Garden Street Planning Begins

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Thursday September 18, 2014

Planning has begun for South Burlington’s next key roadway in City Center. A design workshop was held Wednesday, September 10, to gather public input.

Residents, members of city committees, business owners, property owners and city staff came together to begin sharing ideas for Garden Street, which will connect Dorset St., and Williston Road. Garden St. will cross Market St., City Center’s main street, and will connect to Williston Road via Midas Drive; it will connect with Dorset St. at the entrance between Trader Joe’s and Healthy Living. The project includes intersection improvements at Williston and White St., and Williston and Hinesburg Rd., as well.

A multi-disciplinary team led by Stantec, Inc. has been contracted to prepare the design, engineering and permitting for the street. Stantec Consulting’s South Burlington office specializes in transportation and has worked on projects such as Church St. in Burlington and the roundabout in Waterbury. Carolyn Radisch, and Bob White of ORW, a Landscape Architecture firm led the meeting, along with Stantec’s Greg Goyette.

Radisch recognized the public meeting as a key part of the process to identify the community vision for the street. It is an unusual opportunity to create an entirely new street, and she asked participants to name key components they felt were important concepts to be considered. “Before we put pen to paper, we want to get input,” she said.

As a support street, Garden St. is intended to be a slow street, with traffic moving at 15-20 mph, and pedestrians and bikes are a high priority. Workshop participants identified ideas to support this downtown, walkable lifestyle. Ideas were offered in regard to street width, intersections, traffic calming methods, parking, bike lanes, and connecting paths. Creating the street as a destination with its own strong identity, beautiful park areas, landscaping, streetlights, benches, and a 2 acre square that could accomodate a number of different types of activities was suggested. Defining the changing character of different sections of the street was examined, along with the topic of desired residential characteristics, and curb cuts to create‘blocks’.

The team will take the ideas from the workshop into consideration as they develop plans. Several alternative plans will be presented for consideration in January. Another public workshop will be held at that time, with feedback used in development of the final recommendation for the concept and design of the street. A detailed engineering plan will follow, with construction slated to begin in June of 2016.

More information is available on the city website.