announced May 23, 2021
The study is done, recommendations are in, and priorities are set! Kingdom Trails is so proud to announce that the KT Capacity Study is complete and we are ready to rock, taking action toward a sustainable future with your input and guidance!
As you may know, in September of 2019, KT and the Burke Area Chamber of Commerce, received a USDA Rural Business Development Grant to fund a KT Network Capacity Study with the goal of addressing issues relating to crowding, congestion, safety, and general pressure being placed on the local communities. Through these funds awarded, KT was truly fortunate to retain the services of SE Group, a recreation and community planning firm to facilitate the study.
As we shared this past February, the recommendations were deeply informed by the initial public visioning open house, conversations with stakeholders, existing conditions review, and a capacity data analysis. We then asked folks to participate further as we invited you to review the study recommendations and help shape key priorities for KT. We had over 450+ responses to the Community Priorities Survey, with about 40% of those responses being local KT Landowners, community members, and business owners. We were grateful to hear from so many!
The East Burke village crosswalk, safe road and trail crossings, and new Welcome Center were identified as the highest community priorities. KT agrees! And we are already taking action! We are currently writing multiple grants for funding to implement the needed infrastructure that will create safe road and trail crossings as early as this summer. In addition, we are working with the Town of Burke to pursue a scoping study for the crosswalk.
The biggest and most daunting, yet inspiring project our community identified will be a new Welcome Center. KT is excited to tackle this endeavor as this will not only be KT’s Welcome Center, but also a community hub for all! It will be a place to greet and educate visitors, provide office space for KT, house local programming and events, ample parking, and safe access to trails and businesses. This new Welcome Center will serve as a portal and accessible center for the entire Northeast Kingdom. We understand that these projects and improvements will not happen overnight, yet with your patience and understanding, please know that KT is striving to make the most responsible and sustainable decisions based on your input. We commit to you now, thatwe will continue to consistently keep you informed every step of the way.
KT is looking forward to sharing our journey through the Capacity Study in hopes that other communities may learn and look to our process as a resource. For the full story, check out Local Motion’s upcoming FREE workshop; Where Recreation Meets Transportation. KT, alongside SE Group, will serve as a real life example to help explore the overlap of transportation and recreation planning, to better connect Vermont communities.
Kingdom Trails would like to extend a heartfelt and sincere thank you to all those involved; USDA Rural Business Development, Burke Area Chamber of Commerce, Drew Pollak-Bruce and Ellie Wachtel of SE Group, Stantec, the towns and Selectboard members of Burke, Lyndonville, Kirby, and East Haven, all of the incredible stakeholder groups, amazing trail users, our community, and especially to the folks who make this all possible, the KT Landowners.
Looking forward to the future with you all!