City of Burlington, Vermont City of Burlington, Vermont

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Transportation Plan

The Public Works Commission adopted the draft plan at their meeting of December 2007, referring it onto both the Planning Commission and the Transportation, Energy and Utilities Committee (TEUC) of the City Council. After a one year hiatus, the TEUC completed its review of the plan and made recommendations to the Planning Commission in the fall 2009. The Planning Commission approved the draft plan in March 2010, and the final draft was presented to the City Council in September 2010. The TEUC approved the draft plan at their February 2011 meeting, and the City Council approved the Transportation Plan at their April 2011 meeting.

The Burlington Transportation Plan is a multi-modal transportation improvement plan that provides a comprehensive and coordinated list of roadway, transit, bicycle and pedestrian facility, streetscape and land use recommendations for implementation that satisfy the overall vision of the City developed in the Burlington Municipal Development Plan and the Burlington Legacy Project.

The Transportation Plan is evolutionary, not revolutionary. It takes seriously the goals, vision and values of the Municipal Development Plan and the Legacy Plan and proposes the steps that can move the City to realize them. The Municipal Development Plan vision statement calls for by 2026 an "interconnected system" where "transit, cycling, and walking are successfully competing with the automobile for the dominant mode of choice." The Transportation Plan guides us in how to make these changes over time, but as this vision calls for a shift in emphasis in how Burlington sees itself getting around in the future, there will be trade offs and compromises. The Street Design Guidelines re-allocate the street right-of-way to provide bike lanes, and also improves pedestrian crossings, moves cars farther from sidewalks, improves safety for all modes, and reduces speeding. Implementation is intended to encourage more walking, biking and transit usage. Staff will document these travel modes before and after any conversions and will use this and other data to measure the degree of success of our efforts.

2011 Transportation Plan
Appendix 1: Technical Appendix
Appendix 2: Burlington Street Design Guidelines
Appendix 3: Market Study
Appendix 4: Public Involvement Report
Appendix 5: Alternative Scenarios
Appendix 6: Preliminary Complete Streets Analysis

Implementing the Transportation Plan

Complete Streets

Identified as a capital project priority in the Transportation Plan, Colchester Avenue was the first Complete Street to undergo a corridor study. The Colchester Avenue Corridor Study assessed the feasibility and design alternatives for conversion of Colchester Avenue into a Complete Street, as recommended in our Transportation Plan. Following completion of the Colchester Avenue Corridor Study, we will begin a corridor study of North Avenue in spring 2012. Future corridor studies for Complete Streets may also include Shelburne Street and Battery Street.

25 mph citywide speed limit  

"In order to create the safe pedestrian environment that is desirable for neighborhood streets, the City will adopt a blanket speed limit of 25 mph for all streets not otherwise posted. For Slow Streets, it is proposed that a 20 mph speed limit be adopted." 2011 Burlington Transportation Plan  

Following a public meeting on September 28, 2011, the Public Works Commission adopted a 25 mph speed limit on all Burlington streets, except:  

  • 30 mph speed limit remains on 1) North Avenue between the Rt 127 entrance/exit ramps and Plattsburg Avenue, 2) Plattsburg Avenue, and 3) Shelburne Street between the intersection of Locust/Ledge Street and the South Burlington town line.
  • 50 mph speed limit remains on the Northern Connector/Rt 127
  • 35 mph speed limit remains on the Northern Connector/Rt 127 beginning 500' south of Plattsburg Avenue north to the Colchester town line
  • 5 mph speed limit remains on Church Street between Main Street and Pearl Street

The general concept for Burlington's speed limits allows vehicles to enter Burlington at a higher rate of speed, then decrease travel speeds on the approach to downtown. The character of the streets approaching downtown vary in width, travel lanes, and use and development of properties adjacent to the street. These features impact the speed of travel, and as these features change the higher speed limits will be revisited.

Program Manager: Nicole Losch 

 
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