The project is located along Spear Street, between the end of the existing shared use path infrastructure at the UVM Forestry Building and Swift Street.
Project Overview/Purpose -
This project will look at completing a 3,500-foot long gap in the City's Shared Use Path network. It will focus on connecting the infrastructure at the UVM Forestry Building to the Swift Street intersection along Spear Street. The goal is to provide a safe route for users along this narrow and fast-moving street that has minimal shoulders. It will also look at adding new pedestrian crossings.
The project will close a huge gap in the network that would connect Northwest quadrant residents to City Center, schools, and parks. It will also link to five existing shared use paths, as well as UVM, UVM Medical Center, Williston Road, Dorset Street, and Shelburne Road. About 35% of the City's residential buildings are within 1-mile of the project area. Strava data shows that users are already utilizing Spear Street, Songbird Road, Swift Street, and Dorset Street heavily; indicating a need for safer infrastructure in this area.
Project Status -
The project was identified as a top 10 priority project after the Bike/Ped Committee met with residents from each quadrant in 2015 & 2016. It is part of the City's Capital Improvement Program, and has been on the Impact Fee Ordinance. It has also been shown on the 2004 official City map as a "planned path or trail", and has remained on it. The City Comprehensive Plan also shows it as a proposed rec path.
In 2019, the project was scoped by the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission, and a preferred alternative was selected through this process, which did include multiple public meetings. The preferred alternative identify a path layout on the west side of Spear Street.
This May (2021), the City accepted a grant through the VTrans Transportation Alternatives Program for federal funding of $300,000 to design and construct this project. In June, the City formed a project team to work through the VTrans At-the-Ready (ATR) Consultant process to select a design consultant. The team issued an RFP to Hoyle Tanner, the firm selected through this ATR process, in July. Hoyle Tanner submitted a proposal in August, and the project team recommended this proposal for contract. The City Council authorized the signature of a contract with Hoyle Tanner in September 2021.
Since then, the project team held a kickoff meeting in October 2021. A survey of the project area has been completed, and a wetland delineation was conducted. There is going to be a public forum to discuss this project and any local concerns related to it on December 8th, at 5:30. The project team will be incorporating public feedback received at this meeting into a concept for the project, and then will be kicking off the 30% design.
Public Forum: Spear Street Bike/Ped Improvements
Bicycle & Pedestrian Committee Meeting
Wednesday, December 8, 2021; 5:30 - 6:30 PM
In-person Location in Room 301, at City Hall, 180 Market Street
Virtual Meeting Link to be provided with the agenda.
City Forum Presentation
Consultant Forum Presentation
Project Area Images: Image 1; Image 2
December 8th Forum Meeting Minutes
Project Funding -
This project has received $300,000 from a federal grant provided through the VTrans Transportation Alternatives Program. The Total City funds that have been allocated to this project through the CIP amount to approximately $350,000 (a combination of Penny for Paths funds and Rec Impact Fees).
Project Questions -
All project questions can be sent to Ashley Parker, City Project Manager, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.