VTrans announces new guidance for demonstration projects

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VTrans announces new guidance for demonstration projects

Sat, 10/24/2020 - 9:33am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Agency of Transportation (AOT) announces new guidance for municipalities, businesses, and community groups that wish to implement demonstration projects – temporary, illustrative roadway design projects – in State Highway Right-of-Way. 

“Demonstration projects are a way for communities to evaluate the impact of a roadway change, such as to improve walking, bicycling, transit access, traffic flow, or public spaces, without making a permanent, and often expensive, investment,” Transportation Secretary Joe Flynn said. “We are excited to offer this guidance to assist communities and businesses in exploring innovative roadway projects.”

Bicycle lanes, crosswalk markings, curb extensions, and median safety islands are examples of demonstration projects that may be intended to slow motor vehicle traffic or provide better access and safety for pedestrians and/or bicyclists, transit users, or combinations of these. Parklets, pedestrian plazas, and road closures are options that use public sidewalks and highways for temporary public gathering spaces to provide public space to support economic vitality and social interaction.

The guidance document and application describe the options available, issues that need to be considered, and the state approval process, and also provide links to resources with additional information.  

Demonstration projects are part of a concept called placemaking that seeks to improve livability in communities. AOT’s new guidance builds on other State efforts underway, such as the Department of Housing and Community Development’s Better Places initiative, which offers tools, resources, and technical assistance to help communities reimagine and reconfigure their streets, parking areas, and public spaces during COVID-19 and beyond. Information about Better Places can be found at the ACCD website.  

Source: Barre, Vt. – The Vermont Agency of Transportation 10.22.2020