Interested individuals are encouraged to send comment to Meves by email or phone (802-257-4547, ext. 108).
Originally published in The Commons issue #180 (Wednesday, November 28, 2012).
WILMINGTON—Seen by many drivers passing through town as the intersection of Routes 9 and 100, and known as East, West, South, and North Main streets to residents, the intersection of the two state highways carries the perception of acting as a vehicular choke point for an average of 12,000 vehicles each day.
The Windham Regional Commission (WRC) took feedback on Monday from residents and business owners about how such traffic affects their daily lives and businesses at Wilmington’s compact downtown intersection.
Route 9 is the only major east-west highway in southern Vermont, and it is used heavily by tractor trailers, said WRC Executive Director Chris Campany. It is also part of the national highway system and thus subject to certain requirements, like accommodating tractor trailers.
Meanwhile, Route 100 through Wilmington serves as the main north-south thoroughfare and the primary route to the Mount Snow ski resort in West Dover, Campany said, though he stressed that the discussion was not about one development.
Campany and his colleagues, planners Matt Mann and Cullen Meves, asked the audience a series of three questions about how the traffic affected their daily lives and possible solutions. They hoped to gather feedback from residents, business owners, resort owners and affiliates, and employees who commute in town.
“So what are the real effects? What are the real impacts?” Campany asked.
The commission hopes to use the audience members’ experiences to round out quantitive data gathered regularly by federal, state, and local agencies.
The commission will accept comments until Friday, Dec. 7. The survey will appear online at windhamregional.org. The information will be compiled into a report available to local officials and planners.
According to Mann, the Vermont Agency of Transportation (AOT) daily traffic counts for 2010, the most recent data available, averaged approximately 5,000 vehicles traveling Route 9, and 7,000 vehicles traveling Route 100.
The intersection had also been designated a high crash location based on the number of accidents between 2006 and 2010, said Mann.
The audience of about 40 had few complaints about traffic volume. Local business owners said they preferred that more people visited.
Susan Haughwout, town clerk and Selectboard member, viewed the traffic congestion as cyclical.
The town experienced heavy traffic during “big ski weekends,” holidays, she said, or events like the May 14 Tough Mudder, a 10-to-12-mile obstacle course designed by British Special Forces which raises money for the Wounded Warrior Project.
Haughwout, who works in the town offices downtown, described a car accident between her and a driver who assumed the parking area along Main Street was the right-turn lane for Route 100 north.
Most people can stomach a busy weekend, a woman in the audience said.
According to Mann, May 14 traffic counts were 10,000 cars traveling to Mount Snow, which hosted the Tough Mudder event.
Editor’s note: Our terms of service require you to use your real names. We will remove anonymous or pseudonymous comments that come to our attention. We rely on our readers’ personal integrity to stand behind what they say; please do not write anything to someone that you wouldn’t say to his or her face without your needing to wear a ski mask while saying it. Thanks for doing your part to make your responses forceful, thoughtful, provocative, and civil. We also consider your comments for the letters column in the print newspaper.