After having started as a research project conducted by three Middlebury College students, the Addison County Regional Planning Commission and the Walk-Bike Council of Addison County have picked up the ball and continued on with the creation of a designated route between Addison County's three main towns of Middlebury, Bristol, and Vergennes.
When completed, the bike loop will provide a safe and enjoyable rider experience, increase connectivity between communities along the route (New Haven, Waltham, Weybridge, Ferrisburgh), and establish a sustainable and valued recreation resource. Route planners are interested in the perspective of cyclists of all abilities, drivers, walkers and joggers.
In addition, based upon results from other similar efforts across the country, the Council and the Regional Planning Commission believe that this designated route also can become an economic development tool in terms of bringing tourism to the county and attracting new residents to the area.
The town of New Haven, with assistance from the City of Vergennes received a Municipal Planning Grant from the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to fund the project. The SE Group (an engineering firm from the Burlington, VT area) was contracted to develop the plan, and they have created a website:
In addition, there is a draft of an overall planning document available: Draft Triangle Bike Loop Plan
PLEASE NOTE: We are looking for as much public input as we can get, and we'd greatly appreciate it if you would be willing to take a short survey with your thoughts on this project. There are only three questions and it's available online:
Thanks in advance for taking the survey!
Click the image above for a larger version of the proposed route map.
The October meeting of the Walk Bike Council of Addison County was held on October 30th, 2019 at the Middlebury Police station.
Middlebury Downtown Master Plan listening session (Jen Murray, Middlebury's Director of Planning & Zoning)
Planapalooza is happening November 7 - 11th.
- What are priority areas for improved safety?
- What routes do people frequently travel in Downtown, and what are the missing linkages (x to x) ?
- What ideas do people have for improving connectivity?
Bike Parking Location and Type Policy (Laura)
- Advisory Shoulders & Shoulder Striping updates (Doug)
- Triangle Loop status update
- Walk/Bike Summit & Motherload movie (Mike, Tim, others)
- Accountability of drivers who hit cyclists (Tim)
A big topic.... ...I wonder if we could be doing more to advise our state representatives about this. Wondering how others feel about this issue.
Continue below for full notes.Read more
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"
The August meeting of the Walk Bike Council of Addison County was held on August 7, 2019 at the ACRPC.
- 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.Read more
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.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