Clarifications on pedestrian safety improvements

To the Editor:

The Village Pedestrian Safety Group would like to respond to a recent letter to the Shelburne News regarding our efforts to reduce vehicular speed and enhance safe pedestrian movement in the village. 

It was suggested that the results of our advocacy, (resulting in such things as the installation of crosswalks and reduced speeds on upper Falls and Marsett Road) were actions “taken immediately without careful consideration.” On the contrary, we are proud to have been actively engaged with a wide variety of town officials and regional experts. Our efforts have been in place for over two years as we’ve sought cost-effective changes known to have positive impacts on slowing vehicular speeds and enhancing safe pedestrian movement in the village.

As is commonly-recognized, the level of traffic flowing through the Village of Shelburne is significant and appears to be rising. Too often cars choose to use Mt. Philo Road, Marsett and upper and lower Falls Roads as a way to bypass bottlenecks along Shelburne Road. Many drivers fail to recognize that Shelburne Village is a densely-populated residential area.

The crosswalks and related signage serve as important and powerful reminders that drivers must simply slow down. One example of the risk that pedestrians face every day in the village is Falls Road between the Post Office and the intersection with Harbor and Shelburne Roads. The sidewalk sits on the same grade as the road, leaving pedestrians within just a few feet from vehicles.

We are excited about upcoming changes to some village roads such as painting new fog lines to delineate lanes 10 feet wide rather than the 11-12-foot widths common in town.

Narrower lanes were in engineering reports as one way to encourage slower vehicle speeds along with lower speed limits, properly-designed crosswalks and related signage. The new lines will not impact plowing – the road width will not change.

We are grateful for the support our group has received from village residents and town officials and we appreciate the town’s commitment to enhancing safe pedestrian access in the village.

Chris Kent, Jeff McBride, Janet Nunziata, Jim White, Tom Zenaty, Jane Zenaty
Members of the Shelburne Village Pedestrian Safety Group

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