Over the past year the Town has been examining safe links for people of all ages and abilities, especially school children, to walk or bike between the Collins Perley Sports Complex and the local schools. The Selectboard appointed Steering Committee recommended building a separated shared use path starting on S. Main St. that runs along the north side of the Interstate Access Road, crosses the Access Road through an underpass and connects to the existing Collins Perley walking path and to use the existing sidewalks to connect BFA to the path (see map below).
The recommended path will also connect residential neighborhoods on the northern and southern side of the Interstate Access Road.
On the March 2015 Ballot, the Selectboard will ask Town voters for authorization to use revenues from the Local Options Tax to build the path. For more details or questions about this project, please attend the Public Hearing and Information Meeting being held on Monday, February 23rd, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. at the Town Hall (579 Lake Rd., St. Albans, VT 05478).
Benefits to Infrastructure for people walking or biking:
- Equitable Accessibility: Seniors and youth are less likely to drive. Children under the age of 15 cannot drive. More than half of older adults reported they would bicycle, walk, and take transit more if their streets were improved.
- Better Health: Studies show a 35% increase in physical activity among people who live in communities that have inviting, safe environments for walking, exercise and play. This physical activity can reduce obesity rates—which Franklin County leads the state in–and rates of heart disease, high blood pressure.
- Improved traffic: Allowing people alternative ways of commuting can ease traffic congestion and reduce competition for parking. Studies found that 25% of morning traffic is parents driving their students to school.
- Higher Property Values: A 2009 study in Vermont found that being located in a walkable neighborhood adds to the value of a home compared to a home in a car‐dependent area