What is the North Avenue Pilot Project?
The North Avenue Pilot Project is a temporary road restructuring that allows local Burlington government employees and drivers alike evaluate the merits of a traffic change based on data and public feedback. This project includes temporary intersection changes, restriping on North Avenue between Washington Street and Plattsburgh Avenue and the installation of lane delineators between the Burlington High School entrance and VT127. It’s goal is to evaluate the effectiveness of a new road configuration that aims to calm traffic and make North Avenue safer for pedestrians, bicyclists, and cars.
Since city Councilors passed the North Avenue Project in 2014, there has been much contentment of the project. On this past Town Meeting Day, Burlington residents voted “no” for keeping North Avenue a four-lane road configuration, confirming approval for the installation of the North Avenue Pilot. Studies were done by the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC) earlier this summer on average speeds and volume and pedestrian and bicycle counts at intersections to collect “before” data.
In mid-June the pilot was finally in place… They installed flex post lane delineators (above right) and bollards, also known as armadillos (above left). During the project the Department of Public Works have been hosting community forums, accepting resident comments and recommendations and collecting traffic data. Meanwhile, the CCRPC has been collecting data on traffic changes and bike usage.
How can I get involved?
On September 20th, there was a public forum about the pilot project – Here are the notes:
Haven’t checked out the pilot yet? You can go on October 29th, 2016 and November 5th, 2016 from 3:30 – 5:30 to measure speeds with radar speed guns on loan from the Police Department
What is next?
In mid-october, there will be a decision on whether or not to retain the pilot through the winter. October 17th, 2016 City Council will meet and the Department of Public Works will present traffic data, survey results, and recommendations. If they decide the pilot should remain, they will reassess after the Winter.