City Planning

planBTV: Walk Bike

Burlington's plan for walking and biking the city.

When it comes to walking and biking, Burlington has a lot to be proud of. From outdoor recreation, to the Burlington Bike Path, to the Church Street Marketplace, and the city's overall compact development pattern, the city is inherently conducive to travel on foot and by bike. Still, like many communities across the country, Burlington is experiencing growing demand for safer streets with better walking and biking options. Despite walkability and bikeability being central goals in both the city's and partners' plans over the last decade, Burlington didn't have a plan dedicated to walk/bike-related investments. planBTV: Walk/Bike was adopted in 2017, and is devoted to just that: improving pedestrian and bicycle conditions to make walking and biking viable and enjoyable for people of all ages and abilities, all year round

This plan recognizes that walking and biking are important for Burlington for so many reasons, including that more people are getting to work by bike or on foot, that everyone deserves to feel safe on our streets, and that growth in walking and biking brings a host of community, environmental and economic benefits. These benefits range from reducing traffic congestion and vehicle emissions, to saving money through lower road maintenance costs or healthcare costs, to increased independence for those who don't- or can't- drive. planBTV: Walk/Bike identifies what improved walking and biking conditions can do for Burlington, sets goals for walk and bike improvements, and outlines a path to help the city reach those goals. 

Infrastructure is critical, but it's only part of the picture. 

Infrastructure that accommodates the needs of all road users is perhaps the most tangible characteristic of a walk- or bike-friendly community. Engineering and design of streets and facilities are key factors in people's decision-making, behavior, and feeling of safety. The streets of advanced walk- and bike-friendly communities are also well-connected, and supported by varying types of walk and bike facilities and other amenities.

But we can't stop there. planBTV: Walk/Bike set an ambitious goal for Burlington to become the best small city for walking and biking on the east coast. Proactive policies are established to not only maintain the infrastructure but address key issues that impact people's ability to walk and bike. planBTV: Walk/Bike goes beyond infrastructure to address what is known as the "6 E's""

  • Engineering: infrastructure such as intersection upgrades, sidewalks, trails, shared-use paths, and bike lanes
  • Evaluation & Planning: planning for walking and biking as viable modes of transportation by creating a comprehensive plan, establishing metrics, and allocating resources to accomplish goals
  • Education: non-infrastructure related programs that help people of all ages and abilities gain the skills and confidence to walk or bike for transportation
  • Encouragement: programs that celebrate walking and biking and establish both modes as a normal part of every day life
  • Enforcement: making sure streets are safe for all users by establishing laws and regulations that treat people walking and biking equitabily, and protocols that avoid profiling
  • Equity: walking or biking should be a viable option for people throughout the city in terms of geographic and social/demographic factors

 

For more information about planning in Burlington, contact Comprehensive Planner, Meagan Tuttle at mtuttle@burlingtonvt.gov. For information about Transportation Planning, contact Senior Planner, Nicole Losch at nlosch@burlingtonvt.gov.