The Readers Write

Support for Bay Road single lane
The Shelburne Bike and Pedestrian Path Committee supports the single car lane and new pedestrian and bike lanes under the Bay Road railroad bridge. The tunnel has always been nerve-wracking for walkers and bikers to travel through. Without these improvements, the Shelburne Bike and Pedestrian Path Committee feels the situation is currently unsafe.

Here are the specific points of why this tunnel is so dangerous to bikers, pedestrians and even other motorists:

The tunnel is too narrow—Currently in the tunnel, there is just enough room for two cars side by side, leaving no space for bikers or pedestrians.

No clear sight lines for motorists—As the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC) study for this project states:

Sight distance is limited on the eastern side of the underpass due to a horizontal curve and roadway gradient. This is especially troublesome for westbound vehicles in detecting pedestrians or another vehicle present in the underpass.

So motorists approaching the tunnel can’t see bicyclists, pedestrians or even another vehicle in the tunnel until they are at the tunnel.

Cars on Bay Road drive too fast—The speed limit on Bay road is 35mph. According to the CCRPC study, the 85th percentile* speed through this corridor is between 39 mph and 43 mph. So if Bay Road has cars moving consistently above the speed limit, we can assume they are not slowing down when going under the bridge itself. And the speeds on Bay Road are not just an issue at the RR bridge. The committee and the town have received numerous complaints about the speed on all sections of Bay Road. Requiring motorists to stop in the middle of the Bay Road corridor will slow the overall speed of vehicles on Bay Road.

So combine the fact that motorists, many going over the speed limit, cannot see bikers or pedestrians in the tunnel, with the fact that, if there are two cars, there is no room for anything else in the tunnel, and you can see the danger of this situation. Bikers and pedestrians feel they are taking their lives in their hands when they enter that tunnel. And this is not just an issue for bikers and pedestrians. All of these reasons apply to cars as well. So making this tunnel safer for bikes and pedestrians will also make it safer for motorists.

So what is the effect of this single lane solution on motorists?

According to the CCRPC study, the average delay for vehicles driving under the RR bridge with one lane, and having to stop before they enter this tunnel is 9.1 seconds eastbound and 8.5 seconds westbound. Since this delay is measured in single digit seconds, we feel that this is a small price to pay for making the passageway under this tunnel safer for anyone who travels through it.

-The Shelburne Bike and Pedestrian Path Committee
* The speed at or below which 85% of all vehicles are observed to travel under free flowing conditions past a nominated point.

 

David Scherr for State Senate
I hope that you will consider voting for David Scherr for State Senate in the Democratic primary on August 9. David was born and raised in Vermont and returned here after graduating from Columbia Law school. He works as an attorney on behalf of low-income Vermonters and sees on a daily basis the devastation caused by poverty, opioid addiction, lack of affordable housing, and high rates of prison incarceration. His compassion for his clients is well known, but his experience with them on a case-by-case basis has led him to understand the system wide problems that affect them as well as all Vermonters.

David is running for the State Senate because he is committed to developing new and effective policies that address issues of social justice, housing affordability, and our pressing environmental concerns. David would like to see changes in the criminal justice system and believes that we cannot incarcerate our way out of the opiate problem. He will work to improve treatment options and availability for addicted individuals. David understands that climate change is a defining issue of our time and is committed to improving energy efficiency, increasing the deployment of low-carbon generating technologies, and reducing the carbon footprint of our transportation system.

David’s experience and knowledge have led to his appointment to the Chittenden Regional Planning Commission and the Vermont Community Development Board. He has been endorsed by former Lt. Governor Doug Racine, President Pro-Tempore of the Senate John Campbell, and State Legislator from Shelburne Joan Lenes, among many, many others. As important as his experience, qualifications, and calm and composed temperament, David brings the perspective and enthusiasm of the next generation of Vermont leaders.

I enthusiastically support David Scherr for State Senate and I strongly encourage you to do so as well.
-Maryanne Hamilton, Shelburne

 

Getting it Done on Health Care
Health care policy is very complicated—there are lots of different actors, cost structures, bureaucratic checkpoints, and political challenges to deal with. But since a well-functioning health-care system is so important, it takes more than just good ideas to move Vermont in the right direction; it takes practical experience and a real commitment to innovative problem solving in order to get the job done.

Our next governor has to be someone with the technological know-how to oversee the repair of the Vermont Health Connect website. Our next governor has to understand how to work with the legislature to build consensus and craft solutions. Our next governor has to be willing to be surrounded by bright people from different backgrounds to ensure efficiency and a healthy diversity of opinion. And, it would be nice if our next governor had experience in health care management, so that they know what providers need in crafting health care policy.

Thankfully, one candidate checks all these boxes: Matt Dunne. With Matt’s IT background from Google and his long tenure in the legislature, he’s ready to make progress on health care on day one. He’s also served on the board of directors for one of New England’s biggest hospitals for three years. He is uniquely positioned to keep us on the path to universal health care, and for the sake of making real progress, not rhetorical progress, I urge you to join me in voting for Matt Dunne on August 9th.
-Aidan Calvelli, Shelburne

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