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Department of Public Works

Union Street Protected Bicycle Lane

PROTECTED BIKE LANES make on-street bicycle facilities safer. Flexible posts, low-profile curbing, and regular maintenance create a year-round barrier between the bike lane and travel lane.


The Union Street protected bike lane is a quick-build installation between Main Street to North Winooski Avenue. Plastic vertical delineators create a physical barrier to define and protect the bike lane from car traffic and encourage drivers to slow down.

As a quick-build project, it is undergoing changes in real-time. The first phase of materials did not fare well in Burlington's winter climate, breaking posts and becoming unanchored at an unexpected rate. The second phase of materials were selected based on their success along North Avenue. They are faring slightly better than the first installation on Union Street, but overall these materials are still not meeting our expectations.

This is an important corridor for bicycling and it is important to keep cars from driving in the bike lane. Ultimately, this protected bike lane will be constructed with permanent materials - as funding becomes available.  


Photos of the initial installation:



Why are we installing a protected bike lane?

More and more cities are using protected bike lanes because they....

  • Increase number of people biking across all ages and levels
  • Make biking more comfortable 
  • Make biking safer
  • Make driving less stressful
  • Reduce sidewalk biking
  • Make it safer for pedestrians

Last year, during Open Streets BTV the Department of Public Works partnered with Local Motion and dozens of volunteers to create a series of Demonstration Projects in Burlington’s Old North End and South End neighborhoods. These projects expanded the conversation about walking and biking beyond the traditional public workshop framework, allowing residents, business owners, and city agencies to physically experience and react to new types of pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure. For the demonstration, volunteers placed temporary planters in the bike lane buffer on South Union Street to create a temporary protected bike lane and the rate of vehicle speeding dropped from about 25% to 6%!

Demonstration Project Protected Bike Lane (Image Credit Julie Campoli)                                              Protected bike lane in Chicago (Image Credit: People for Bikes)


Do you have any questions/comments/concerns about the Union Street protected bike lane or would like to know more about upcoming projects?

Please contact: 802-863-9094 x3, dpwplanning@burlingtonvt.gov