Safe Routes to School

Background

In July 2010, the Town of Waitsfield was awarded a $141,000 Safe Routes to School grant from the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans).  The application for infrastructure funds was prepared by the Safe Routes to School team to address key issues identified in the Safe Routes to School Travel Plan.  The grant will support three small scale projects: (1) four radar speed feedback signs at critical locations to the school, (2) installation of a crosswalk over Route 100/Main Street to the school and a corresponding sidewalk section, and (3) the re-alignment of the Old County Road intersection with Main Street between the school and a residential neighborhood and future athletic field.  VTrans contracted with Stantec of South Burlington, VT to assist the Town in the design, permitting, right-of-way acquisition (if necessary), bidding, and construction of all three projects.

Timeline: Safe Routes to School

March 2010 - Letter of Intent submitted.
May 13, 2010 - Stantec Technical Assistance Document
May 14, 2010 - Application submitted.
July 2010 - Notice of grant award.
June 2011 - Conceptual plans produced by Stantec
July 25, 2011 - Presentation of conceptual plans to Selectboard for review
Intersection Improvements Old County Road

Radar Feedback Speed Signs

Cross Walk

This section is under construction.

Old County Road Intersection with Main Street Realignment

The intersection of Old County Road with Route 100/Main Street is a skewed "Y" configuration angled toward the south (away from the Waitsfield Elementary School) rather than a "T" intersection.  This reduces motorist visibility and enables traffic to roll through the intersection without coming to a complete stop – both significant hazards for pedestrian safety.

Specifically, the southerly boundary with Route 100/Main Street does not encourage vehicles on Old County Road to come to complete stop when making right hand (southerly) turns; it's easy to roll through and many vehicles do. It also impairs northward visibility by creating an awkward angle looking north for on-coming traffic.  Southbound vehicles turning on to Main Street from Old County Road are not positioned perpendicularly with Main Street, making an awkward turning movement to the left to see if traffic clear. Motorists would be looking for oncoming vehicles and not necessarily pedestrians.  Southbound vehicles turning right onto Old County Road from Route 100/Main Street, where the proposed crosswalk would be, have a sharper angle to negotiate, which may cause motorists to not be fully aware of pedestrians or bicyclists.

According to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials: A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets, 5th Edition: "Regardless of the type of intersection, for safety and economy, intersecting roads should generally meet at or nearly at right angles. Roads intersecting at acute angles…tend to limit visibility, particularly for drivers of trucks."

This intersection is the primary access for trucks accessing and exiting Waitsfield Telecom, a local utility with a regular flow of service vehicles.  Reconfiguring this intersection to a "T" would improve the management of turning movements through and sight distances from this intersection.  It would also reduce the physical distance pedestrians and bicyclists need to traverse from north to south toward the Village or the Flemer recreation field.

Intersection Improvements Old County Road, Conceptual Plans, Stantec, June 2011

(click for larger image)

Safe Routes to School Team

  • Laura Brines
  • Sue Frechette
  • Fred Gilbert
  • Steve Gladczuk
  • Helen Kellogg
  • Kaiya Korb
  • Joshua Schwartz
  • Kirsten Seibert
  • Mary Simmons
  • Jennifer Stella
  • Helen Ward
  • Michael Ware

Documents & Links

Town Documents

Waitsfield Town Plan (2005/2010) - Chapter 8. Transportation
Waitsfield Village Parking and Pedestrian Circulation Study, 2006, by Resource Systems Group, the Mad River Valley Planning District, and the Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission
• Appendix
Waitsfield VT100 Transporatation Path Brochure, 2009

Safe Routes to School Documents

Waitsfield School Distrct School Travel Plan, May 2010

Vermont Agency of Transportation

VTrans Local Transportation Facilities Division
Safe Routes to School Program
Bicycle & Pedestrian Facility Planning & Design Manual, table of contents page wtih links to the different chapters and entire document
Sidewalk Widths and ADA, memo from Jon Kaplan, P.E. to LTF Staff, January 31, 2003

Contacts

Town Administrator

VALERIE J. CAPELS

Waitsfield Town Office
4144 Main Street
Waitsfield, VT 05673

Phone: (802) 496-2218
Fax: (802) 496-9284
E-mail: townadmin@madriver.com