Friday, May 16, 2014

Ride with the Mayor - a Multi-modal Tour

A couple spaces for bikes aboard the bus.

With bleak skies and showers forecast, I set off to meet up with a group at city hall. This was set up as a multi-modal tour to highlight transportation alternatives around Burlington with, of course, the mayor.

Many of us rode the 2 miles to the first stop at The Bagel Cafe; some took the bus, while their bikes were towed in a van. The group consisted of city employees integral to the transportation network, bike and pedestrian advocacy members, volunteers, and a handful of people like me who have an interest in safe streets and bike paths. A Friday morning is not ideal to attract multitudes, but perhaps it wasn't intended for the general public as much as to garner support and publicity among city and county departments for further implementation.

Cones temporarily placed along North Avenue to depict a complete streets scenario.
The mayor tweets at one interlude, reminding me that it's still a working day for many: giving little speeches, handing out information, stopping at businesses to display how the North Avenue corridor was bound to grow, thus the need for better bike lanes.

A new coffee and ice cream shop.

A brief stop at the police department. Beansie's Bus, a landmark, is in its usual spot,
serving up burgers, dogs, fries and creemees in Battery Park.
I liked the myriad of bikes ridden by attendees: a Schwinn Suburban that Hotel Vermont loans out to it's residents, a folding bike, a Budnitz titanium bike, a Spot belt drive machine, a one-rider tandem (he'd dropped his kids off at school), and many older commuter bicycles like my own.

Another stop at a bagel shop to highlight where a busy street will soon get a badly needed pedestrian crosswalk.

There is a new level 2 and 3 electric vehicle station.

I learn there are van pools between Burlington and state government offices 35 miles away in Montpelier. Some vans are equipped with bike racks.

There are many agencies involved and committed to regional planning for alternative and multi-modal transportation. Way to Go Burlington!

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