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Mayor Miro Weinberger Promotes Active Transportation Options During Sixth Annual Multi-Modal Tour

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 5, 2017
Contact:  Katie Vane, Mayor’s Office, 802.734.0617
                  Jon Adams-Kollitz, Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront, 802.540.0363

 

Mayor Miro Weinberger Promotes Active Transportation Options During Sixth Annual Multi-Modal Tour
Announces New CATMA Bikeshare Pilot Program, Looks Forward to Progress Resulting from PlanBTV Walk/Bike, Great Streets, and Burlington Town Center Redevelopment 

Burlington, VT – Mayor Miro Weinberger, South Burlington City Manager Kevin Dorn, Burlington and South Burlington City officials, and community partners today promoted active transportation options during the sixth annual Multi-Mayor Multi-Modal Tour. The Tour began at Burlington’s City Hall and took participants by foot, bike, bus, and rideshare to locations around Burlington and South Burlington that demonstrate each city’s transportation successes and challenges.

The Multi-Modal tour began in 2012 as an opportunity to give participants firsthand experience of Burlington and neighboring cities’ walking, biking, and public transportation infrastructure. Mayor Weinberger noted the considerable progress that the City of Burlington has made strengthening this infrastructure over the past six years.

“Any time someone takes a trip here on foot, bike, or bus instead of by car the community becomes healthier, more affordable, and greener, and parking and road congestion drops,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger. “One of our most important jobs as a City is to make these alternative trips easier.  On my sixth multi-modal tour, it was exciting to see that this year we have both more transportation improvements to celebrate, and more near-term progress to look forward to than ever before."

"All signs are that 2017 will be the year that Burlington starts to go multimodal in a big way,” said Jason Van Driesche, Interim Executive Director of Local Motion, who joined the Mayor in kicking off the Tour. “Local Motion is looking forward to seeing extensive planned improvements for biking and walking become a reality."

Mayor Weinberger previews new CATMA Regional Bikeshare bicycle

This year’s Multi Modal Tour also presented an opportunity for an exciting announcement about the new Chittenden Area TMA (CATMA) Regional Bikeshare pilot program, set to launch in Burlington in the summer of 2017. The pilot program is the result of a partnership between CATMA, Champlain College, and the University of Vermont, and was inspired by the PlanBTV Walk/Bike Plan.

The first phase of the project will include the installation of 18 bikeshare hubs primarily on the University of Vermont (UVM) and Champlain College campuses, with several hubs located in downtown Burlington. 110 Gotcha Bikes—including one Mayor Weinberger rode at Friday’s event—will be available to bikeshare users on a short-term rental basis. Through a partnership with Social Bicycles, all Gotcha Bikes have built-in smart lock technology that allows users to locate and access the bikes through a computer or smart phone (iOs and Android).

Pending strong reception and success of this first phase, the second phase of the project will include 50 more hubs with over 200 bikes available for use in Burlington and surrounding areas.

Bikeshare is a much needed transportation option that we feel confident will revolutionize our communities’ physical health and wellbeing,” said Sandy Thibault, Executive Director at Chittenden Area TMA. “Bikeshare will be the final piece to our puzzle in our transportation options."

Some highlights of the tour included:

A stop at Main Street and St. Paul Street to highlight future improvements the Great Streets Initiative will bring to the street, sidewalks and pedestrian crossings.

“Having reliable and accessible alternative forms of transportation is critical for people with disabilities to maintain their independence,” said Nate Besio, VCIL Peer Advocate Coordinator. “We always look forward to working with the city of Burlington on promoting and improving its pedestrian and public transportation infrastructure so people of all abilities living in the community can maintain healthy and active lifestyles.”

A visit to the Burlington Town Center.

"We are looking forward to rebuilding the heart of Burlington by reconnecting Pine and St. Paul Streets and adding much-needed apartments, offices, new shops and services, all right next to Burlington's new downtown transportation hub,” said Don Sinex, Burlington Town Center owner. “The new Burlington Town Center truly will be a place where people will live, work, play, bike, walk, and enjoy all the Burlington has to offer."

A stop at the new GMT Downtown Transit Center.

"The new GMT Downtown Transit Center (DTC) has been a much needed upgrade for passengers who commute to and from Burlington every day," said Mark A. Sousa, GMT General Manager. "The state-of-the-art facility offers space for future ridership growth and a safe, convenient location to improve the rider experience.”

Before crossing into South Burlington, the tour visited the University of Vermont (UVM).

“This is a very exciting time for the entire community with the creation of our ‘UVM Moves – Active Transportation Plan,’ the City of Burlington’s Plan BTV Walk/Bike, Champlain College’s Active Transportation Plan, and the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC) Regional Bike/Ped Plan,” said Jim Barr, UVM Transportation and Parking Services Director. “We are all on the same page in bringing a more active transportation model to the region. UVM will continue to work on infrastructure improvements that encourage active transportation, and we look forward to launching a regional bikeshare pilot program this summer in partnership with Chittenden Area TMA that will help students get around our campus and city by bike.”

South Burlington highlights successes and details current projects

Joining the Multi-Modal Tour for the first time this year were representatives of South Burlington, including South Burlington City Council Chair Helen Riehle, City Council Co-Chair Meaghan Emery, and other South Burlington officials. Tour participants had an opportunity to learn about South Burlington’s goal of improving alternative transportation options within South Burlington, and connectivity between South Burlington and Burlington.

“Multimodal settings and design have become an important component of our transportation infrastructure planning,” said South Burlington City Manager Kevin Dorn. “While South Burlington has an extensive bike and pedestrian system in areas of the city, there is still much work to do. We are addressing pedestrian/bicycle/vehicle conflicts with passive and active solutions such as transit service, bicycle lanes, shared use paths, and improved sidewalks. Our current projects, such as possible improvements at the I-89/Exit 14 crossing can facilitate increased bike and pedestrian usage. This is a critical link for both Burlington and South Burlington.”

2017 Multi-Mayor Multi-Modal Tour Itinerary:  May 5 from 8:00am – 12:00pm

8:00                     Meet at City Hall, front steps, 149 Church St.: Welcome from City of Burlington, Local Motion. Depart on foot, walk bikes

                              Speakers: Mayor Miro Weinberger; Chapin Spencer, Department of Public Works; Jon Adams-Kollitz, Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront; Jason Van Driesche, Local Motion

8:30                     Main St. & St. Paul St.: Great Streets/City Hall Park Project, Meagan Tuttle, Department of Planning & Zoning; Carshare VT

8:45                     Main St. & Pine St.: Main St. Design, Meagan Tuttle, Department of Planning & Zoning; Neale Lunderville and Jen Green, Burlington Electric

8:55                     Main St. @ Train Station: The future of multi modalism, Chapin Spencer, Department of Public Works

                             Getting around the city by wheelchair, Nate Besio, Vermont Center for Independent Living

9:20                     Pause Place 3/Texaco Beach: A new bike path and a new park, Nina Safavi, Burlington Parks Recreation & Waterfront

9:40                     Bikes picked up by Local Motion and Stu Lindsay at Skinny Pancake

9:50                     Cherry St. & Pine St.: The future Burlington Town Center, Don Sinex, Burlington Town Center

                              Restoring the urban grid, Jason Van Driesche, Local Motion 

10:00                  Downtown Transit Center: Mark A. Sousa, Green Mountain Transit

                              CATMA Regional Bikeshare, Nic Anderson, Champlain College              

10:15                  Depart on GMT #1 Williston bus 

10:20                  Main St. & S. Union St.: De-board bus, pick up bikes from Local Motion van

10:30                  Main St. & S. Union St.: Plan BTV Walk/Bike Union St. protected bike lane, Nicole Losch, Department of Public Works                      

10:40                  Plan BTV Walk/Bike ‘The Wiggle,’ Nicole Losch, Department of Public Works

11:00                  University of Vermont: UVM Active Transportation Plan, Jim Barr, UVM Transportation & Parking Services

11:20                  Exit 14 crossing by bike

11:30                  Holiday Inn/Doubletree: South Burlington Welcome, Kevin Dorn, South Burlington City Manager

 

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