail ambassadors post to Front Porch Forum to announce walks on their segments of the trail. This increases visibility and use.
- The Walk-Bike Council of Addison County and Local Motion in Burlington can provide advice and expertise. In addition, Local Motion can provide technical assistance and infrastructure for communication and fundraising.
Detailed notes on recreational trails
There are 3 groups with interest:
- Facebook group
- Recreation Committee (including Tim Cook)
- Basin Committee (task force?) (including Mike)
Tim Cook - DRB, Rec Comm, Basin Task Force
- Connecting the dots between spaces, seeing loop within Vergennes city limits.
- Neighborhood connections to schools, as there is not bus service.
- (Vt Economic Corridor - 22A to 22A truck route)
- Basin - based on range of Otter Creek - goal of improving access between basin and downtown, trail able to handle seasonal flooding
- Tim showed a map of a potential route they are exploring.
John - Rail trail
- Railway background - some former trail - overgrowth
Porter Knight - Bristol Trail Network (part of Bristol Rec Club - a 501c)
- Interest in promoting recreation & economic development
- ~200-person mailing list
- From village to woods with many points of access: from high school, old dump, coffin factory site (South Street), behind fire station, new stone steps, trail around business park, Stony Hill, Basin Street to S. Street bridge coming.
- Some landowners okay with existing use, but reluctant to draw in additional interest - hoping to change some minds based on track record
- 2021 target date
- Memorial Park - stair work being explored.
Paul & Van from Lincoln
- Paul started committee with 40+
- 4 quadrants + downtown district
- Loop around Lincoln - class 3 & class 4 roads (some closed), forest service roads, and 4 property owners (3 with existing trails)
- No motorized, some with other limitations for usage (ex. Not biking everywhere)
- 3 town forests - 2 suitable for trails
- Team leaders for each quadrant -
- Van - reviving a section of road that is closed - would connect Quaker Street with Downingsville
- Water is an issue - exploring drainage possibilities
- Seeking grants and assistance in planning
Allegra of LocalMotion shared recent Shelburne efforts:
- example of bridge built over years of efforts
- Online petition as an early effort
- Landowner maps?
- To demonstrate demand
- Crowdsource fundraising
- 30 foot bridge, ~$10K,
- State BikePed grants (Mike)
- Better Connections grant -
- Municipal planning grant
- Bridge building - Forest Service, Intl Mountain Bike Association
- “Vision” - Carrie
- Develop vision, and codify in town plan - Mike
- Bristol - Inner loop (not crossing river)
- Approach landowners with interest
- Once several are behind it, get easements before building
- Community building ahead of trail building - take time with those who hesitate
- E-Bikes - awareness of this as new trend (John)
- Vergennes - awareness of act 250,
Background on Trail Around Middlebury (Bud)
- Before easements, license agreements with time limits
- Gradual change to easements over time
- License agreement - permission to use, but not written into deed, has time limit
- Easements - survey not strictly required
- Bristol - Bristol Rec. Club; has a fund that may potentially pay someone eventually, thus importance of grants and fundraising
High School and Coffin Factory segments only - each has an ambassador who offers to lead hikes (Front Porch Forum), and note when there is work to be done (either to organize, or ask for help, with getting fixes done)
Paid volunteer coordinator can be helpful (Larry)
Vergennes Facebook group - capture interest that is already there; collect the various parties to pull together the vision (Tim Clark)
Vergennes group meeting again soon
Learning how to navigate ‘right of way’ - interest from some folks who have presented here about TAM, Bristol Trail Network
Town plans - methods of approval, public hearings, etc.
Maps - may hesitate to put things down while working on routing, but be sure to publicize when things are open. Varying versions according to need, and varying amount of sharing.
- Control points - positive & negative control points.
Triangle Bike Loop
Committee meetings have begun, July meeting coming, public input coming later in the summer
2020 Walk-Bike Summit
- Keynote speaker discussions - seeking more ideas
- Programming ideas
- May 8th, 2020 - Town Hall Theater with other spots