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Bikes And Pedestrians Will Be Allowed On The Morrisville Bypass, For Now

The Vermont Agency of Transportation has reversed a decision to close the Morrisville Bypass to non-motorized uses, at least until the agency's Traffic Committee meets in December to discuss the issue.

The two-mile bypass, also known as the Alternative Truck Route, opens to traffic at 2 p.m. tomorrow afternoon. And now "traffic" will mean cars and trucks and bicycles and pedestrians. 

"We have heard loud and clear from our customers who feel that bicycles and pedestrians should be allowed on the new Morristown Alternate Truck Route. VTrans, the Regional Planning Commission and the Town all agree and the prohibition will be removed as this road opens to the public on Friday," Vermont Agency of Transportation program manager Kevin Marsha posted on Morrisville's Front Porch Forum.

"A final decision about the long-term disposition of the road will be considered by the Traffic Committee when they meet on December 10. We thank everyone who has taken the time to provide thoughtful comments on the issue and we look forward to seeing you at the opening on Friday starting at Noon. We’ll cut a ribbon and start letting cars through at about 2 p.m.," Marsha wrote.

As the bypass neared completion the newly-posted limited access sign drew lot of attention over the past couple of weeks. Much of the conversation took place on Morrisville's online Front Porch Forum and on discussion forums below news posts on the issue. Cyclists lamented the ban, saying the bypass is a straight shot between Route 100 south of Morrisville and Route 15 at the north end of town. They noted the new roadway has wide shoulders and said it is safer than weaving through the village on Route 100. People on the other side of the issue said the road is intended for heavy traffic and not a place for bicycles.

As Marsha noted, AOT's Traffic Committee will meet on December 10 to discuss a long-term policy for the bypass.

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