Monday, March 11, 2013

Transportation in the Northeast Kingdom by Mary Brenner, Westfield

I have been thinking about public transportation and the lack of options in NEK. · Has anyone done a serious survey of needs – where people live, where they work · I heard about a computer based flexible car-pool/taxi idea but that would not work in an area where people do not have access to internet. · How about a survey of employers to see how many actively support car pooling · How about a public map where we ask people to put red dots on where they live and green dots on where they need to go on a regular basis (including non-working travelers who need to go to parole meetings, shopping etc.) · Jay Peak – the town of Jay had a serious discussion at town meeting day about the increased traffic on Rte 242 and the danger of frequent speeding. I talked with a friend of mine who works at Jay peak and said there is no way that the resort would pay for a shuttle from the bottom of the mountain to the resort and that the current shuttle they have is constantly back-tracking to the employee parking lot on the opposite side of the resort on the top of the mountain to the resort because employees are ‘late’ and still need a re-run to be picked up. Jay peak is purposely developing the resort so that people will not have to leave it to go outside for anything. They have a day care center, a grocery store (overpriced) and are building a medical center. The need there is not for skier transportation (thus the shuttle in Stowe which runs all day with many stops down the mountain for skiers to go to and from their hotels is not do-able here). I will work with other town’s people to promote a town-centered shuttle service for employees to take the load off the mountain road. Three people have been killed on that road recently. Unless the town pays for a cop, there is little or no speed enforcement there. · Sen. From Derby is only interested in improving road for increases in traffic on the Derby side of Newport. The completion of the causeway in Newport ( Spring maybe??) will not solve the bottleneck of one lane each way through Newport to get from east to west. Hasn’t anyone every proposed an alternative bridge (near the old railroad bridge on the south bay for example)? How about separating trucks? · I am dismayed by the regulatory restrictions on RTC and the limited number of people who can take advantage of its services as a portion of the need. As I get older I fear the day when I can no longer drive and will rely on some other form of transportation that does not exist. · What models of rural transportation are there? The low density of population works against most mass transportation models? What is there besides volunteers and taxis? Just thinking.

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