Planning Services to Modernize Zoning and Subdivision Bylaws
July 1, 2022 (Reposted August 19, 2022)
The Town of Waitsfield (“Town”) seeks a qualified consultant(s) to assist its Planning Commission and Planning and Zoning Administrator in drafting amendments to the Town’s zoning and subdivision regulations to promote housing and walkable development in and adjacent to the Town’s villages. The objective of this project is to identify and remove unnecessary or outdated regulations that restrict such development and propose new, context-sensitive regulations that better enable the Town to meet local housing needs and sustain vibrant village centers. The project will build on a feasibility study of wastewater and water supply services currently underway and draw from a recently completed village wetlands evaluation and the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development’s Enabling Better Places: A Zoning Guide for Vermont Neighborhoods (2020).
There is $27,500 available for this project from a Vermont Bylaw Modernization Grant administered by the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development. All work covered by this funding must be completed by January 31, 2024. The project is expected to start in September and run through the fall of 2023 leaving sufficient time for the public hearing process.
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-Road Signage 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 feedback form (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]
*For more detail on the In-Road Signage Pilot Project click here and to participate in the signage feedback form click here.
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