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Project Background

The Oxbow Community Connections scoping study is funded through a grant from the Vermont Agency of Transportation with a local match from the Low St. John Forest Reserve Fund of the Oxbow Unified Union School District (OUUSD).  The purpose of this study is to investigate the concept of constructing a pedestrian route from Bradford Elementary School to the Low St. John Forest.  

The Low St. John Forest is a valuable community asset that is within easy walking distance of Bradford's Village.  However, there is no safe place for users to walk the near 1/4-mile stretch of road between where the sidewalk ends on N. Pleasant St. and the VAST access to the forest.  This is of particular importance to the OUSD, because Bradford Elementary School uses the Forest property for outdoor education.  In fact, the school is in the process of planning for an outdoor classroom and composting toilet in order to take better advantage of the opportunities presented by the Low St. John Forest.  Currently, the School must bus students the short distance between Bradford Elementary and the Forest. This study will analyze the feasibility, potential costs and constraints to developing a safe pedestrian route that would allow classes to walk from the School to the Forest.  

 

Project Team

The consulting firm of DuBois & King, Inc. was selected to conduct this scoping study, they will be managed by a project team which includes:

  • Emily Shipman, Low St. John Forest Committee Chair

  • Adam Lornitzo, Bradford Resident

  • Rita Seto, TRORC

  • Derek Kenison, VTrans Project Manager


The DuBois & King Planning Group includes:

  • Chris Sargent, Project Manager

  • Julia Ursaki, Transportation Planning Engineer

  • Dayton Crites, Senior Transportation Planner


 

About the VTrans Scoping Process

The Agency of Transportation is able to provide funding to communities to conduct "scoping studies."  These studies help communities move from the "idea" phase to eventual implementation by identifying the potential costs, constraints, and opportunities that might be present in the project area.  The process is very specific, following a clear structure that includes an analysis of Existing Conditions, solicitation of public input and feedback, consideration of alternative approaches, and ultimately the selection of a preferred alternative.  Once a scoping study is completed, a community has the information needed to assess whether or not it can move forward with the preferred alternative.  In some instances, costs or constraints may make implementation a challenge.  In cases, the information provided allows a town to reserve funding and apply for funding for design and then eventually construction.  The scoping process is just one step forward in the implementation process.

Project Schedule

  • Kickoff - June (Completed)

  • Existing Conditions Analysis (underway)

  • Local Concerns Meeting and Public Input - Online map and survey are open 9/9 - 10/7. Public Meeting via Zoom on 9/23 at 6:30 pm.

  • Alternatives Development - 9/20-10/20

  • Present Alternatives -11/20

  • Finalize preferred Alternative - 11/20-1/21

  • Present final report to Selectboard - 1/21

Public Input

Public input is essential to making this project a success!  Throughout the Community Connections scoping study, there will be multiple opportunities for people to learn and to provide their thoughts.  To start, we are asking people to please take the survey (see above) which will be open from 9/11-9/30, this will help us learn more about how people access the Low St. John Forest.  Before you take the survey, you may want to view our Project StoryMap (above), which will help you understand the project area and where there may be challenges or opportunities if a pedestrian route is to be developed in the future.