When Vermont’s Governor Shumlin announced last year that the outdated, expensive and ill-conceived Circ Highway would not be built as planned, it opened the door for lower cost and less polluting solutions that would actually help folks get around and not just pave over farmland, forests, and wetlands.
In the first round a number of good solutions are advancing, including the Crescent Connector in Essex Junction which transforms a small downtown with thoughtful design, making it easier and more pleasant to walk, shop, get around and not simply drive in traffic.
Unfortunately, for the next phase, some officials still seem stuck in the dark ages.
When presented with an evaluation by the County’s transportation planning officials that building portions of the old highway would be expensive, have the same environmental problems and opposition as the Circ, and fail to solve congestion problems in the area, town officials still decided to advance this project for further consideration.
The sad part is that being stuck with these outdated non-solutions, keeps real solutions at bay. Any trapeze artist will tell you that you have to let go of one trapeze before you can grab the next one and move forward. If you just keep hanging on to the first trapeze all you will do is swing back and forth in place.
It is time to let go of the old Circ trapeze and move forward with real solutions like fixing the existing roadways and improving transit so everyone can get around more easily and not simply suffer through more traffic and more sprawl.