Residents and visitors of Burlington enjoy bicycling and walking for shopping, commuting, recreation and general transportation. From the installation of the first shared use path along the waterfront in 1986 to the ongoing installation of bicycle facilities & sidewalks, the City of Burlington continues to support bicycling and walking as viable, healthy, and non-polluting modes of transportation.
Burlington applied for Bicycle Friendly Community recognition from the League of American Bicyclists in 2005, 2007, and 2011. In our first two applications, the city was recognized with a Bronze-level award. In 2011, Burlington's commitment to bicycling was recognized with a Silver award.
The DPW develops plans improvements and manages existing pedestrian and bicycle facilities, including signals, crosswalks, sidewalks, on-road bike facilities, and bike parking. To learn more about what the DPW manages, how projects are planned, and how to get involved in the process, read the staff presentation provided at the Burlington Walk Bike Council's annual meeting in 2011.
City sidewalks are repaired and installed through our Sidewalk Strategic Plan. The purpose of the Sidewalk Plan is to create an accepted process to prioritize sidewalk projects within the City of Burlington, including: defining acceptable sidewalk conditions, replacing deficient sidewalk sections, installing new sections of sidewalk, and constructing sidewalk ramps (for accessibility) on existing sidewalks. The goal is to ensure maximum value for investments in pedestrian facilities over the short and long term, and ensure compliance with the American's with Disabilities Act. The benefits to the community include efficient and accessible pedestrian connections, more accessible information regarding the prioritization of sidewalk repairs, a safe and healthy walking environment, and reduced infrastructure costs.
In 2008 the Sidewalk Plan was developed by walking and inventorying the entire sidewalk network within Burlington. The information obtained was entered into a GIS mapping network and database. The inventory included existing sidewalks, lack of sidewalks, ramps, and the condition of each section. In addition, priority pedestrian routes were identified using origin/destination information, street volumes, policies defined by the Transportation Plan, and public input. A matrix was created to prioritize future capital work for new sidewalks and ramps. Since then, the city has been able to test the matrix to determine its effectiveness. For the upcoming fiscal year of 2013, the network will be re-inventoried and the matrix will be improved.
The City of Burlington has miles of bike lanes, shared lanes, and bike paths. To get involved in the discussions for new and existing infrastructure, contact the DPW or the Burlington Walk Bike Council.
The DPW follows several design manuals for bicycle planning, including the Burlington Transportation Plan Street Design Guidelines, AASHTO Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities (4th edition, 2012), the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide, the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, the Vermont Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities Design Manual, and the Vermont Pedestrian and Bicycle Policy Plan.
Bicycle commuting is a great way to fit exercise into your day while avoiding traffic and saving money! The following links should give you enough information to make commuting by bicycle safe and convenient.
The Department of Public Works often facilitates planning studies or construction projects intended to improve routes to elementary and middle schools. Our current projects include:
Bicycle Benefits® are available in Burlington? Get up to 20% off at participating businesses with your Bicycle Benefits sticker on your helmet!
There are always events for biking and walking -- indoor, outdoor, hands-on, and more. Check Local Motion's calendar for a full list of upcoming events.
Can't find information on a project related to walking or biking? Check the "Projects" link under the DPW Transportation page.