BRATTLEBORO -- A representative from a Burlington-based nonprofit that promotes bicycle and pedestrian safety will be in town today to see if the group can improve travel conditions in the area.
Jason Van Driesche, director of advocacy and education for the group Local Motion, is going to be in town Tuesday to meet with the Traffic Safety Committee, and then with town officials, to see if there are ways the organization can help Brattleboro increase the public education campaigns surrounding bicycle and pedestrian safety.
"We think we can have a role to play in helping local leaders develop a strategy, and in bringing resources down so they don't have to develop them from scratch," Van Driesche said. "I want to get a perspective on what are the top priorities for walking and bicycle safety issues and what does Brattleboro think it needs to address these issues.".
Van Driesche said his visit Tuesday will mostly be an introduction to the issues facing Brattleboro as well as a way to meet the town staff, such as the town manager and the police chief.
His visit will include a tour of town to look at the areas that might be most in need of traffic calming strategies.
"I'm very excited about coming down on Tuesday and seeing some of the problem location first-hand," he said. "Hopefully my visit will give me a sense of who is on the committee and what are the issues that are being raised."
Local Motion has worked on a number of
And while some of the projects that work in a metropolitan region like Burlington might not be appropriate for Brattleboro, Van Driesche said the group has started programs in smaller communities near Burlington that should transfer well to a community like Brattleboro.
Van Driesche stressed that Local Motion and the town of Brattleboro have only held informal talks and it is too early to commit to specific programs that might be right for the town.
"To improve safety and reduce crashes everyone has to make changes," he said. "Pedestrians have to wear bright clothing and wait at a crosswalk, bicyclists have to use lights at night and stop at stop signs, and cars have to slow down. Everyone has a part to play in making the streets safer."
Tuesday's meeting will be held at 8:30 a.m. in the Selectboard meeting room; another meeting will be held with town officials at 1 p.m. at the Hannah Cosman meeting room.
Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at email@example.com or at 802-254-2311 ext. 279.