Learn about car-free mobility at transportation summit

WEYBRIDGE — The Weybridge Energy Committee and the city of Vergennes are hosting a Transportation Summit for Addison County residents Thursday, May 11, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Bixby Library in Vergennes.
In late fall 2016, the Weybridge Energy Committee received a grant from the New England Grassroots Environmental Fund to host this event. The summit will connect local energy champions, decision makers and planning commissions. Together they will share their resources and knowledge of current and future transportation infrastructures for moving people, not cars.
Fran Putnam, chair of the Weybridge Energy Committee, and Nadine Canter Barnicle, principal of Collaborations Ahead, Vision Unlimited (CAVU), are working with staff from Addison County Transit Resources and the Addison County Regional Planning Committee, along with others, to design this event.
“Many town energy committees around the state are looking for ways to create more energy efficiencies in their communities,” Barnicle said. “The Weybridge Energy Committee was awarded this grant to create a grass roots information HUB on transportation efficiencies because of ground-breaking work it has been doing on transportation for the last couple of years.”
The summit is a first step in helping local advocates and town planners learn from mobility experts. Current services, as well as best practices for transportation planning and funding, will be discussed. Participants will consider how to improve car-free transportation infrastructures within each community, thereby creating an interconnected system.
Towns in Addison County have varying levels of transportation services and amenities. For instance, not all rural towns have ACTR bus services, while all towns have dial-a-ride to serve elders and those eligible for rides through Medicaid. Some towns have park and rides, but are they sited to be part of an expanded transit system?  Other towns need sidewalks to connect schools to neighborhoods.  What do communities need and how can they plan for those needs?
The first hour of the summit will introduce the key transportation planners from the county. The second hour will be an open meeting-style opportunity for participants to sit and chat with experts about Bike-Pedestrian Mobility, Ridesharing, Infrastructure overall and Electric Vehicles.
“We hope to create a base level of information for selectboards, planning commissions and energy committees so they understand the planning mechanisms that go into creating a park and ride, adding or expanding sidewalk and transit systems, or procuring an electric vehicle charging station for their town,” Putnam, said.
RSVP to Fran Putnam at [email protected] or 388-1644.

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