MONTPELIER — The Vermont Agency of Transportation is seeking proposals from across the state to promote access and safety for bicyclists and pedestrians.
The agency’s Bicycle and Pedestrian program will distribute $4 million in federal funds for infrastructure work that could range from bike lanes, shared-use paths and sidewalks to pedestrian signals and crossing improvements.
The funds are available for planning and construction.
Program Manager Jon Kaplan says the grants provide critical resources that communities need to build facilities that enhance mobility, promote public health and improve connections to other modes of transportation modes.
Program applicants are required to attend one of two workshops scheduled at Vermont Interactive Technologies sites across Vermont. The first workshop is May 15, the second is May 20.
Details are available on the agency website.
Rob Mitchell / Staff Photo
Rutland Police responded to this car into a telephone pole on Woodstock Avenue in Rutland Wednesday morning, when a light snowfall made roads slippery.
Slippery roads have caused crashes around the state this morning, as an accident closed Route 4 West in Castleton, and a Red Cross Bloodmobile went off the road on I-89 in Royalton when a car merged in front of it and slowed down too quickly, state police said.
Vermont State Police photo
This Red Cross Bloodmobile went off I-89 when a smaller car merged in front of it and slowed down.
National Weather Service storm total predictions for Vermont.
State emergency services are warning Vermonters to check their heating vents and drive safe, as the National Weather Service is predicting up to 18 inches of snow for southern parts of the state tonight and into Friday. The weather service also expects gusty winds that could create snow drifts and driving challenges.
Average gasoline prices in Vermont fell 2.7 cents a gallon in the last week, averaging $3.72 a gallon on Sunday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 626 gas outlets in Vermont.
The price compares with a national average that fell 5 cents a gallon to $3.58 a gallon.
The average price in Vermont was 3.1 cents a gallon higher than the same day a year ago and 8.7 cents a gallon higher than a month ago.
The national average fell 1.2 cents a gallon during the last month and is 9.1 cents a gallon lower than a year ago.
“Prices finally have dropped under their year ago values, just in time for those last minute vacations before school starts,” said Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy.com senior petroleum analyst. “The rest of the summer will likely see prices flirting with where they stand today, but more significant relief will arrive around mid-September, when prices nationally could be 10-25 cents per gallon lower than where they are today.”
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION – Amtrak is looking to restore train service to its Vermonter line sometime this weekend, after flash floods damaged tracks in Roxbury and Braintree on Thursday.
“They are hoping to have it back running as early as Saturday morning,” Amtrak Conductor Mike Kujala explained Friday to some of the 75 passengers who were moved onto a pair of chartered buses.
The buses have been relaying the Vermonter’s ridership back and forth between St. Albans and Springfield, Mass., the point where Amtrak’s trains are currently halting their northbound runs but from which they are able to continue down to New York City and beyond.
Wednesday night’s northbound Vermonter squeaked through its narrow valley before the Third Branch of the White River rose over the tracks but that train is still holed up in St. Albans, unable to move until the New England Central Railroad put the damaged tracks back in service.
- Eric Francis | Correspondent
BELLOWS FALLS — A scenic train ride has returned to Bellows Falls after a three-year hiatus.
The Green Mountain Flyer made its 26-mile round-trip from Bellows Falls to Chester on Sunday. The train rides were discontinued in January 2010 because of the weak economy and conflicting timetables with freight trains.
The Eagle-Times reports (http://bit.ly/14b1OZn) after the 2009 season, the railway reduced the flyer’s schedule to concentrate passenger operations on its White River Flyer and the more profitable freight system. Adjusting the freight traffic schedule allows Vermont Rail System, the parent company to Green Mountain Railroad, to return the Bellows Falls tours.
The Green Mountain Flyer has operated since the mid- 1980s, pulled by a vintage diesel locomotive that travels over the Connecticut and Williams rivers.
Average gasoline prices in Vermont rose 2.3 cents a gallon in the past week, averaging $3.53 a gallon on Sunday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 626 gas outlets in the state.
The national average increased 1 cent a gallon in the last week to $3.51 a gallon.
Prices were 38.2 cents a gallon lower than the same day a year ago and 13.1 cents a gallon lower than a month ago.
The national average price has fallen 7.8 cents a gallon during the last month and is 26.8 cents a gallon lower than a year ago.
“The national average has begun to tip-toe higher in the last week, led by states in the Great Lakes and West Coast, where gasoline prices have crept up considerably in some areas over the last week,” said Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy.com senior petroleum analyst. “Oil prices have rebounded, and with the recent strength in stocks trickling over to commodities, I do expect retail gasoline prices to inch up in the weeks ahead.”
GasBuddy operates VermontGasPrices.com and more than 250 similar websites that track gasoline prices at more than 140,000 gasoline stations in the United States and Canada.
HARTLAND — The Vermont community of Hartland will be undergoing $2 million in bridge repairs.
Lead paint removal is planned along the Route 5 bridge. One of the bridges also will get a new deck; concrete has been falling onto railroad tracks below.
The projects are expected to re-route traffic off Route 5 for two to three weeks in the summer of 2014.
A public meeting on the projects is planned for May 14 at the Hartland Town Hall.
MONTPELIER — The price of gasoline is about to go up in Vermont.
On Monday, Gov. Peter Shumlin signed the transportation budget, which contains the new tax.
It will take effect Wednesday.
The tax is an increase of 5.9 cents per gallon.
The figure includes a new 2 percent assessment on the price of gas, while the per-gallon tax decreases by just under a penny.
The Burlington Free Press (http://bfpne.ws/12WZ55a) is reporting officials changed the tax from a per-gallon to a percentage amount because declining use of gas has led to a decrease in revenues used to maintain roads and bridges.
The price of diesel fuel is scheduled to increase by 2 cents July 1.
By ERIC FRANCIS | CORRESPONDENT
WILLISTON – A cab from Boston that was driving slowly up Interstate 89 through Vermont on Friday morning aroused some suspicions but Vermont State Police who stopped it said nothing turned out to be amiss.
“We got a call from a motorist traveling north on I-89 in the Sharon area who reported seeing a Boston cab traveling 40-to-45 miles an hour in the passing lane and, given what’s going on right now (in Boston), they called it in,” Captain Glenn Hall of the Williston State Police Barracks explained.
“We came in contact with that cab up in the Williston area. We spoke with the driver and there is no indication of any connection,” to the massive manhunt underway in the Boston area overnight for suspects involved in Monday’s bombing of the crowd watching the Boston Marathon, Captain Hall said.
The cab had apparently picked up a fare at Logan Airport and driven them to the Burlington area and was already heading south back down Interstate 89 when police pulled it over shortly before 8 a.m., letting the driver continue on his way after a short conversation with police.
Captain Hall and another Homeland Security official said Friday morning that so far there have been no alerts to Vermont authorities indicating that anyone related to the bombings might be headed this way.
“We hadn’t gotten any information beforehand to be on the lookout for anything (like a cab) but obviously with what is going on we are vigilant,” Captain Hall said, adding, “We will certainly check out anything that people call in as suspicious.”