Transportation Laws that Make Sense

I vividly recall an East Montpelier meeting focused on a difficult intersection and whether they should install a roundabout or a signal crossing. There are many factors for determining the best practice for each of these intersections – safety, traffic load, community needs, pedestrians, bikeways, etc. But the conversation focused on money, not practicality or safety.

After some additional research, I learned the Federal Government would support 100 percent of a signal crossing but only 80 percent of a roundabout. I called then-Senator Jim Jeffords and encouraged him to add a sentence to the Transportation Bill that created equality among these options. After much discussion and urging – and with the leadership of Senator Jeffords – this became federal law. I’m proud that communities can now make safety decisions based on the needs of the community, not just the funding available.

This has led to roundabout construction in multiple Vermont communities (most recently Waterbury) that has resulted in far less costly local traffic solutions.