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Walk Talk: Pedestrian Summit in Burlington

Local Matters


Published May 16, 2006 at 8:45 p.m.

More than 55 Burlingtonians gathered at City Hall last Saturday for a "Pedestrian Summit." Organized by the Community and Economic Development Office, the event began with a review of what makes a city pedestrian-friendly. Participants then broke into groups to evaluate several intersections in town. They discussed their findings over lunch, and plotted the creation of a Pedestrian Task Force.

When it was time for the walking tour, Jon Slason lead his group of six -- including Mayor Bob Kiss and Steve Goodkind, director of Burlington Public Works -- to the intersection of Main Street and South Winooski Avenue. Slason, a planning consultant with Resources Systems Group, asked the participants to note hazards as they walked to the corner. The walkers pointed out uneven sidewalks, raised metal grates embedded in the concrete, and too few racks to hold the bikes chained haphazardly to trees and parking meters.

The intersection itself won praise for its adequately timed crossing signal and its "No Turn on Red" signs. The walkers' biggest complaint? Too many cyclists on the sidewalk.