With Transportation Enhancement Funds, Communities Can Create Smarter Options

Three separate communities in Vermont recently planned new pedestrian and bicycle connections thanks to federal Transportation Enhancement (TE) funds and are ready to move forward with several projects:

The Town of Shelburne, Vermont used TE funds to find the most appropriate means of linking two existing sidewalks on either side of a narrow bridge on a curve at the bottom of a hill. The grant funds sponsored several local public work sessions where the community helped develop the best alternative for a long-term link. They also developed a short term fix that could improve conditions for bicyclists and walkers now by widening the paved shoulders, narrowing the motor vehicle travel lanes, and adding a painted pedestrian space. The new space allows pedestrians to walk in the grass away from the paved travel way after they leave the sidewalk. Long term, a separate pedestrian bridge is planned. The improvements are going to greatly increase the safety and sense of security of pedestrians and bicyclists as they pass through this existing difficult area.

The Village of North Bennington, Vermont has been working for the last few years to increase business activity in its village center. Several new restaurants and other business are now located there, and pedestrian activity is increasing, but the existing sidewalk system, where it exists is old, often uneven and narrow.