In August 2018, South Burlington residents voted to designate one penny on the tax rate for bike and pedestrian infrastructure throughout the city. The bike-pedestrian committee is excited to report the impact and significant progress in the past three years.
In many cases the Pennies for Paths funds have been used to fund small projects, but more significantly those funds have been leveraged as matching funds to raise $1.125 million to date in federal and state grants. While the use of such grants lengthens the time to complete a project due to all the requirements to meet regulations, in the end, it significantly expands the bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure projects that can be completed.
As of 2021 we have leveraged Pennies for Paths funds to receive the $640,000 in grants from Vermont Agency of Transportation’s bike-pedestrian program to fill a critical gap in the shared use path on the east side of Dorset Street from Nowland Farm Road to Sadie Lane. Some of the matching funds for this project also came from South Burlington’s recreations impact fees.
This project is currently in the process of obtaining necessary easements and is expected to be built in 2023.
Other grants include $75,000 from the transportation agency’s small-scale bicycle and pedestrian program for the Kennedy Road crosswalk at Twin Oaks. The state is also providing construction funding of $110,000 for two proposed crosswalks on Williston Road, one at Elsom Parkway and the other at Pine Tree Terrace.
Hinesburg Road, a state road and major transportation route in the city, has been identified by the bike-pedestrian committee as needing multiple improvements to make it more pedestrian and biking friendly. The city has submitted proposed crosswalks and crosswalk upgrades to the Vermont Agency of Transportation for review and comment. Needed crosswalks have been identified and designed for Ruth Street, Prouty Parkway and the Awasiwi Trail. The city received a permit from the state and hopes to implement the crosswalks in 2022.
Additionally, the city has received $300,000 from the agency for the design and construction of an approximately 3,500-foot shared use path along Spear Street to Swift Street.
Additional Pennies for Paths funds are being used for a significant number of projects in various stages of development or have already been completed. To list a few:
• Spear Street jug handle sidewalk: Approximately 300-feet of sidewalk between Spear Street and East Terrace, completed.
• Allen Road shared use path: An 800-foot path extending from Spear Street to Bay Crest Drive. At the same time, pedestrian crossing signals and striping for bike lanes were completed.
• A shared use path that will cross the Hubbard Recreation and Natural Area is being designed, helping to connect an entire neighborhood to the paved path system.
• Kimball Avenue culvert and bike-ped infrastructure: The city’s stormwater department received a grant to fund the design and construction of the Kimball Avenue culvert project. The new bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure at that location will be funded with Pennies for Paths and recreation impact fees.
With more projects planned, South Burlington has made great strides in connecting existing paths and neighborhoods for a safer and more enjoyable biking and walking experience.
Cathy Frank is a member of the South Burlington Bike-Pedestrian Committee.