A Complete Street for Williston Road- Monday March 19, SB City Council

Here at VTIndoor, we ride inside in the off-season to get some training in, but all of us ride outside, too. Many of us use our bikes to get around as well as to train and compete. If you've ever run the gauntlet on Williston Road, you know that there is no accommodation for cyclists built into it. You probably avoid riding on Williston Road at all costs, even though it is the most direct connection between Downtown Burlington, South Burlington, and Williston.

Here's a chance to take a step in the right direction: This summer, Williston Road will be repaved from the intersection with 116/Patchen to the Ace Hardware past the airport. A small group has formed to ask the South Burlington City Council to consider a pilot "Complete Street" project as a part of the repaving. This would generally reduce the road from four vehicle lanes to three (with the middle lane as a turn lane" and would add bicycle lanes to the road surface.

Colchester Avenue in Burlington before and after its Complete Street conversion

The South Burlington City Council is meeting on Monday to discuss the possibility of trying out this Complete Street configuration to see if it will work. While there will be an impact on motor vehicle traffic (generally making Williston Road a slower trip for motorists during peak hours ), the road would be made immeasurably safer for bicyclists and pedestrians. Here's the email notice I got about the meeting:

TO: All interested in a Williston Road “Complete Streets Trial” this summer

City Council has agreed to re-consider whether to recommend a trial at its upcoming meeting at 7pm Monday, March 19th at South Burlington City Hall -575 Dorset Street.

Whether to prioritize continued motorist use of Williston Road, many of whom are simply “passing through” will need to be discussed and weighed versus placing an increased priority on more local S.B. neighborhood, bicyclist, pedestrian, speed and safety concerns which might involve somewhat greater traffic delay during certain peak traffic times of day.

Comments from interested parties will be important to a complete and thoughtful City Council discussion and decision.

Please try to attend.

Rick Hubbard
Chair, South Burlington Recreation Path Committee