May 1, 2013
Spring is finally upon us – and
with it comes progress on the bike path, a new strategy to improve future
spring clean-ups, and the KeyBank Vermont City Marathon.
KeyBank Vermont City Marathon
Our marathon will take place just
six weeks after the tragedy in Boston on Patriots’ Day.
This annual City-wide celebration of both personal achievement and
community spirit also will be, this year, a tribute to the strength and
resiliency of the New England region.
For the last two weeks, we Burlingtonians have been heartbroken by the
stories of the bombing victims, inspired by the first responders and
on-the-scene volunteers who saved so many lives, and reassured by the swift and
certain success of the law enforcement response.
The small but tireless team at
RunVermont not only is taking all steps to ensure that the 25th
anniversary Vermont City Marathon is the City’s best marathon yet, but also
they have invited all runners who were unable to finish the Boston Marathon to
finish on the Burlington waterfront instead.
Let’s all come out on May 26th to welcome these runners, show
our solidarity with our neighbors in Boston, and help the region heal.
Bike path restored – and more improvements to
I took my first bike ride of the season last weekend. The
weather was perfect; I rode over the sections of the path by the Lakeside
Cemetery and Northshore that were washed-out in the spring 2011 floods. They
have been fully rebuilt and newly paved by our Department of Public Works (DPW)
with great financial assistance from FEMA. And the causeway in Colchester has
been completely repaired and is in the best shape I have ever seen it. Congratulations to Local Motion and all the other groups and individuals that
have worked so hard and dug deep both to restore the causeway and to reopen the
Bike Ferry, with dramatically expanded service this summer.
There is much more to come. Our new Parks and Recreation Director Jesse
Bridges is leading our long-term effort to expand and enhance the entire bike
path. After a competitive process, Jesse
has retained a professional team to design and permit a new, widened and
improved path. In addition, Steve Allen,
John Bossange, John Ewing, and Sarah Muyskens have agreed to serve as founding
board members of a new Parks Foundation that will raise private funds to
support the expansion effort. Design
work is underway with the goal of starting construction on an expanded path
between College Street and North Beach next summer.
Burlington continues to become
more biker and pedestrian friendly in other ways as well. The Month of May is national Bike-Walk Month,
and the five-month long Vermont Bike Challenge (from May-September) has just
launched. Also, I hope you’re gearing up
for the Way to Go! Challenge during the week of May 13-17. We plan to mark these initiatives with a
Multi-Modal Tour and news conference on May 16th focused on this
improving transportation infrastructure.
Look for details on the Mayor’s Office website if you are interested in
participating in the tour.
Stopping windblown trash
Another unfortunate rite of
spring in some neighborhoods is too much litter on the streets. Our curb-side recycling program contributes
to this on windy days when garbage is blown out of uncovered blue recycle bins.
After meetings with residents and
landlords and work by both DPW and the Code Enforcement Office, we are
exploring requiring multi-family buildings to use 65 or 95-gallon, rolling blue
toters with lids instead of the current recycling bins. I am pleased to be working on this initiative
– which will be fleshed out in the next few months – with Councilors Karen Paul
and Max Tracy, who have co-sponsored a resolution on the issue.
In the meantime, please join me
and members of the City’s Green Team for Green Up Day on Saturday, May 4th. You’ll be able to check in at any one of the
following five central hubs between 9:00am-12:00pm:
Fiscal Stability Bond sold
On April 25, we sold the $9
million Fiscal Stability Bond that 72 percent of voters supported last
November. In anticipation of the sale, our
credit rating agency Moody’s issued a report holding the City’s rating stable
and indicating that the Fiscal Stability Bond and other recent improvements in the City’s
financial management will have a positive impact on future evaluations once
these efforts are fully implemented and sustained. It is clear today that have made considerable progress towards turning
the City’s finances around and that we have more hard work ahead of us to
finish this critical job.
I hope you enjoy the rest of the
spring. In addition to my weekly open
coffees in the New North End at the Bagel Café on Wednesdays from 8-9 am, I
will be having coffees in May in the Old North End and South End – check out
the Mayor’s web page at www.burlingtonvt.gov
for scheduling info. I hope to see you