History of Vermont Bicycle and Pedestrian Coalition
Newly elected Governor Richard Snelling committed $500,000 to the first bicycle and pedestrian program, and three projects were funded through a joint administrative effort of the Recreation Section of the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation led by George Plumb, and the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VAOT) led by Secretary Pat Garahan. Michael Frasier from the Recreation Division and a staff person from the AOT actually implemented the program. The projects funded were in Stowe and Essex. All of this came about because Tony Redington, a Senior Policy Analyst, had informed the Vt. Trails and Greenways Council that AOT was returning was not fully using some federal money and that bike paths were eligible to be funded. Rather than not use the funds Gov. Snelling was convinced to use it for this purpose.
Vermont Trails and Greenways Council (VTGC) organized a three-day
program that included two days on bicycle and pedestrian safety and
facility design and a third day on traffic calming, featuring the
introduction of roundabout intersections treatments. Over 100 attended
each day. Tony Redington from the AOT did much of the organizing.
This training helped spur Vermont’s bicycle/pedestrian program
and the introduction of the modern roundabout in Vermont and the northeast.
The training was conducted by then Florida Department of Transportation
Bicycle Pedestrian Coordinator Dan Burden and Traffic Engineer Michael
Governor Howard Dean, M.D. committed an average of $5.5 million each year to the bicycle/pedestrian facility program. The Recreation Section of the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation continued to administer the program
December the first group of people came together to discuss forming
a “friends of bicycle and pedestrian facilities”.
1994 The Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition (VBPC) was formed in January after the Vermont Trails and Greenways Council (VTGC) rejected the recommendation from Chair Anne Lusk to form two distinct groups within the Council: one for the traditional dirt-type trail interests (hiking, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, etc.) and one for the more hardened surface type interests (bicycling, jogging, walking, etc.). The VTGC suggested forming a separate group and offered it one seat. This was formed as the Vermont Bicycle and Pedestrian Coalition (VBPC). Peter Duval served as the first President.
co-sponsored a one-day roundabout design seminar conducted by “Mr.
Roundabout” Michael Wallwork.
VBPC sponsored a gathering of people interested in promoting bicycling
and walking which was held at the Green Mountain Club. This resulted
in drawing up the first list of principles and a recommendation that
Vermont spend at least 3% of the AOT budget (at that time $6 million)
annually on the development of bicycle and pedestrian projects.
The first Bylaws were adopted by the VBPC and the articles filed with the Secretary of State.
the Annual Meeting in Windsor a resolution was adopted that strongly
endorsed the modern roundabout installation in Vermont because of
safety and service benefits to bicyclists and pedestrians.
Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (GCPFS) discussed
ways that it could help motivate more people to adopt physically active
lifestyles. It was felt that if there was a good “environment”
for bicycling and walking more people would participate in these low
cost, easy to do activities. George Plumb, a member of the Council,
agreed to work on revitalizing the VBPC (which at that point was rather
inactive). David Jacobowitz, another member of the Council, agreed
to help. Amy Bell, AOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, supplied
some potential names and a working group was formed which exhibited
a great deal of enthusiasm for moving the advocacy agenda forward.
George served as Chair of this working group.
The GCFPS allocated $1,500 to the VBPC for the development and printing of the “Bicycling and Walking” fact sheet which one of the first major projects of the new group. The Vermont Recreation and Park Association appropriated $500.
first VBPC “Retreat” was held on April 1 at Bethany Church
in Montpelier. The GCPFS paid for the cost of the bringing the facilitator,
Jeff Miller from the Bicycle Coalition of Maine.
Plumb became the first Executive Director (volunteer) of the VBPC.
Richard Bernstein became President.
The VBPC Bylaws were significantly revised. A board of Directors was
VBPC logo was developed by Eric Scharnberg and adopted.
The VBPC applied for and received IRS 501 (c) (3) status.
The GCPFS allocated $500 to help underwrite the cost of the first Vermont Bicycle and Pedestrian Summit which was held at Vermont Technical College in Randolph. The summit attracted about fifty people who helped the VBPC establish priorities for the coming year.
League of American Bicyclists (LAB) conducted the first League Certified
Instructor’s Training program in Vermont. Twelve volunteers
were trained who who, that spring, went into many schools in Vermont
and conducted presentations that resulted in some 2,700 children learning
how to be safer bicycle drivers. This program was made possible by
a $7,500 grant from the Governor’s Highway Safety Program.
Becka Roolf resigns as the first paid executive director and is replaced by Nancy Schulz.
VBPC ffice moves to Court St. in Montpelier, renting space from the Vermont Bar Association.
As a result of the VBPC's lobbying efforts, on behalf of the bike/ped community, the State allocated $50,000 to purchase a street-sweeper to better accomodate cyclists and pedestrians in Vermont.