Route 7 charrette engages community

A group of Shelburne residents began marking up a large map of the Route 7 corridor with changes and suggestions to improve the 2-1/2 mile stretch of land between South Burlington and the LaPlatte Bridge at the Town Hall on Saturday afternoon. Photo by Lee Krohn

A group of Shelburne residents began marking up a large map of the Route 7 corridor with changes and suggestions to improve the 2-1/2 mile stretch of land between South Burlington and the LaPlatte Bridge at the Town Hall on Saturday afternoon. Photo by Lee Krohn

Three days of intensive conversation between consultants and community members wrapped up Monday evening. A large crowd gathered in the Town Hall to hear consultants present results of the joint effort.

The team spent Monday bringing order to hundreds of thoughts, suggestions, recommendations, and brainstorms that aired on Saturday and Sunday. The result was a pair of schematic, 10-foot-long maps displayed at the front of the hall. Each map represented a possible new “identity” for the corridor, a strategy which left several options to discuss over the coming weeks.

A new convention-friendly hotel, convenience store, welcome center, fire station, and sports stadium were all suggested. To alleviate traffic off Route 7 and make access easier from neighborhoods, consultants discussed the addition of many more large trees, green space, pocket parks, bike lanes and walking paths, and even one way streets behind businesses—fodder for the next steps of a process to create a “more Shelburne identity” for the 2-1/2 miles between South Burlington and the LaPlatte Bridge. As consultant Peter Flinker said, “This is a step in a process. We will continue to look at these ideas in terms of what’s really possible. The next step is that we’ll be talking to business owners, land owners, and town officials.” Consultants warned this process could take 20 to 50 years.

For more information on the Route 7 Charrette, please visit www.shelburnevt.org and click on “Vision for 7.”

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