Update on Vermont Walk/Bike Summit in 2020

The volunteers who are running the Vermont Walk/Bike Summit next year in Middlebury have just announced an update:

"The Vermont Walk/Bike Summit in 2020 will welcome Don Kostelec as our keynote speaker.  Don is a principal at Vitruvian Planning in Boise, Idaho, and a 17-year veteran of transportation planning, health analysis, and comprehensive planning. His mission is to lift the citizens of our country and communities out of poor health and into healthier, happier, and more fulfilled lives through an improved built environment that promotes physical activity, social interaction and emotional contentment. You can follow Don’s work on Twitter @KostelcPlan"


Meeting Notes: August 7, 2019

The August meeting of the Walk Bike Council of Addison County was held on August 7, 2019 at the ACRPC.

Agenda:

  • Planning a Motherload screening at the THT. (Tim)
    An independent movie / documentary about bike culture, cargo bikes, climate change, social change...
  • Triangle Bike Loop planning project update and upcoming public meeting.
  • Vermont Walk-Bike Summit 2020.
  • Middlebury Transportation Mitigation Plan for bridge project 
  • Lincoln’s Advisory Shoulder on Quaker St.
  • Working Group Updates

Continue below for full notes.

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Vermont Walk/Bike Summit for 2020

Every two years here in Vermont, a local organization (usually involved in creating improvements for the walking and bicycling communities in the state) hosts a Vermont Walk/Bike Summit.  And for 2020, the hosting efforts will be shared by the Addison County Regional Planning Commission and the Walk-Bike Council of Addison County.  

The Summit brings together quite a range of professionals, volunteers, and activists so that they may share information and learn from each other.  The common goals are always oriented toward encouraging more members of the public to walk and bike, and also to facilitate changes and improvements in walking and bicycling infrastructure in Vermont.

The Summit for 2020 will be held in Middlebury, VT on Friday, May 8th.  There will be several venues throughout the town at which the various Summit activities will be held, and participants will also have multiple options for dining during the course of the Summit.  

While there will be a modest registration fee as well as a limit to the number of participants, any member of the public is welcome to attend.  More details will be available soon on the Summit website, which can be reached here: vtwalkbikesummit.com

Please note that this website currently has information from the 2018 Summit, but if you would like to be notified when the 2020 information is posted, please just send an email to reed_bud@yahoo.com.


Trail-building efforts in Addison County: lessons learned

This great summary of the discussion at the June 4th, 2019 meeting of the Walk-Bike Council of Addison County was compiled by Carrie Macfarlane.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

Meeting Notes: June 4, 2019

The June meeting of the Walk Bike Council of Addison County was held on June 4, 2019 at the ACRPC.

Agenda

  • Next Meeting
  • Recreational Trails
  • Triangle Bike Loop
  • 2020 Walk-Bike Summit
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Meeting Notes: April 15, 2019

The April meeting of the Walk Bike Council of Addison County was held on April 15, 2019 at the ACRPC. Continue below for full notes.

Agenda

  • Updates on the Triangle bike loop project
  •  2020 Walk/Bike Summit
  • Safe Routes to School Conference
  • Lincoln Safety Discussions
  • Upcoming Events
  • Vergennes 22A Update
  • Bristol Paving Update
  • Next Meeting
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Meeting Notes: March 11th, 2019

The March meeting of the Walk Bike Council of Addison County was held on March 11th, 2019 at the ACRPC. See below for full notes.

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Calling All Cyclists! May is National Bike Month

As a walk/bike advisory council, our members would like everyone to know about the following events coming up in the month of May.  Please contact Laura Asermily at lasermily@yahoo.com if you have any questions.

 

Bike Smart Training, April 15-19, Middlebury Rec Park/ Mary Hogan   Kohl's bike smart trailer returns with over 30 bikes and helmets and props to hone skills and teach rules of the road. Mary Hogan students will receive training in their PE classes that week.

Walk & Roll to School Day, Wed May 1   Join in this statewide celebration of the many benefits of walking and rolling to school. Improves health. Relieves traffic congestion. Form "walking" school bus and "bike" train routes from your neighborhoods. Mary Hogan Elementary class with highest rate of participants wins the "golden shoe" and a fancy fruit plate. 

Bike Swap, Fri May 3, 3-6:30 pm   Cannon Park. Drop off bikes and gear you wish to give away or sell on consignment at Frog Hollow Bikes up to noon Fri May 3. Look for displays from local groups, demo rides and great deals.  Proceeds benefit Middlebury Safe Routes. For more or to arrange display, contact froghollowbikes@gmail.com

Human Powered Parade & Celebration, Sun May 11, 10-2:30 pm   Bristol Rec Park. This community event launches with a professional high flying BMX show and moves through town on human powered wheels.  An after party includes a community-wide party at the skate park with bands, pickleball, cargo bike test rides and bike races for kids. 

Kelly Boe Memorial Bike Ride, Fri May 17, 4 pm, departs MUHS Lot  A slow-paced 8-mile bike ride in honor of those who have been injured or killed while cycling on public roads, including Middlebury's Kelly Boe for which the ride was started and named. Goes through Middlebury and Weybridge via Weybridge St and Hamilton Rd, escorted by police and returns to MUHS by about 5 pm. Wear helmet. Cancelled in event of heavy rain.

Vermont Gran Fondo, Sat June 29  Road cycling over Addison County mountain gaps: Appalachian, Middlebury, Lincoln. Choose from three courses. Details at http://vermontgranfondo.com.

Mountain Bike Group Rides, Saturdays 8:30 am and Tuesdays 5:30 pm, departs Frog Hollow Bikes  Join Addison County Bike Club (ACBC) cyclists on Trail Around Middlebury rides. For more about group rides, trail work days, clinics and safety training for the next generation of mountain bikers, visit addisoncountybikeclub.org

Local Motion's Everyday Biking Workshops  Visit localmotion.org to see and arrange area workshops and resources designed to bring walking and biking within reach of all Vermonters. 

Cargo Bikes 101  Visit vbikesolutions.org to take an online tutorial of electric-assisted cargo bikes and how they're transforming bike culture. See other mobility options like the ELF. 

Middlebury Safe Routes hosts "Walk and Roll to School Day" first Wednesday of month, monitors traffic patterns and student travel behavior, plans activities to teach bike skills and rules of the road, and recommends improvements to roads, parking lots, drop offs, sidewalks, crosswalks, traffic lights, signage, bus routes, bike routes, bike racks, and more. Contact Laura Asermily at lasermily@yahoo.com to help or offer input.

And last but not least, if you are interested in a challenge (as well as a few prizes and recognition for your miles), you may post your miles cycled with the League of American Bicyclists here:  Love to Ride USA

 


Middlebury College Students Credited With Groundwork On Tri-Town Bike Loop

During 2018, three Middlebury College students created a project for their Environmental Studies Senior Seminar, and their ideas and research have resulted in a $35,000 grant to fund the development of the "Tri-Town Bike Loop".  This professionally-planned route will connect the three Addison County towns of Middlebury, Bristol, and Vergennes, and supporters envision that this will be a benefit for local residents as well as a way to encourage bicycle tourism to the area.

Read the background on this project here:  Tri-Town Bike Loop

You can also read about the project in our community newspaper, the Addison Independent 


Meeting Notes: January 14th, 2019

The January meeting of the Walk Bike Council of Addison County was held on January 14th, 2019 at the ACRPC. See below for full notes.

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