Transportation

Melody Bodette / VPR

Some Middlebury residents are concerned about a $55 million project to replace two aging state-owned rail bridges in the downtown. Some say disruptions would be devastating to local businesses, others say they’d rather have trains out of the town center all together.

Stefan Hard for VPR

The state's draft rail plan released earlier this month says freight traffic on Vermont's railways is expected to grow 40 percent from 2007 levels over the next 20 years.

The plan focuses on making sure the state's railways have enough capacity to move all of that freight while safely carrying more passengers between Vermont cities, but serious questions remain about storing the train cars when they aren't moving.

Charlotte Albright / Charlotte Albright

There’s a new way to do an age old farm chore — spread manure. Most Vermont farmers use sprayers on tank trucks. But long hoses can now take manure from its source to the fields. It's a high-tech method that yields many benefits recently demonstrated at Vermont Technical College in Randolph.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Bikes have been popping up throughout the village of Morrisville in the past week - in front of the Morristown Town Offices, at the library and down by the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail. They're there for the taking, as long as you fill out a waiver at the town office and return your ride within 72 hours.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Congressman Peter Welch says he's optimistic that President Obama's new agreement with Iran is the best way to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. He's also been pushing for a long term transportation funding bill, as opposed to the stopgap measure that just passed in the House.

Paul Chiasson / AP

Last Monday marked the two-year anniversary of the explosion of oil tanker train cars in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec that shook many in the region and across the country. The train derailed in the middle of the night, right in the center of the small village, destroying many of the buildings in the town center and taking 47 lives.

Toby Talbot / AP/file

The Agency of Transportation has issued its first statewide rail plan in nearly a decade. The proposal envisions new passenger routes to Burlington, Montreal, Manchester and Bennington, but there’s no clear plan to pay for the massive track upgrades needed to make it all a reality. 

cate_89 / iStock.com

At any given time, more than 30,000 Vermonters are contending with a suspended driver’s license. But the suspension often relates to offenses that have nothing to do with a person’s road-worthiness. So Transportation Secretary Sue Minter says it’s time to get many of those drivers back on the highway.

Wilson Ring / AP File

State officials are growing concerned that Congress won't pass a long-term federal transportation bill this year. They’ve developed a contingency plan to ensure that road and bridge construction projects in Vermont stay on schedule this summer. 

Wilson Ring / AP File

During this year's legislative session, a  comprehensive transportation bill totaling $616 million was passed. It will improve structurally deficient bridges, make municipal storm water improvements, and provide funding for rail, public transit systems, airports and bicycle and pedestrian facilities.

We discuss the bill's impact with Transportation Secretary Sue Minter.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

In his administration’s continuing efforts to make investments in Burlington’s Parks & Recreation infrastructure, Mayor Miro Weinberger announced a new funding strategy for expensive projects in the city’s parks.

Vermont's Department of Motor Vehicles was breaking Vermont law when it searched its records using facial recognition software, Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan says.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR File

In January 2014 Vermont enacted a law that established a new kind of driver’s license called a driver’s privilege card. The identification allows undocumented immigrant farmworkers residing in Vermont to drive legally in the state.

Elaine Thompson / AP

Transportation Secretary Sue Minter says the current stalemate in Congress over a long term transportation bill clearly shows that the country needs to reduce its reliance on gasoline taxes. She says a plan that taxes motorists based on the number of miles they drive their car deserves serious study.

stanfram / istock

In less than three months, three Vermont cyclists have been killed after getting hit by a car.

Just before 6 p.m. on Wednesday, 60-year-old Kenneth Najarian was riding his bike in Ferrisburgh when he was struck by a woman who police say was driving drunk. Najarian died at the scene.

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Vermont’s Complete Streets Bill was signed into law four years ago to make roadways safer and more user-friendly for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers.

While many applaud the concept, some city leaders in Rutland say the costs of compliance are too high. At the same time, bicycle advocates say more needs to be done to ensure the law is being followed.

Two schools are closed in Richmond this morning, as the town is dealing with a problem with the municipal water system that has left parts of the town without water. Richmond Elementary and Camel's Hump Middle School are both closed.

Officials say some home and businesses are without water, others have low water pressure. The town's water department is working on a fix for the problem, but they're not sure when water will be restored. Areas without water include East Main Street, Church Street, Esplanade, Farr Road, Jericho Road and Thompson Road.

Nina Keck / VPR

Green Mountain Power officials were in downtown Rutland Tuesday to unveil the first of 12 high-speed electric vehicle chargers they plan to install across the state. 

GMP hopes the new charging stations will encourage more Vermonters to drive electric cars and help ease what’s known as range anxiety for those who already do.

vik approved / iStock

A group based in Brattleboro is hoping you'll ditch your car and start taking your bike more often. VBike has teamed up with the state's alternative transportation agency, Go! Vermont, to provide consultation services to help you find the perfect bicycle to carry your kids, perhaps your groceries as well, and still make it up that hill. They hope to increase the usage of bikes for transportation in Vermont.

Jon Kalish / VPR File

A Burlington company that develops software and hardware for unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, is the first company in Vermont to get a federal permit allowing the use of drones for commercial purposes.

Screen shot/ / Vermont Agency of Transportation

Transportation Secretary Sue Minter says she is incredibly frustrated that Congress will not pass a long-term transportation bill. Minter is putting a contingency plan in place to ensure that Vermont's summer construction projects can stay on schedule.

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