Bike-Ped Victories

Bicycle and pedestrian rights activists in Brattleboro had two major victories recently. A bridge across the Connecticut River that officials had considered demolishing will be maintained for pedestrians and bicycle riders -- no motorized vehicles allowed. Cars will be banned when a new bridge opens near the existing one. That will happen five years from now. Construction is expected to start in 2020. Officials announced the news on January 18. Details are at:

One of the busiest roads in Brattleboro is Putney Road. It is heavily used by pedestrians and bicycle riders, as well as cars and trucks. Near the Marina Restaurant on Putney Road there are no sidewalks or bicycle lanes and the shoulder is about 12 inches wide. On Putney Road, there are no crosswalks between a Hannaford supermarket and the True Value hardware store. The speed limit is 40 mph, and pedestrians frequently try to cross there.

On October 4, 2017, a woman was hit by a truck while she was walking across Putney Road between Hannaford and the True Value hardware store. She was hurt so badly that the Brattleboro hospital sent her to the Dartmouth hospital – about 70 miles away – which was better equipped to care for her.

On January 19, the Valley Post learned from a reliable source that the Vermont transportation agency “will be realigning the striping on the curving hill (near the Marina) to narrow the vehicle lanes to increase safety for bicyclists and pedestrians. The 'goat path' also will be made safer and more stable with sure-pak or a similar material and will be separated from the asphalt by some sort of delineators. That work will occur in the spring or early summer.”

The agency also “plans to conduct a speed study through that section after the above-mentioned changes and will lower the speed limit if the data indicates that is prudent. If the speed limit is lowered, it may be possible to add a crosswalk at the top of the hill and (the agency) is open to that, as well. Finally, (agency) engineers are studying the Hannaford - (True Value) intersection for possible modification to provide a safe way for pedestrians to cross Putney Road at that location. That change will require more extensive analysis and probably more funding, so the actual improvement probably will not be implemented there until 2019.”

Details will be made public at a Brattleboro selectboard meeting on February 6.

Brattleboro has the nation's highest – or among the nation's highest – rates of pedestrian death by car. That's according to:

Traveling by foot or by bicycle, or carpooling, or traveling by train or bus are good ways to stop climate change.

Groups in Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire that lobby for better sidewalks and bicycle paths have web sites at: (works statewide, despite the name) (Vermont)

Groups that lobby for better trains and buses have web sites at: (Greenfield area)


Bike safety

This is great news. Hope Putney Road path will be made truly safe. Can't wait to ride over the old Brattleboro bridge with no cars!

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