CNAPC Talks Noise, Land Reuse, and Draft Concept Transportation Improvements

Home » City » CNAPC Talks Noise, Land Reuse, and Draft Concept Transportation Improvements

Thursday March 03, 2016

The CNAPC slate was full at the February 18 meeting. The topics consisted of an update from its noise subcommittee, review of the Airport’s Land Use/Reuse Plan, and an overview of draft concept transportation improvements from its own consultant, Resource Systems Group, Inc. (RSG). The work of the CNAPC will continue in monthly meetings until its deadline of June 2016.

Report from the Noise Subcommittee

At its first meeting, January 27, the noise subcommittee devised a series of goals — one of which included instituting a committee to address noise — that will survive the CNAPC. Maille, chair of the subcommittee, said that they are working on this goal and determining the criteria. Having representatives of legislative bodies and having representatives from all affected areas (South Burlington, Burlington, Winooski, Williston, Colchester, and Essex) should be considered.

Additionally, the subcommittee proposed the possibility of a State Airport Planning Cabinet position. Maille explained that this position would look into community needs, identify community threats, be involved in planning and funding efforts, and could also address land transportation related to the airport. The city attorney will need to review the feasibility of such a position.

Land Use/Reuse Plan Update

The airport hopes to submit its Land Use/ReUse Plan to the Federal Aviation Administration this July, according to Nic Longo, Burlington International Airport’s director of planning and development.

The Land Use/Reuse Plan is an inventory of all the airport’s land acquired with federal dollars. This is part of the airport’s grant assurances (obligations), and it explains the process for potential land use and how it is needed for airport development uses. This document is submitted to the FAA every five years; this will be the airport’s second five-year submission following the 2009 plan.

Longo, BIA’s Aviation Director Gene Richards, and Paul McDonald of CHA, the airport’s consultant working on the plan, were invited to present an update. McDonald explained that the plan has a “very finite scope,” in that they look at the disposition of properties acquired through the FAA Voluntary Land Acquisition Program and assess compatibility. If a property is deemed incompatible, there are other options to consider.

“The most common way by far to dispose a property is to transfer it to a different airport function,” he said.

The airport could also transfer, exchange or sell the property for non-aviation purposes, although that is a rare case. If this were to occur, the airport would not be able to profit from the sale; the money would go back to the FAA, according to the FAA’s Grant Assurance 31, “Disposal of Land.”

There haven’t been significant changes since the 2009 plan, McDonald said. The new noise contour maps and the work of the CNAPC is helpful input for the study, he added.

There will be a public workshop on Thursday, March 24 from 6-8 p.m. at the Burlington International Airport second floor mezzanine. There will be another workshop where the consultants will present their findings prior to submitting the plan to the FAA. CHA will attend the CNAPC’s April meeting and will provide email updates for every CNAPC meeting.

Draft concept transportation improvements in the Chamberlin Neighborhood

Bob Chamberlin presented a series of concepts for transportation improvements, neighborhood streets, and short and long-term options for the airport, amidst possible reconstruction.
First, he presented the neighborhood in relationship to other planned transportation projects, such as the Williston Road Study, VT15 multi-use plan, Airport Parkway sidewalk and bike lanes, and the White Street/Midas Drive intersection redesign, among others. He also reviewed existing traffic calming conditions, bike lanes, and open space.

Chamberlin then identified projects that are under consideration: sidewalk on north side of White Street toward Chamberlin School, extension of that sidewalk to Airport Drive, overland paths, and crosswalks (Williston Road connections and connections to Jaycee Park).
For bike accommodations, Chamberlin presented both short and long term ideas. For the short term, on-road bike lanes with no curbing would be an option at a small cost. Driving lanes could be narrowed to 10 feet each way. The longer term suggestion would be to implement protected bike lanes.

Regarding neighborhood streets concepts, Chamberlin explained characteristics of a residential street and presented traffic calming suggestions. This ranged from structural changes--such as median refuge islands with landscaping, mini roundabouts, and tightening curb radii--to creative approaches like whimsical crosswalks (i.e. substituting crosswalk lines for piano keys), welcome signs/banners, street art, planting strips and front yard gardens.

The Airport Drive reconstruction, which is in the Airport’s 2030 Master Plan, rounded out the evening. Below are the short and long-term options.

Short-term options: (1) Keep White Street and Delaware Street open and close all other streets; (2) Close Elizabeth Street and keep Patrick Street open; (3) Loop Elizabeth Street and Patrick Street.

Long-term options: (1) Close White Street; (2) Loop Elizabeth Street and Patrick Street; (3) Keep White Street open; (4) one-way options for Elizabeth Street and Patrick Street; (5) Close all other streets.

Committee members discussed possibility and cost of rerouting water lines, traffic, and public transportation. A full traffic study is outside the scope, but smaller ways to test options around traffic could be done, Chamberlin said.

Stay tuned for more Chamberlin neighborhood planning at the next CNAPC meeting scheduled for Wednesday, March 16.

SOURCE: Miranda Jonswold, Correspondent