2020 Update #34

What Pedestrians Can Expect Starting Next Week

The Highlights

  • How the 10-week closure of Main Street will impact sidewalk travel

  • Introducing The Shuttlebury, a free continuous-loop downtown shuttle service

  • Temporary lane closure on Main Street to install water line starts Tuesday, July 7

With the 10-week closure of Main Street to thru traffic scheduled to get underway on Monday, July 13, I thought we could spend this week briefly reviewing the impact of this phase of construction on pedestrians, motorists and bicyclists, and parking.

Today, let’s start with getting around on foot on our downtown sidewalks.

One of the first orders of business next Monday will be the removal of the Main Street Bridge and the footbridge that sits alongside it and the closing of Printer’s Alley to pedestrians.

With Merchants Row Bridge and its pedestrian walkway having previously closed in late May, there will now be no way to cross the rail corridor downtown or to walk directly between Main Street and the Marble Works. This situation will last the full 10 weeks until Main Street and Merchants Row are reopened on September 21.

That said, all downtown sidewalks will remain open and all downtown buildings will be accessible. It’ll just take a little more effort to get where you want to go.

For example, let’s take walking from the National Bank to the Post Office. Today, that’s a two-minute stroll across the footbridge. Starting next week it will be about a 15-minute walk with two options.

Option 1, walk back down Main Street to Mill Street, cross the pedestrian bridge over Otter Creek to the Marble Works, walk out the back end of the Marble Works to Elm Street and then down Seymour Street to the Post Office.

Option 2, walk back down Main Street to the roundabout, cross Cross Street Bridge, and walk down South pleasant Street to the Town Green and the Post Office.

Sound a little daunting? Good news, there is a third option.

Introducing The Shuttlebury

To help pedestrians get around downtown during the 10-week closure of Main Street, VTrans and ACTR have partnered to create a free continuous-loop downtown shuttle with service every 15 minutes.

“The Shuttlebury” gets underway Monday, July 13, with stops at the Town Offices, the Battell Block, Cannon Park, the Congregational Church, the Marble Works, the Post Office, and Town Hall Theater.

The Shuttlebury will operate 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM Monday – Friday, 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM on Saturday, and 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM on Sunday. Each day there will be a 15-minute break for cleaning.

You can refer to The Shuttlebury schedule and the many other routes served by ACTR here.

To help locals and visitors navigate the sidewalk detours, Neighbors Together and VTrans have collaborated to place some two dozen traffic cone-mounted “wayfinding” signs on area sidewalks (see photo) to guide us into and around downtown. A stencil will be used to paint arrows and footprints onto local sidewalks to clearly illustrate walking routes. These wayfinding signs will go up early next week.

Main Street Lane Closure Starts Tuesday, July 7

In last week’s construction update I mentioned that Kubricky would be closing one lane of Main Street this week to install a new waterline to service the fire hydrant in Triangle Park. That work will take place Tuesday and Wednesday and will require closing the southbound lane of Main Street at the bridge, reducing Main Street to one lane of travel during the day. Thanks for your patience with this work.

That’s all for today. See you soon.

Please keep your comments and questions coming. Send me an email at jgish@townofmiddlebury.org and I’ll try to cover it in my next update.

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