What state roads do you like to bike? What state roads would you bicycle, if the route were improved for cycling traffic? Those are the first questions the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) is asking the public as it begins crafting the state's first on-road bicycle plan.
VTrans explains the purpose of the plan is to use public input and roadway characteristics "to categorize state highway corridors into several tiers." The tier system will be used to rank state highways for road cycling based on where bicyclists ride now and where bicyclists want to ride. The ultimate goal is to prioritize road improvement projects.
VTrans has laid out a three-phase process in creating the plan. The first phase is just getting underway and will last through next summer.
- Phase 1: Create a tiered system of bicycle corridors based on use and desirability.
- Phase 2: Identify critical gaps in the most desirable bicycle corridors.
- Phase 3: Identify improvements to be considered to address gaps in the most-desirable bicycle corridors.
VTrans will collect public feedback for the next six months to help shape the plan. During the first phase of the project the state will:
- Collect information from the public about where they ride and where bicyclists want to ride on state roads.
- Use this information to identify several tiers of bicycle corridors ranging from most desirable for bicycling to the least desirable for bicycling.
- Set the stage for where the state should focus needed bicycle improvements.
There are two primary ways the state is collecting information from the public. First, a WikiMap was created where cyclists can draw desirable biking routes on a map of state roads as well as identify specific destinations that should be accessible to cyclists. Second, VTrans will hold two statewide public meetings using the Vermont Interactive Technologies system (formerly known as Vermont Interactive Television), using several VIT locations as well as streaming the meeting online.
The first public meeting will happen Dec. 9, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. A second meeting will be held April 30.