North Hero Village Master Plan
Community Open House
Welcome to the Open House!
The purpose of the open house is to clarify the community’s vision and level of support for potential pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements in the Village District, and to receive feedback on a variety of potential options.
How to Participate:
1. Review content on virtual open house website and/or the displays at the Town Office. This site is best displayed on a laptop/desktop computer. There are three sections of information to review prior to providing feedback:
Current conditions and recent efforts,
Types of opportunities to consider, and
Visualizations of potential improvements.
2. Tell us what you think by answering the feedback questions after you review all three parts.
How Will This Be Used?
Community feedback from the open house events will be used by the Steering Committee to define the type and scale of improvements to include in the Village Master Plan.
The Selectboard and Planning Commission will use the plan to consider appropriate safety improvements to pursue in the Village District. Which improvements to implement would involve additional planning, design work, funding and coordination with state agencies and landowners.
This master plan is the first step in exploring appropriate safety improvements and does not represent a commitment to pursuing or funding any of the potential options included, via tax dollars or otherwise.
Let's Get Started!
The project area is defined by the village zoning district which begins at Station Road in the south and extends north to Savage Point Road. The historic district is a focus area for improvements stretching from Hero's Welcome to the Methodist Church.
This area is characterized primarily by single and two-family residences, but also includes a mix of commercial, municipal and recreational uses.
US Route 2 traverses north to south through the district, with minimal setback from the lake in the historic district area.
There are two existing crosswalks near the Community Hall and Methodist Church. There are no further accommodations for pedestrians or bicyclists.
2019 Pilot Speed Reduction
November 7, 2018: The Select Board sends a letter to Vermont Agency of Transportation (AOT) sharing concerns about speed and parking on US Route 2 in the village.
April 15, 2019: AOT notifies the Select Board that a pilot reduced speed limit will happen for the summer of 2019.
Summer 2019: The pilot ensues with a posted 25 mph speed limit.
Fall 2019: AOT evaluates the results of the pilot and its effectiveness and impact on safety; AOT opinion is that the observed speeds during the pilot did not lead to a consistent result of lower vehicle speeds.
December 2, 2019: The Select Board receives a letter from AOT recommending the speed limit stay at 35 mph. The Select Board motions to recommend to the State a 30 mph speed limit from Savage Point Road to Station Road.
2019 Village Walk Audit
In September 2019 the Northwest Regional Planning Commission, in partnership with the North Hero Planning Commission led a Village Walk Audit. Roughly 20 local residents and town representatives attended the audit. The purpose of the walk audit was to gather community members to walk along Route 2 and record the experiences of pedestrians. Below are pictures that show conditions along the roadway and highlights noted from participants.
Did you attend the walk audit?
2019 North Hero Walk Audit
Walking a challenge due to potholes, surface cracks, sloped surface, brush encroachment, and narrow width.
Proximity to passing vehicles unsettling.
Undefined vehicular access to businesses from Route 2
Vehicle access is not managed, does not provide safe or comfortable pedestrian route and encourages parking adjacent to the travel lane.
Crosswalks often blocked. Creates blind spots for pedestrians and reduces visibility to traffic.
Parking along Route 2
Results in vehicles extending into travel lane when loading/unloading.
Minimal signage prior to village area
Minimal visual cues that about to enter a village and speeds should slow.
Opportunities: Designing for All Users
What is a complete street?
Approach to planning, design and construction of a roadway to consider ALL USERS – including pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicles.
Specific to each roadway - Finds an appropriate way to meet the needs of all users based on its unique context and current and potential travel patterns.
Incremental improvements can have impact – not always all or none.
Below are examples of the types of improvements that can could be incorporated into your community. The pictures provided are examples, each practice would be designed to fit the setting of a community whether it is a rural village or downtown center. Scroll over each photo for more information about a practice. (To see images, view this screen from a PC rather than a smartphone.)
Bike Lane/Widened Shoulder
Narrow Driveway Entry
Rapid Flashing Beacons
Visualizing Potential Improvements
The following section provides concept plans that depict potential improvements in the village district; the visualizations focus on the historic district and note the improvements that could extend the entire study area.
These opportunities vary by scale, cost and level of coordination and/or approval required to implement them. There are three levels of improvements shown in the concepts that build upon one another however, features in these concepts could be implemented individually.
For reference, Class 1 Town Highway, refers to whether the Town or the Agency of Transportation would maintain the highway and related infrastructure. A cost-benefit analysis of transferring this responsibility to the Town will be completed as a part of this effort to inform the feasibility of the options being explored.