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Rutland prepares trial run for bike-car sharing road - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Rutland prepares trial run for bike-car sharing road

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RUTLAND, Vt. -

The City of Rutland and the Rutland Regional Planning Commission announced a paving project that will reduce traffic lanes and create more room for cyclists along one of Rutland's busiest roads. Officials say it's only temporary for now.

"It's insane," said Johnny Petrone.

Petrone owns Rutland's Johnny Boys Pancake House located on Woodstock Avenue. When he heard about the trial bike lanes on the road, he did not like it.

"Bike paths in Vermont might sound nice, warm and fuzzy, but we have winter, 7 months out of the year, not too many people on bikes on Woodstock Avenue," he said.

The City of Rutland and the Rutland Regional Planning Commission have agreed to add markings for bicycle lanes along Woodstock Avenue, on a 30 day trial basis starting May 1. As part of the project, the 4 current lanes will be reduced to 2. One will be for east bound traffic the other west bound traffic.There will also be a left turn lane.

"As a act 34 complete streets legislation that was passed in 2011, we are trying to incorporate different means and modes of transportation into our road projects," said Timothy Pockette of the Vermont Agency of Transportation.

The City recently gave a letter to Rutland businesses which says that if the temporary bicycle lanes improve bike access without impacting the flow of traffic the plan can become permanent.

There's extra concern about the corner of Stratton Road and Woodstock Avenue where the high school is located. West of the high school 12,400 vehicles per day travel on Woodstock. East of the high school it's 16,000.

"It's a nightmare up there now, so what are they going to do then?" Petrone asked.

"It's going to cause a lot of traffic issues, although we already have a lot anyway. So, I , mean, it's just going to be worse for the morning and for the afternoon when we have to leave school," said high school student Matthew Slater.

The Rutland Chamber of Commerce says they just want what's best for the Marble City's businesses.

"It's a very important artery for the state, for the community, and we just want to see it continue to travel smoothly along US Route 4," said Thomas Donahue of the Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber tells Channel 3 some businesses have said they are open to trying the trial and seeing if perhaps it brings more business their way.

The city is asking businesses for their feedback through a business impacts survey.

However, it's safe to say Johnny Petrone's feedback will not likely be positive.

"Don't do it," he said.

The Chamber also tells us that the trial could go even less than thirty days, if it is severely impacting traffic. The board of Aldermen will be having a meeting Tuesday to discuss the project and public safety concerns.

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