The City of Burlington plans to remake Jefferson Street between Pine Street and the railroad tracks this summer. Officials are hoping the project, which is intended to make the area more attractive and pedestrian friendly, will serve as a model for the rest of the downtown streets. (Photo by Ed Nadolski)

Similar improvements could be incorporated into pending Pine St. project

By Jason Arndt

Staff Writer

City of Burlington officials are exploring ways to soften the downtown area through streetscape improvements and could use the Jefferson Street reconstruction project set for this summer as a test case.

The Jefferson Street project, part of the city’s 2022 road improvement program, will extend from Pine Street to the railroad tracks at Bridge Street.

Peter Riggs, director of public works, said the project includes water main and sanitary sewer main replacement as well as reconstruction of the roadway.

“The substantial construction activity provides us with an economical opportunity to change the roadway configuration,” Riggs told the Common Council at an April 6 Committee of the Whole meeting.

“As we got into nearing the completion of the design process, we had a thought of whether we wanted to try and incorporate some of the streetscape improvements that had been discussed for the Pine Street corridor.”

Riggs added the existing streetscapes in downtown are lacking street trees and landscaping.

“The brick pavers are maintenance heavy and some intersections are challenging for pedestrian safety,” he said.

Riggs sought assistance from city engineer Kapur Associates on concept ideas for Jefferson Street.

Ideas consist of switching to angle parking on the north side, near the police station, including crosswalk intersection pedestrian bump outs to shorten the crossing distance from curb to curb and improve pedestrian visibility, as well as adding design features such as pedestrian level streetlights to the north side along with planting trees and landscaping.

To read the entire story see the April 21 edition of the Burlington Standard Press.