Walk & Bike In Burlington
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 and in 2013 was recognized with a Silver award as a Walk Friendly Community.
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.
planBTV Walk Bike - the city's first comprehensive plan to improve walking and biking in Burlington is underway!
Bike lane intersection improvements began in October 2015:
- Intersection crossing markings and green-colored markings were added to Union Street at Pearl Street and North Winooski Avenue at North Street.
- A combined bike lane / turn lane, intersection crossing markings, and an advisory bike lane were added to Pine Street at the Lakeside Intersection.
- Intersection crossing markings guide bicyclists on a safe and direct path through the intersection and provide a clear boundary for bicyclists and vehicles. At both Union Street and North Winooski Avenue the markings include green color to raise bicyclists' and motorists' awareness to a potential area of conflict.
- The combined bike lane / turn lane provides guidance where the bicycle lane would otherwise be dropped prior to an intersection. This encourages motorists to yield when bicyclists are traveling through the intersection and guides bicyclists to ride in part of the turning lane, which has lower speeds and less traffic than the adjacent through lane. Motorists are allowed to merge into the bike lane, but they must first yield to bicyclists.
- The advisory bike lane provides guidance where the bicycle lane would otherwise be dropped to accommodate a turn lane at an intersection. This encourages motorists to first yield to bicyclists when confronted with an oncoming motorist. Motorists are allowed to merge into the bike lane, but they must first yield to bicyclists.
Bicycle Parking: lockers, assistance, guidelines, and more
- Bicycle lockers are available in the Marketplace Parking Garage, with entrances on Cherry and Bank Streets. Lockers may only be used to park bicycles and related equipment. Any items stored within the locker that are not bicycle related may be removed by the City at your expense and may be subject to disposal without your consent, or assessed a storage fee at your expense. Bicycles parked in the short-term lockers for longer than 14 consecutive days may be considered abandoned and removed by the Burlington Police Department.
- For 6-month rentals, download an application or pick one up at the DPW front desk
- Short-term, coin operated lockers are currently unavailable while keys and locks are being replaced
- Bicycle Racks are available at a subsidized rate through our Bicycle Parking Assistance Program
- To request bicycle parking be installed on a city sidewalk or in the city's right-of-way, contact DPW Customer Service
- Burlington's Bicycle Parking Guidelines contain information on how to install useful bicycle parking. The Guidelines are especially helpful for developers following the Bicycle Parking Ordinance through the Planning and Zoning Department.
Bicycle Maps and Planning: bike lanes, shared lanes, paths, and innovations
- To receive a copy of the Burlington Bicycle Map, contact or visit DPW or pick one up at any local bicycle retailer or info booth
- To view local plans, visit our online Planning Library
- Interested in local projects?
- Bicycle communiting is a great way to fit exercise into your day while avoiding traffic and saving money, even in winter! The following links can help you make communiting by bicycle safe and convenient:
- The Burlington Walk Bike Council (BWBC) is an all-volunteer advisory council to the City of Burlington, who works closely with the Department of Public Works and the Department of Parks & Recreation on infrastructure improvements and policy changes for bicycling and walking. The BWBC also leads advocacy efforts and organizes events and activities that promote and celebrate walking and biking in Burlington and beyond. Anyone interested in making Burlington a better and safer place for bicycling and walking is encouraged to attend the BWBC meetings, typically on the 4th Thursday of each month in City Hall Room 12.
Safe Routes to Schools
The Department of Public Works often facilitates Safe Routes to Schools planning studies or construction projects for elementary and middle schools. Current Projects include:
- The North Avenue corridor between the Ethan Allen Shopping Center and Plattsburg Avenue provides access to JJ Flynn Elementary School, Hunt Middle School, and CP Smith Elementary School. Planned improvements include:
- Upgrade pedestrian signals to have countdown signals and accessible pushbuttons;
- Add pedestrian signals and crosswalks at the Plattsburg Ave / North Ave intersection and shorten the pedestrian crossing(s).
Background: a public meeting was held on May 1, 2013 and conceptual plans were presented: North Avenue at Plattsburg Avenue, at Shore Road, and at Farrington Parkway.
Next Steps: construction is scheduled to begin in fall 2014.
- Champlain Elementary School improvements have been underway since 2013:
- Radar speed feedback signs were added to Shelburne Road and Pine Street in 2013.
- A feasibility study was completed in 2013 to identify improvements for school routes from points north and east of the school.
Did you know...?
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.
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