Last updated: 6/21/21
The Town of Waitsfield prioritizes the need to provide safe corridors for pedestrian transportation throughout town, including along the Route 100 corridor. In light of recent tragic events there has been a renewed call to continue improving safety features along this important travel route through town, especially in the vicinity of Waitsfield Village and Irasville. In response, the Town of Waitsfield and the Mad River Valley Planning District (MRVPD) have been working with the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) to address immediate actions that can be taken at critical crossing points along Route 100 and to map out a process for longer term planning and coordination along this corridor. Route 100 is a state highway that is owned and managed by VTrans. As such, any improvements along Route 100 require approval by and coordination with VTrans. A team composed of Waitsfield and MRVPD staff have been assigned to work directly with VTrans to map these critical areas and develop a plan for additional safety solutions. Through this work over the past months, VTrans has identified their typical approach to dealing with pedestrian visibility issues at crosswalks. VTrans typically recommends a phased approach, using the following treatments in this order:
- Begin with an in-street sign at the crosswalk
- Next, the Town can submit a work order to VTrans to install a “gate post sign” at a crosswalk (“gatepost signs” are double faced signs that get placed on each side of a crosswalk)
- Gatepost signs can be striped with high visibility tape if additional safety measures are needed
- RRFBs are typically considered after these other treatments have been applied.
The following plan has been identifed by the Tiger Team for the summer months and beyond:
- VTrans has approved the “In-Street Sign Pilot Program,” with support from MRVPD and Local Motion, in-street signs have been lent to the Town for a one-month trail program at the intersection by the school, at Carroll Road, and at Village Square in Irasville. This will be paired with a community survey (with support from MRPVD) to evaluate pedestrian feedback at these crosswalk locations
- A work order has been submitted to VTrans for a gatepost sign at Carroll Road
- VTrans will work to prioritize painting the Route 100 crosswalks as a result of the successful collaboration between these two groups
- VTrans is planning a speed study of the Route 100 corridor through the Village this summer which will help inform future planning
- VTrans is open to continue discussing the best location for an RRFB at a crosswalk in town but does not have guidance at this time as to which location is best suited for this treatment. Town and MRVPD will review the results of the preliminary community survey and determine if another public safety survey combined with some simple data collection (counts of users at crosswalks during peak summer use) can help inform this decision.
- The group will check-in again in October 2021 to evaluate which treatments may or may not be working and continue to plan next steps at the identified locations in town.
Additionally, a significant number of pedestrian safety improvements will be implemented with the construction of the Village West Sidewalk. The project should be complete in the summer of 2021 and adds a number of previously identified safety elements (bump-outs, additional crosswalks, signage, and better-defined crossings) to the Waitsfield Village portion of the Main Street/Route 100 corridor.
Town staff are available to help answer any questions or address any concerns that the public might have related to pedestrian safety in town or the strategies identified above. Please contact us at any time with questions, concerns, or to receive updates about this project at:
Annie Decker-Dell’Isola, Town Administrator at 802-496-2218 ext. 5 or via email at [email protected]