The SWCRPC offers a wide range of transportation planning services for the Region based on our annual funding sources that typically include Transportation Planning Initiative, Safe Routes to School, municipal project management and other special studies. Our transportation program is based on VTrans’ Transportation Planning Initiative Manual and Guidebook , 19 V.S.A. §101 , and seeks to implement our Regional Transportation Plan. A significant amount of the transportation work done by SWCRPC is carried out through participation in Vermont’s Transportation Planning Initiative which is a collaboration between the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans), the eleven Vermont Regional Planning Commissions. The FFY 2018 Work Program details all the work that will be carried out in Southern Windsor County in conjunction with this initiative. In November 2014 SWCRPC completed its update to the Regional Transportation Plan.
SWCRPC has a Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) that advises on regional transportation issues with representatives from each community in southern Windsor County, an ex-officio representative from VTrans and up to two “at-large” members. Part of their work includes an annual prioritization of regional transportation projects (click here for the 2018 priorities) which helps VTrans to prioritize their work across the state. More information about the TAC’s meetings, agendas and work can be found on their webpage.
Vermont Clean Water Act (Act 64) and Municipal Transportation
The Vermont Clean Water Act (VCWA) (Act 64) was signed into law on June 17, 2015. SWCRPC will be helping with implementation of this grant. As part of the Act, Vermont Towns will be required to complete a Municipal Roads Permit. For more information, including the most recent guidance documents and permit, please visit http://dec.vermont.gov/watershed/stormwater/permit-information-applications-fees/municipal-roads-program. If you have any questions, please contact Chris Yurek.
In June 2017, the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) has just released a new model of hydrologically connected town roadways. The roadway sections are the basis for the Municipal Roads General Permit Inventories and Implementation Plans. Click here for a map of connected roads in the Region and click here to explore the data in more detail on the ANR Natural Resources Atlas. For more information, please contact Chris Yurek.
For more information about the Clean Water Act and its implementation (not just transportation related!) in Southern Windsor County, see https://swcrpc.org/water-quality-planning/
Summer Construction Projects & Travel Interruptions
Road Travel Website for Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine
In May 2016 VTrans unveiled its new “511” website – http://newengland511.org/ – which gives up-to-date travel information for state roads in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Information for interstates, US highways and state highways includes traffic incidents, roadwork, traffic speeds, condition cameras, road conditions, etc.
Projects around Southern Windsor County occurring in 2018
There are a number of upcoming major bridge and road construction projects due for the region or nearby. Please contact Anthony for more information and to be added to the contact list for upcoming construction projects.
How do bridges get designed and built?
For more information about the Accelerated Bridge Program (ABC), which VTrans is using on the majority of the upcoming bridge projects in the region, click here. There are also videos about some recent projects – including VT-131 Bridge 1 in Cavendish, and I-91 bridges over VT-44 in Windsor.
Regional Transportation Plan Update 2014
SWCRPC’s update to its 2009 Regional Transportation Plan was adopted on November 18, 2014 and became effective on December 23, 2014. The plan is Volume 2 of the Regional Plan and is available on the Publications Page. An interactive map of the needs identified within the plan is available below.
Alternative Ways to Commute and Way To Go Commuter Challenge
Way To Go is a challenge for commuters to find alternatives to driving alone to work. Started in Chittenden County in 1994, the Vermont event has expanded geographically to encompass participants in 250 municipalities throughout the state in 2012. More information about the statewide challenge can be found at http://www.waytogovt.org/.
What is happening in 2018?
The 2018 commuter challenge has not yet been announced. The 2017 challenge was held over 2 weeks in late September and focused on school participation. If you are interested in getting involved in the next event, please contact Anthony.
How can I benefit from finding an alternative way to commute?
There are several advantages to not travelling alone in your car/ truck, including:
- Reducing the amount you have to spend on gas
- Reducing transportation pollution
- Improving your health
What commuting options are there in the area?
Commuting options in the southern Windsor County area include:
- Taking the Bus – Try Southeast Vermont Transit’s in town and out-of-town routes with The Current. Also check out their Park and Ride options from the I-91 exit parking lots.
- Carpool/Rideshare – Talk to colleagues and neighbors, or check out Go Vermont’s Carpool database which includes a guaranteed ride home option.
- Bike – In addition to cycling along the roads you could also try out the Toonerville Trail that connects Springfield to Charlestown.
- Walking – There are several sidewalk networks in town and village centers that connect homes, schools, businesses and shops.
Park and Ride
SWCRPC has three state park and rides which serve the region on I-91 at exits 7 (Springfield), 8 (Ascutney) and 9 (Hartland/ Windsor) and have commuter transit connections. There is also a park and ride lot in Ludlow – at the Fire Department. SWCRPC monitors the usage of these lots monthly – see our 2018 Annual ParknRide Report. SWCRPC has also completed needs assessments for park and ride lots in the region (existing and new) – 2010 Park and Ride Needs Assessment and the 2012 Addendum.
Bicycling and Walking
SWCRPC has a variety of bicycling and pedestrian options in the region – include sidewalks in many villages and downtowns and the Toonerville Trail that connects Springfield to Charlestown. VTrans and SWCRPC monitors usage of some of these facilities through both manual and automatic counts. See our 2018 Ped Counts report for more details. Older Annual Reports are available upon request from Anthony.
Vermont Complete Streets Guidebook
The new Vermont Complete Streets Guidebook was released in November 2012 and is available at http://healthvermont.gov/family/fit/target.aspx#streets. For more information about the Complete Streets Act which took effect on July 1, 2011, check out our Vermont’s Complete Streets Law Technical Bulletin.
Safe Routes to School
Safe Routes to School is a national program encouraging children to walk and bicycle to school.
Vermont Safe Routes to School seeks to make it easier for all Vermont children, including those with disabilities, to enjoy the outdoors and become more physically active by providing funding for infrastructure improvements, safety education, and enforcement of safety laws. In Southern Windsor County, Windsor and Weathersfield have participated in the Safe Routes to Schools program. More information is available at http://saferoutes.vermont.gov/ or by contacting Jason.
Traffic Counts and Speed Studies
Every year the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) and SWCRPC monitor traffic along a variety of roads in the region. The RPC traffic count program is intended to supplement VTrans’ traffic data in the Region. It includes counts at 19 locations across the region on a bi-annual basis. The RPC also performs traffic counts at the request of towns on a limited first-come, first-served basis. Data can be collected on volume, vehicle classification and speed. For more information about the traffic counts see the reports below and contact Anthony.
- Regional Traffic Count Report – 2018 |2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
- Traffic Count Location History 2003-2013
- Safe Routes To School Traffic Counts
- Quick Guide to Traffic Terms
Traffic count data is also collated and collected by the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans). Traffic Count reports are published online in two locations (both state and SWCRPC counts):
- VTrans Traffic Research Publications (http://vtrans.vermont.gov/operations/technical-services/traffic).
- Most count locations have basic traffic count data available in the “Automatic Traffic Recorder Station History” reports
- Some count locations also have information about what type of vehicles (cars, motorcycles, buses and trucks) used the roads (“Automatic Vehicle Classification Reports”).
- One of the counters in Ludlow is permanently collecting data (P6Y209 – on Okemo Mountain Road 300ft from VT103). Data for this site is available in the “Red Book” (Continuous Traffic Counter Grouping Study and Regression Analysis Report).
- VTrans Traffic Data Management System (http://vtrans.ms2soft.com)
- Counts from all locations are available.
- The database is searchable and has an online map.
- Includes summary data (eg AADT), as well as data for individual days and hours.
- Includes traffic counts, speed data and turning movement counts
Setting speed limits
For more information about setting speed limits/ controlling speed on your roadways, check out this interesting video by Maine Dept of Transportation.
Transportation Inventories and Capital Budgeting
Each year SWCRPC assists a few towns with updates to a variety of transportation infrastructure inventories – roads, bridges, culverts, signs, sidewalks, etc.
All SWCRPC bridge and culvert inventories are uploaded at http://vtculverts.org and are visible to all without needing to log in – maps, culvert sizes, materials and condition.
The following are some general resources related to road maintenance and budgeting from Regional Road Foreman Meetings:
- Pavement Preservation Presentation by Dan Patenaude (March 2015)
- Crack Sealing Presentation by Art Baker (March 2015)
- Equivalent Annual Cost Method – Article, NHDOT 2013 costs (March 2015)
- Remaining Service Life Method – Network Evaluation sheet for Worst First (pdf) and Progressive Management (pdf) (xls) (March 2015)
- Cost Effective Road Maintenance Presentation by Everett Hammond (March 2015)
- Paving Contracts Presentation Notes (October 2015)
- VTrans Resources for Paving (August 2016) – Class 2 Paving Guide, Paving Check List, Template Bid Form, Template Request for Bids, Template Scope of Work (Contact Ted Domey with questions)
Some other helpful resources:
- List of transportation/ water quality related funding opportunities (ANR updates the list regularly)
- List of currently announced and upcoming funding opportunities (compiled for SWC Region)
- Capital budgeting presentation to the Regional TAC – August 2014
Safety and Crashes
SWCRPC is involved in a variety of efforts related to improving the safety of the Region’s transportation system, including:
- High Risk Rural Roads Program
- Regional Highway Safety Forum – May 2015
- Identification of areas with safety concerns in 2014 Regional Transportation Plan Update
The following resources could be useful for people looking for crash and safety information:
- VTrans Crash Query Tool – which includes an interactive map and info about each reported crash on our roads.
- Vermont Governor’s Highway Safety Program
- Vermont Highway Safety Alliance
Culverts, Bridges and the Stream Alteration Permit
In the last few years several things have changed concerning what you do when you replace a culvert or bridge. ANR introduced the Emergency Protective Measure authorization process to enable rapid response for stream alteration permits addressing flood-related imminent threats to life or imminent threats of severe damage to property, while at the same time meeting the reporting requirements and implementation standards in the stream alteration general permit. The process consists of three stages, each of which contain a number of intermediary steps, possible pathways and outcomes. The three stages include: 1. Municipal Approval, 2. Preliminary ANR Authorization, and 3. Final ANR Authorization.
You can download a town maps that highlight the GREEN/ORANGE/RED streams that will need larger-sized culverts here (select your town in the drop down menu for “Stream Watershed Sizes”). These may need to be bigger than your town road and bridge standards recommend to meet the new stream alteration general permit. They may not need hydraulic studies but should be sized by your Stream Alteration Engineer. The Stream Alteration Engineer districts have changed on 12/1/14 – and all our region is covered by Todd Menees.
Please visit the VT Rivers Program Permits page for more information.
Regional Road Foreman Meetings
SWCRPC regularly organizes meetings for the road foremen who work in our Region’s Towns. Since 2010 alone the meetings have covered a wide variety of topics including:
- Municipal Roads General Permit (MRGP)
- Low cost paving solutions and budgeting
- Pavement Preservation Presentation by Dan Patenaude
- Crack Sealing Presentation by Art Baker (March 2015)
- Equivalent Annual Cost Method – Article, NHDOT 2013 costs
- Remaining Service Life Method – Network Evaluation sheet for Worst First (pdf) and Progressive Management (pdf) (xls)
- Cost Effective Road Maintenance Presentation by Everett Hammond
- Paving Contracts –
- Sign standards, inventories and ordering
- Hazardous materials awareness
- Road safety
- Town Road and Bridge Standards
- Winter road maintenance and salt-brine
- Town Right of Way Issues
- Hazard mitigation grant opportunities
- Town mutual aid agreements
- Invasive Species, including Japanese Knotweed and Best Management Practices
- Complete Streets
- Posting Road Weight Limits, including model permit
- Vermont Online Bridge and Culvert Inventory Tool (VOBCIT) – www.vtculverts.org