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Vermont is considering a bike corridor along Route 5, but it would be years away

A photograph of a paved road with a narrow shoulder  under a blue cloudy sky. The road borders trees on one side and a field on the other.
Doug Kerr
The state started surveying towns and planning commissions along the roadway this month to gauge interest in the project. The survey will close in mid-November.

The state is asking town leaders and regional planners for feedback on an idea to build a bicycle corridor along Route 5. The road runs nearly 200 miles from Massachusetts to Quebec, along the eastern side of Vermont.

New infrastructure geared towards cyclists could look like a combination of painted bike lanes and off-road paths extending the length of the state. It would be a huge project, if it goes forward.

“We have not done anything on the scale of Route 5,” said Matthew Arancio, a planning manager with the Vermont Agency of Transportation.

“That’s the reason why this is the first preliminary survey is that this is just a big scale — both in terms of the people involved [and] the geography.”

We have not done anything on the scale of Route 5.
Matthew Arancio, a planning manager with the Vermont Agency of Transportation

The agency started surveying town select boards and regional planning commissions this month as required under recent state legislation mandating they gauge interest in “the creation of a bicycle corridor along some or all of U.S. Route 5, including the consideration of the costs of creation and benefits to the tourism industry.”

There’s a lot of interest in this type of infrastructure right now, according to Arancio, like a bike trail that goes from Montreal to New York City, and the recently-completed Lamoille Valley Rail Trail.

More from Vermont Public: As Lamoille Valley Rail Trail nears completion, northern Vt. towns prepare for tourists

For reference, he said the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail took about 10 years to complete from the initial planning process.

“And that’s entirely within the agency purview. That’s not talking about any additional complexities associated with adjacent properties,” Arancio said.

“I would definitely expect a longer time frame for this one.”

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message or contact reporter Lexi Krupp:


Lexi covers science and health stories for Vermont Public.
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