ACTR readies for Middlebury bus stop move
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury officials are rallying behind a plan to temporarily relocate the Addison County Transit Resources (ACTR) bus stop and shelter from Merchants Row to a spot on South Pleasant Street, which would be converted to one way, southbound (toward Cross Street).
The temporary move is being forced by the upcoming replacement of the Merchants Row and Main Street rail bridges. That work is expected to proceed for at least two years. ACTR officials want to ensure that riders have a safe spot to await and board buses during the construction upheaval. Some of the construction will happen right under the current bus stop.
Organizers weighed three potential spots for the bus stop relocation: Seymour Street, the Ilsley Library parking lot and South Pleasant Street. Each spot was measured against 17 criteria, including passenger access, safety, neighborhood impact, and traffic impact. South Pleasant Street emerged as the clear winner, according to members of the Local Project Management Team (LPMT) that is representing Middlebury’s interests in the $40 million rail bridges project.
A diagram of the proposed South Pleasant Street stop shows a pullover area with three — and the possibility four — spaces for buses alongside the current southbound lane. Officials suggested the unused northbound lane could be used for some temporary parking. Jim Moulton, executive director of ACTR, said the bus spaces should be available for Town Hall Theater-goers during the evening.
Plans now call for the LPMT to reach out to the South Pleasant Street neighborhood to explain the proposed temporary changes. The town will also need to acquire a temporary easement at the former Cole’s Flowers property to set up the bus shelter.
The shelter move could come as early as late this year, but the construction schedule is still in flux and no definite date for the move has been set.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].