VTrans to hear testimony on Route 100 byway expansionsBy Christian Avard
Staff Writer | April 02,2013Cassandra Hotaling / Staff photo ¬
Cars drive on Route 100 in West Bridgewater on Sunday.PLYMOUTH — The Scenic Route 100 Byway may become the second largest in Vermont.
But Agency of Transportation officials want to hear more testimony at 6:30 p.m. today at the Calvin Coolidge Historic Site Museum and Education Center in Plymouth before they give it their final approval.
The Scenic Route 100 Byway is located in south-central Vermont, crisscrossing Andover, Ludlow, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Killington and Pittsfield, but plans are in the works to include towns to the north of Killington and towns to the south of Andover. Scenic Route 100 Byway organizers are hoping to add the northern towns of Stockbridge, Rochester, Hancock and Granville, while organizers south of Andover are trying to add Weston, Londonderry, Jamaica, Stratton, Wardsboro, Dover, Wilmington, Whitingham and Stamford, located on the Massachusetts border.
“This is the last meeting in front of the transportation board in order to designate the whole entire byway and it's significant because we'll be the second-largest byway in the state behind the Connecticut River Byway,” said Marji Graf, director of the Okemo Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Graf said there are huge benefits for towns under consideration for Scenic Route 100 Byway designation. The state will put out a byway brochure and promote historical, cultural and scenic views in all of the participating towns.
According to Graf, recognition on the Scenic Route 100 Byway can attract more visitors and boost local economies through state tourism promotions. Visitors plan to visit the Scenic Route 100 Byway en masse as the Iron Adventure Run comes to Ludlow in August.
Up to 1,500 motorcyclists will travel 110 miles on the Scenic Route 100 byway in commemoration of Harley-Davidson Motorcycles' 110th anniversary. Graf hopes that adding more towns to the scenic byway will expand the Iron Adventure Run and attract other motorcycle events.
“We want to get them into our towns and show them what the towns have to offer,” Graf said.
Linda Anelli of Dover played an instrumental role in getting southern Vermont towns interested in the Scenic Route 100 Byway plan. As a former innkeeper and restaurant owner in the Mount Snow Valley, Anelli said there is strength in numbers and the more towns that sign on will benefit everyone.
“Every state has byways and there's a whole demographic of folks who literally see the world by these routes. To have it become official from the Massachusetts border on north will open up incredible marketing opportunities,” Anelli said.
For more information, visit www.yourplaceinvermont.com/scenic-route-100-byway.
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