Middlebury Public Hearing on Bike/Ped Matters Tomorrow

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Laura Asermily

Apr 12, 2021, 5:28:14 PMApr 12
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Middlebury Selectboard is conducting a public hearing Tues April 13 on a number of bike/ped related matters that may be of interest to you. See notes below on ordinance amendments which help clarify things, including the spectrum of other rideable devices coming along and traffic calming and improvement measures. The meeting and citizen comments portion opens at 7 and the Public Hearing is scheduled for 7:30 pm to express your support or concerns.  Later in the meeting the Board is receiving a report on RT 7 work in the school zone near Mary Hogan. I have been interested in tracking the status of the crosswalk to Mary Hogan Dr north into the Rec Park near Dunkin Doughnuts. Right now it is closed while water main work occurs. I've learned that the crosswalk is slated for removal when the road is repaved this summer and want to understand if there is still a chance to preserve the crosswalk. I had no objection to the removal of the blinking light that straddled it, which had become ineffective. If fact, I proposed that we preserve the crosswalk and improve its safety with adding rapid flashing beacon lights, as we have on Cross St. It's removal is being recommended in favor of directing people to the safer crosswalks at Court Square and Cross St and to keep traffic flowing on heavily used Rt 7. I think a lot of people are going to want to still cross there seeking shorter distance between two points, including dog walkers and rec park users, school families, ACCT apt residents and CSAC's Evergreen Center attendees (often seeking quick access to Dunkin Doughnuts) and that we may as well preserve it even though it is safer to cross at Court Square and Cross St. You'll see in notes below that the timing for lights and signage at Cross St will be improved for pedestrians, which we've wanted and is fantastic! Please join me in attending to discuss this further with the Board. Here's the zoom link: Join our Cloud HD Video Meeting

Midd Infrastructure Comm Report Notes: Since the water main construction is beginning along the west side of Court Street, DPW has closed the crosswalk at Mary Hogan north. Traffic patterns will be changing during the construction period with one-way traffic during active construction. Excavation equipment and trucking will be entering and leaving the southbound lane. Also, the curb line at that crosswalk (east side) will be relocated so it will not be above the storm basin inlet. There will be times when the west side sidewalk of Court Street will be closed to thru-way pedestrian traffic.

The VTrans Class I paving project calls for removal of the black cantilevered poles with the flashing yellow lights.

The Committee reaffirmed the Selectboard’s action taken at the August 25, 2020 Board Meeting:

Excerpt from March 25, 2020 Selectboard Meeting Minutes:

Seeley then moved to authorize DPW Planning Director Dan Werner to convey the following requests to VTrans on behalf of the Selectboard regarding desired pedestrian safety improvements on Court Street:

  • Remove the mast-arms at the Mary Hogan North entrance;

  • Remove the crosswalk at the Mary Hogan North entrance;

  • Include in the contract bid an Add Alternate for Rapid Flashing Beacons if the Town chose to consider

    this prior to start of construction;

  • Install a “no right turn on red” sign at the Court St./Cross St. intersection for southbound Court Street

    traffic; and

  • Adjust the traffic signal at Court St. and Cross St. to stop all traffic during the pedestrian phase.

    Artim seconded the motion. The motion carried with 7 in favor. MOTION PASSED.

Midd Ordinance Recommendations:

Amended: An Ordinance to Regulate Commercial Activity on Public Property

1. Amended to anticipate the potential for transportation devices such as commercial scooters and private ride- shares using public property eventually coming to town and enables town authority to regulate these if necessary.

Amended: An Ordinance for the Safe Operation of Bicycles and Other Rideable Devices

  1. Some minor amendments primarily for clarity. Definitions of bicycles, other rideable devices, and personal mobility aids clarified and made more generic to better deal with the variety of new wheeled devices out there. There was some reformatting done of the ordinance as well and some language clarification.

  2. Printers Alley was added back into the amended ordinance. Another section classifying Main Street between Seymour Street and South Street a shared roadway to be marked as such. page3image3000080032

  1. The ordinance was simplified with respect to the amount and variety of devices being used on the road and sidewalks downtown:

    Redefined Bicycle for the purposes of the ordinance:

    • Rideable, mountable device

    • 2 or more wheels

    • Motive power – human muscle

    • Drive mechanism – pedals or mechanical linkage manipulated to propel the device

    • Includes motor-assisted bicycles as defined by Title 23, VSA 4 (45) (B).

      Redefined Other Rideable Device

    • Wheeled device

    • Motive power – equipped for human muscle power with or without a motor

    • Rideable/ mountable

    • Excludes bicycles, neighborhood electric vehicles (golf carts, etc), rideable personal mobility aids, motor-

      driven cycles, and other devices classified as motor vehicles per Title 23 VSA 4 (21).

    • Some examples – roller skiis, roller blades, roller skates, unicycles, hoverboards, self-balancing transport

      devices, skateboards, kick scooters, electric scooters.

      Defined Rideable Personal Mobility Aid:

    • Devices used as a person conveyance for those with ambulatory disabilities.

    • Rideable personal mobility aids are considered pedestrians and follow pedestrian laws.

  2. Bicycles and other rideable devices must follow motor vehicle laws.
    Dismounted bicycles or other rideable devices are considered pedestrian and follow pedestrian laws.

  3. A conflict in the ordinance was removed that in one section allowed bikes to operate on certain sidewalks and another which prohibited it. The enabling clause was removed.

  4. The age on which a child could ride was raised from 7 to 10, the responsible person was changed from a parent to a caretaker, which includes childcare person, relative, etc.

    Amended: An Ordinance for the Regulation of Speed

    1. Adopts by ordinance the recently amended state speed limits on Routes 116 (Case St) and Rt. 125E (East Main St) in East Middlebury consistent with T.23 VSA 1007(f).

    2. Amends Section IV – Thirty-Five Mile Speed Limit and Section V – Forty Mile Speed Limit to reflect the revised speed limits.

    Amended: An Ordinance for the Regulation of Traffic Lights and Signs

    1. Establishes by ordinance changes to Merchants Row: One-way street eastbound; eliminate the stop sign west bound on Merchants at Main St; eliminate the Yield signs for west bound traffic on Merchants Row off of South Pleasant St; eliminate the Yield sign eastbound on Merchants at Court Square and replace with a stop sign. These changes are consistent with the reconfiguration and re-posting of traffic control devices on Merchants Row.

    2. Amends Article IV – Section 1 – Designation of Stop Signs at Intersections and Article V – Section 1 – Designation of Yield Right-of-Way Signs at Intersections

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