Feedback opposes testing new lane
testing new lane
I’d like to take a couple of minutes to, first of all, thank the voters of the city of Rutland for your support and confidence on Town Meeting Day. I am looking forward to a busy and productive year for the Board of Aldermen.
As of this writing, the city is facing a decision with regard to paving and striping on Woodstock Avenue as part of a much bigger project that is known as the Routes 4 and 7 Project. I have been involved in the overall project dating back to my early years on the Board of Aldermen and in the Vermont state Legislature. The question is, should the city go ahead with a test striping of Woodstock Avenue in May after the first layer of pavement is put down, and whether to make it permanent. The Board of Highway Commissioners, made up of the mayor, commissioner of public works and Board of Aldermen president, has the final decision.
The idea was initiated at the Rutland Regional Planning Commission and brought forward to the state and city of Rutland. The proposal was presented as a safety and traffic-calming measure, as part of a new policy called Complete Streets, which takes into account pedestrian and bicycles, as well as new safety initiatives. I believe the city agreed to the test to look at the safety aspect primarily, with bicycle lanes as a side issue.
Because of the strong concerns expressed, and the fact that I was reluctant to go ahead in the first place, I am stating my opposition to the test. Many local businesses have voiced strong objections about the change. The police chief has public safety concerns, and the Fire Department, I know, is concerned also.
I believe one of an alderman’s main jobs is to provide a voice for the taxpayers they serve. The feedback on this issue has been 10-1 against the idea. I cannot ignore the taxpayers and citizens of Rutland. Although my one vote on the Board of Highway Commissioners is not enough to stop the test, at least Rutlanders will be heard.
Lastly, the city unequivocally has the last word and makes the decision about making the change permanent. Please keep your voices heard with city leadership.
(President, Rutland Board of Aldermen)