Sunday, March 23, 2014


9/30/2013   Rev. 12/16/2013
North Avenue provides the sole “all modes” transportation corridor along the entire length of the North End connecting to downtown Burlington. As the North End’s “main street,” North Avenue meets the transportation needs for all within and outside the neighborhood through the freedom of choice to move through and within the corridor safely by foot, bicycle, public transit or private vehicle, thereby accessing homes, businesses as well as schools and other institutions. 

In addition to improved existing vehicle roadway and sidewalks,a complete corridor comes about through three essential investments: 

1) protected bike lanes—cycle track—throughout the corridor thereby placing the bicyclist regardless of gender, age or skill on an equal footing with other modes;

(2) safety creating, speed-calming one-lane roundabouts at key busy intersections assuring the highest level of safety for all users, particularly for the increasing older citizen population; and

 (3) increasing bus transit frequencies andpursuing a north-south light rail service starting from Flynn School and extending to through the Marketplace to the waterfront.

North Avenue from Northgate to Battery Park
 With these improvements, the walking and bicycling modes achieve full equality, economic vitality of North Avenue gains, and both environmental and energy challenges are addressed.

North Avenue plays a crucial role in connections to the Burlington Bike path, recreation facilities, the Beltline and many other private and public facilities, such as Burlington High School, the Miller Center, City schools, and Burlington College. Plantings, landscaping and scenic quality appointments along the corridor give opportunities for volunteers and community groups to maintain the attractiveness of
corridor. Fostering scenic quality and social interaction, micro-parks and street furniture adorn some of the nodes of busy commercial, residential and institutional locations.

Pursue equality in each mode including equal opportunity by gender, age, skill level, disability status, and income.

North End residents seek a truly walkable and bikable North Avenue, safe for use by all skill levels and ages. A walkable and bikable street means residents of the street and the North End enjoy freedom of choice of how to travel through and within the corridor. Modal equality comes about through cycle track or pathing for bicyclists
supplemented by pathed roundabouts, thereby assuring high safety and minimum delay for all users.

•Achieve a world class transportation corridor with quality service and highest safety for those who walk, bicycle and travel by motor vehicle or transit.   

•Provide equality of facilities for those who walk, bicycle and travel by motor vehicle and transit.

•Establish freedom of choice for residents and visitors to travel within and through the corridor by on foot, bicycle, car and public transit.

•Insure connectivity to nearby transportation facilities and all varieties of community institutions, businesses and services, particularly by addressing “safe routes to schools” elements in final designs.

•Assure a high level of sustainable transportation practice throughout the corridor through existing and expanded demand management practices, encouragement of public transportation as well as through walking and bicycling modes facilities and services.

•Emphasize in all corridor transportation improvements enhancing existing businesses, institutions, and accommodation of prospective economic development.

•Pursue scenic quality along the corridor including but not limited to: differentiation of corridor sections by the character of landscaping and lighting fixtures, micro-parks and leeways along pathways at busy  points encouraging social interaction and diversion from travel for  walkers and bicyclists, use of plantings—some designed for volunteer  maintenance—throughout the corridor and as separation of cycle track from vehicle travel lanes, and consideration of an overall corridor and or sub-corridor themes.

•Seek changes in City land use regulations which support the Vision and Goals for the North Avenue transportation corridor.

•Address in all designs and elements sensitivity to the needs of the growing population of older citizens and the very young.

•Utilize non-signalized traffic calming techniques where appropriate, such as medianed and median-divider crosswalks at “mid-block” crossings, bulb-outs, raised crossings, speed tables, narrowed or raised entries to local street intersections with North Avenue, etc.


  1. From email response: In the case of North Avenue whether track would be street level/sidewalk level may rest on relative ease of conversion from the current street configuration. Toward the north, there appears to be sufficient space for vehicle lanes and 6-7 foot cycle track on each side. From Lakeview Cemetery south the width of green strips on either side increases thereby narrowing the street surface. Street reconstruction costs may guide one to a solution of a sidewalk level track--also that makes sense from a user standpoint as you are in a rather dense and compact neighborhood characterized with increased bicycle/walker volumes and lots more short trips.

    1. To All, the more I look and study these smaller roundabouts, the more I kinda like them for a safer method of the walkers getting across the street. Bikers also will be better off but they also have to obey the same laws as the motorists and from what I have seen and noticed over the years that a very large number of them have complete disregard for the laws.... but to get them off the street on their own pathway would be great along with the walkers. now, one of my questions might be if and when this all comes about, and since we won't have parking meters along the way, will the sidewalk plows work with the street plows on opening up all routes. meaning no snowbanks between the different paths. Another thing I am concerned about is the bus pickups. if the small piece of land between the bike lanes and the street will it be wide enough for the waiting area without losing part of the bike lane just trying to vision this whole deal coming together and since I am a newbie and having to move at a faster scale now to catch up well there are a few things. From the High School to Platsburgh Ave, I have driven it so many times each day and there is never more then two to four cars parked in that whole stretch.
      . most of the time there is only one. I would hope that that whole stretch of that area would be treated the same with the same width (bike lanes 5 feet for example all the way... sidewalk lane all the way the same. car lanes say 11 feet all the way the same. I am only using those numbers for Illustration two car lanes and one center turn lane (total of three lanes ) but I do feel that a seven foot bike lane is way larger then needed . we need to put some of that width back to the car lanes. Just some thought, I do encourage anyone to attend the the meeting on May 1st at St. Marks. As you know I for one was 100% against roundabouts, always thinking of that mess they made in Winooski, and all I could picture was the same type nightmare on our home main street, (North Ave). Since viewing in person this small style roundabouts, they have convinced me that this is the way to go. Thanks again for all your work and getting some of us turned around at least a bit and I do hope others will ask questions too. Ken Peterson

  2. Why must we have this at all? We have a Yankee tradition; "if isn't broke, don't fix it". The existing traffic mentioned has been studied and examined but I still cannot agree this is the type of traffic solution for us or even needed for our community. Why must there be this big push to solve something that isn't such a pressing problem as some folks are trying to make it out to be? We can use traffic calming devices such as stop sighs, radar signs, flashing cross walk lights, lets not go with a permanent costly defacement of our neighborhood this way this time just yet.

    1. Hi Mike, great to see your post. North ave became broken when they put the four lanes between Shore Road and 127. It has become a speed dragway. so very dangerous for the kids as well as Seniors that we have so many now in the area. the simple three lane street does two jobs.... one, it slows down the speed of the cars, and two, it speeds up the flow of the cars. and I know I don't like the cycles on the road causing tie ups. we need to protect the bikers, and the drivers and also those walking. and I agree we need some flashing light for school zones etc.

  3. This is ridiculous! The roundabout is really working well in Winooski, isn't it? And let me guess, the cost of this ridiculousness will fall on whom??? Oh yea, the taxpayers! Save it, not interested.

    1. Amy, it is ridiculous, the traffic circulator in Winooski, I mean. That design is NOT a roundabout. Roundabouts are specifically engineered to move traffic smoothly, avoid traffic back-ups, make running orange and yellow lights a thing of the past, eliminate need for turning on red (or not) which is very dangerous to pedestrians and cyclists.... the list goes on and on. I can understand the mix-up, but hope that this will put your mind at ease. To see a real roundabout, look at the one near the elementary school in Montpelier and ask people there what they think about it. We did, and our eyes were opened..

    2. Mike, we have to have this because economic development and quality of life is diminished in the North End by poor level of service at intersections on North Avenue. As housing is added at Burlington College, Thayer Commons, and Staniford Farm, for example, the Avenue will soon be broken. Many say it is broken now. We deserve our share of transportation investment to improve level of service on our "main street." With rounds and ped/cycle tracks and aidewalks, we can improve traffic flow and level of service without taking people's property along the Avenue, putting a 4 lane road in their front yards. We can use our share of trans funds to create a main street that preserves a tree lines avenue lined with homes, churches, and small businesses. Speaking as a senior, I say let's bring back a modern version of the Ethan Allen Park Trolley!

    3. And remind me again who is going to pay for this "project"??

    4. Gas and road use taxes are collected nationwide and sent back to the states (minus admin costs, of course) for projects that have been studied, discussed in public process, and are ready to build. That is why the corridor study is being done now -- so we have a plan "in the pipeline," as they say. If you own and drive a gas car, you pay for it and you pay for the transportation projects all over the state, and all over the nation. (Vermont, btw, gets back more than we pay in.)

      Please come to the public workshop on May 1 at St. Marks. Ask your questions, speak your mind, share your ideas and perspective -- the North End is known for that!

  4. More on WHO PAYS?

  5. I agree with Ann and Mike. Nothing is really that broken on North Avenue to consider the scope of change being discussed above. I agree that bikers needs space on North Avenue, and the four lane section at the shopping center should become three lanes with a center turning lane. Other than at 8am and between 4 and 6pm, North Avenue is free of any traffic back-ups (which are minor to begin with). As to a roundabout, I believe that is overkill. Further, if you can't center a roundabout on the road, it won't work right (witness Winooski's failed attempt.

    AND, let's not forget that bikers already have a convenient and more private and scenic way to get downtown - the bike path! The bike path is what I would use to commute from the North End.

    FINALLY, let's concentrate our efforts on BHS and north - the section south of BHS works the best of all, so leave it alone.


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