Putney Road Project Public Hearing Scheduled

On March 7, 2013 at 6:00pm at the Brattleboro Municipal Center in the Selectboard Meeting Room Vermont Agency of Transportation will hold a Section 502 Public Hearing to review plans for improvements to Route 5 (Putney Road) from the Veterans Bridget to the Exit 3 Round-about.  

This project calls for a reconstruction of the roadway with construction of four roundabouts, retainage walls, landscaping, and sidewalks.  This is a major infrastructure project.  The Section 502 Hearing is the public’s opportunity to review, ask questions, and provide feedback on this project.   While construction is still several years off, this is the time for citizens to provide input into final design.  

Comments | 5

  • Key Phrase

    “While construction is still several years off, this is the time for citizens to provide input into final design.

    This is the meeting they will refer to a decade from now as the project finishes if anyone asks why things were done this way.

    VTrans is all about vehicles, too. Remember that their planning for downtown was based on an “ideal” of zero pedestrains. People who like to walk and ride bikes need to go to this meeting.

  • Four (more) roundabouts?

    For several years now there have been plans for Putney Road hanging on display on the second floor of the municipal center. I assume that those architectural renderings are the same plans which will be under discussion. Ever since I first encountered them, I have been mystified at the inclusion of four more roundabouts.

    The existing roundabout was shoehorned into a space which was, in my opinion, too small for for such use. It inserted a decidedly congested urban design whose effect was to present an anxiety inducing driving experience which amplifies the dislocating sense of ‘find them anywhere in urban America’ disconnected strip malls as the impression one is given at one of the entrances to our town. Much of the Putney Road plan, if my memory serves, attempts to mitigate this overwhelming urban impression by the inclusion of housing and sidewalks in an attempt to make a cohesive community out of our North End. Why then, would the design amplify the neurotic driving conditions and pedestrian be damned sensibility of automotive supremacy by including four more roundabouts?

    To be honest, I still resent the tension inducing traffic triangle created along the Park Place edge of the Common, Putney Road, and Linden Street/Route 30. There have been a number of accidents there, which in my impression, have gone unreported in our local media. Ditto the existing roundabout. How many accidents will there be on four more of these reminders of a despoiled ‘garden state’ New Jersey?

    How will shoppers (especially those new North End residents of multiple dwelling several story high buildings) cross the road? Will we have to add pedestrian bridges next? Or install some of those wonderfully gargantuan traffic lights which we currently have downtown? That would certainly help the traffic flow.

    There is more going on here than just improvements to Putney Road that won’t happen for several years yet. This will affect the growth of our town, and the growth of our grand list, which our current Selectboard candidates cite as something desirable. Do we really want to grow and expand Brattleboro in this urban manner? The improvements to Putney Road will be the first infrastructure changes necessary to implement this (or any) vision of growth in that area. Is the inclusion of four more roundabouts really necessary to solve traffic flow problems of Putney Road? What kind of traffic are we planning for and expecting? Are we comfortable with the message it sends about the nature of our town and our area? Not to worry, maybe we can just change our marketing slogan to “all of strip mall Nashua, NH so close to home”.

    • Roundabouts Safe for Pedestrians???

      If another goal is to entice and keep younger people I offer something a family member in the demographic pointed out. Most young people are less likely to be drivers and much more likely to be pedestrians. The current roundabout based on that family pedestrian’s experience, is the most dangerous intersection in town for pedestrians to cross. Having had to use that intersection myself when walking I found it also very difficult.

      If there are four roundabouts on Putney Road it seems that it will be impossible to walk from one side of Putney, i.e. from The Colonial, to the other side, i.e., Hannafords. Something that is already difficult to do.

      Also I’m not so sure the inclusion of 4 roundabouts will help the businesses on that road. I just envision being dizzy trying to negotiate the road. Oh, I get it now. The pedestrians will be fine because with those 4 roundabouts no one is going to drive Putney Road anymore because they won’t be able to focus well enough to do so. Therefore there will no longer be traffic on Putney Road and pedestrians can cross at will and with ease and safety. Very clever.

      • most needed

        The most needed changes are full, safe connections for pedestrians, bikers and other non-car travel from downtown to Exit 3.

        Roundabouts are cute, but not necessary at all. Those plans were drawn up almost a decade ago when gas was cheaper, the movie theater was in operation, and so on.

        The good part of the “new north end” plan – building more housing above and around the stores out on Putney Road – would be worth attempting. To do so means sidewalks and ways to get around without cars, and some pressure from zoning to include hosing in new structures.

        • Haven't seen the plans, I'm

          Haven’t seen the plans, I’m hoping and assuming that there will be a safer and more finished (not a dirt path) walkway from the bridge over to the BBQ place. Have walked that and it’s very unnerving. Also often drive it and many times there are people walking there at dusk who are way to close to the roadway because of the drop off.

          Good point about the roundabouts being designed when driving seemed simpler. But still, 4???? Even then that seems pretty dizzying.

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