The Readers Write

Bay and Harbor Roads – part of County Bike Path Plans
To all of you who own property or drive on Bay or Harbor Roads—the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission has decided they want to make these roads part of Chittenden County’s bike paths. The “Bay Road Mobility Study” is a cherry-picked project for the CCRPC. Bay Road—and later Harbor Road—are listed as a potential and proposed segments to the network of bike paths in the county.

I now understand why the Railroad Underpass “Safety” Pilot Project came into being. It was needed before floods of out-of-town and out-of-state cyclists could stream down our roads in recreational glee.

How many of you knew that the CCRPC had a three-month survey in 2015 asking people where they walked/biked and where they WANTED to walk or bike? 385 unique online users replied—most from Burlington, Winooski and Essex—and less than seven stated they WANTED to cycle down Bay Road, and more than seven stated that they DID cycle on Harbor Road. Based on that miniscule sample, CCRPC came up with a plan to add Bay Road and Harbor Road to the county’s network of bike paths – but in order to do that – they had to first increase the safety of these older town roads to support the massive increase in bicycle traffic – hence the Railroad Underpass Stop signs “project” and the next phase is the “Bay Road Mobility Study”.

The CCRPC will stop accepting public input on their Ped/Bike Path Plans on Oct. 21. Shelburne residents are not given their first public information about the Bay Road study until Oct. 25. Kind of sneaky….no input accepted once you know what is coming…

You can read for yourselves how the town’s three “SPECIAL PROJECTS” are no more than three action items in the CCRPC Ped/Bike Plans. The CCRPC is not just “assisting” the town with these projects – it is directing the town projects from its own plan.

I do not want a handful of bicyclists from neighboring cities or a regional planning committee telling me that Bay Road belongs to them as a county bike path.

The Oct. 25 Selectboard meeting will hear the CCRPC Bay Road Study and will also release the study and survey results from the Railroad Underpass Stop sign project. Everyone should attend and make their voices heard. We do not need to change what is not broken (good point that Ernie Goodrich made in his letter about the unnecessary changes proposed for Falls Road) and property owners should not have their neighborhoods unalterably changed because someone WANTS to cycle down their road for recreation. One option that MUST BE CONSIDERED is NO CHANGE to the road.

I would advise anyone that does not want these town roads to be taken over by hoards of  recreational cyclists to 1) email  or log onto  the CCRPC web-site (Link from the Town “SPECIAL PROJECTS” Bay Road Mobility Study) and complete a survey form  BEFORE THEIR OCT. 21 DEADLINE; and 2) attend the Selecboard meeting on Tuesday Oct. 25 to see what the CCRPC has to say about their desire to add Bay and Harbor Roads to the county bike path network, and what the Town has to say about the Bay Road Underpass Stop Signs. The Stop Signs were supposed to be temporary with the Select Board possibly making them a permanent fixture. Say “NO” to the Stop Signs and “NO WAY” to our two rural roads becoming the newest additions to Chittenden County bike paths.
Linda Lavalette, Shelburne

Endorsing Jessica Brumsted
I want to add my voice in support of Jessica Comai-Brumsted for the Chittenden 5-2 House seat serving Shelburne and St. George. This is my first letter to the editor ever in support of a political candidate. I am a 20+ year resident of Shelburne with a family and I own a small business.

I worked with Jessica on two important volunteer groups: the steering committee for the new Mother-Baby Unit at the UVM Medical Center (2014-2015), and Lund’s 125th Birthday Celebration earlier this year.

Things I admire about Jessica? She runs a good meeting making people from all walks of life feel welcomed and included. I had not met Jessica previous to joining the Mother-Baby committee and I instantly felt valued and that my thoughts, ideas and opinions were encouraged. In fact, her kindness encourages everyone at the table to give input. The Mother-Baby steering committee brought together patients, health care professionals, community volunteers, and donors to best possible place for families to begin and grow. She encouraged us to define a role and establish a place for medical center volunteers to help on the new unit. She made all of us feel good about our efforts, which ended up with a huge success.

Jessica was involved at Lund when she volunteered there as a UVM student in the 1980s. Now a member of the Lund Board, she was instrumental in planning the successful 125th birthday celebrations last spring that recognized and promoted the important work that Lund does in our community. I served on the committee and worked alongside Jessica. I noticed she is always quick to raise her hand to take ownership of a duty- many times one no one else is jumping to take. She goes above and beyond. A mother of four, she demonstrates commitment to helping those who need assistance with their children and their lives.

Just a short time ago, I met Jessica as a stranger, and very quickly she became a respected person in my life, and a cherished friend. The experiences I have had with Jessica and the opportunities I have had to see her in action make me feel secure that she is a good person who will represent our best interests, will work to pave a strong way for our children, and keep Vermont a caring place to live.

Please vote for Jessica Comai-Brumsted on Nov. 8. Thank you!
Kimberly DuBrul, Shelburne

A vote for Debbie Ingram
Debbie Ingram is an exceptionally strong candidate for the Vermont Senate. She is a person with the rare combination of small business experience and solid community service. She has served well as a member of the Williston Selectboard, and has a record of action for her constituents. She follows through and gets things done.

Debbie will bring a commitment to fairness in her work with all the residents of Chittenden County. As a homeowner she understands the need for fair taxation, but she knows that one of the best ways to increase Vermont’s tax base is to have living wages for all employees. In recent years she has worked diligently on affordable housing; she understands that an improved housing situation will keep young Vermonters here in the greater Burlington area.

Debbie is approachable; she listens well and knows how to bring people of varying points of view together around common goals. She will serve Shelburne residents well as one of the six Senators from our county. Join me in voting for Debbie Ingram on Nov. 8.
Carole Carlson, Shelburne

Support of Jessica Brumsted
My husband and I moved to Shelburne over 11 years ago and have enjoyed beyond expression this community and the people in it. There is a great deal to criticize this election year and the unusual nature of the national race for the White House. As a result, many platitudes could be included in this letter. Instead, let’s focus on the local and meaningful contests that will impact our hometown. Jessica Brumsted is a thoughtful and intelligent leader with diverse experience that has prepared her to represent us in Shelburne. She is a dedicated volunteer that has worked hard to improve our community, is devoted to fiscal responsibility and prudent decision making. Jessica believes in supporting education across the spectrum, attracting jobs to our state, completing broadband service, clean viable energy policies, and solutions for affordable housing among the many issues our state must find solutions for.

Jessica is an approachable, sensible person who truly wants to serve the people of Shelburne. She has my vote and deserves yours.
Manon O’Connor, Shelburne
Signs at Veterans Memorial
I have watched with interest the integration of the new Veterans Memorial into our town green. While I think the memorial has the noble goal of honoring those who have given their lives in service to our freedom, its implementation leaves me puzzled and sad.

Before the memorial, the space allowed all manner of leisure activities: kids played among the trees, people sat and ate a farmer’s market lunch, etc. But now, rather than creating an invitation for contemplation, a pall has fallen over that spot.

Now a multitude of signs create ill will by shouting at us and forbidding entry unless we are divested of all food, drink or pets. Objects bar entry from any point other than the main entrance. It’s no surprise if people react negatively to this. And the need to create barriers to keep people from moving in unwanted ways is more a design flaw than a disregard for the monument.

Those who leave trash, spill things and have little regard for what they see will always be with us. The kindest act would be to unabashedly welcome any who want to sit there. Have one small sign politely asking people to be careful. If necessary, use some of the maintenance fund to purchase a nice-looking trash can and keep it to the side and emptied. As much as it is noble to honor those who gave their lives for us, it is just as noble to honor the history of the space where it resides.
Joannah Ralston, Shelburne
Thank you from Jessica Comai Brumsted
I want to thank the people I have met during this campaign for taking the time to share their concerns with me. Your information and comments will inform my views on issues such as good jobs, fiscal responsibility, quality childcare, and caring for our environment should I be elected to the Chittenden 5-2 House seat. I have stopped at almost every door in Shelburne and St. George thus far, and am grateful for the reception I have received. I plan to continue knocking on doors throughout this campaign.

For those who were not at home when I stopped by, I look forward to meeting you at various town functions and board meetings; please introduce yourself to me and add to the input I have already gathered. For more information about my candidacy and positions, visit my web site:

I hope I will receive your vote this fall to continue the strong representation that Shelburne and St. George has had in the state legislature. This is an important election; please remember to exercise your right to vote in this election. Thank you.

All my best, Jessica Comai Brumsted

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