Biking, Walking & More
Loading a bike on an ACTR bus
Biking and Walking
Biking and walking are great ways to incorporate physical exercise into your routine, save money, promote cleaner air and connect to transit stops. There are many state and local resources to support your use of people power.
Addison County Walk Bike Council
Following the deaths of four cyclists in Addison, Chittenden and Rutland County in 2015, Local Motion was approached by concerned citizens in Addison County on how local efforts could bring positive change for those wanting to safely walk and cycle in Vermont. A series of public meetings were held at ACRPC, facilitated by Local Motion. An ad-hoc walk/bike committee formed to continue the conversations of the public meetings and to better understand ways to facilitate change in Addison County. It was concluded that a citizen led advisory group, with representatives from across the County, would be a highly beneficial voice within local, regional and state-level transportation decision making.
In the Summer of 2016, through a partnership between ACRPC and Local Motion, a citizen-led advisory council was formed to mobilize citizen interest and ideas and channel them into local, regional and state projects. The Council includes residents and representatives from supporting organizations from across the county who wish to support safe walking and biking in their community.
The Council is in it’s very early days, but should be up and running by Fall 2016. ACRPC will continue as fiscal agent for the council and will act as staff liaison between the council, towns and the regional Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) when necessary.
If you want to keep up on Council activity please sign up for the middbikeped listerve.
If you have further questions please contact:
Claire Tebbs, ACRPC Staff Planner 802-388-3141
VBike is a nonprofit organization providing leading-edge bike solutions in Vermont. VBike provides information on bike innovations such as cargo bikes and electric assist bikes to expand the range, carrying capacity and overall utility of biking for local transportation.
Local Motion is a member-supported non-profit organization promoting people-powered transportation and recreation for healthy and sustainable Vermont communities.
Midd Bike-Ped Coalition
Midd Bike-Ped Coalition is a local forum where people interested in improving alternative transportation options in the Middlebury area can share ideas and information, connect with others, and organize projects.
Safe Routes to School
Safe Routes to School encourages walking and biking to school regularly and safely. Students who walk and bike to school tend to arrive ready to learn and are healthier overall. Fewer children being driven to school reduces car congestion and improves air quality. Middlebury Safe Routes to School (MSRS), monitors traffic patterns and student travel behavior, plans activities to teach bike skills and rules of the road, and recommends improvements to roads, parking lots, drop offs, sidewalks, crosswalks, traffic lights, signage, bus routes, bike routes, bike racks, and more as defined in the Middlebury School Transportation Plan. MSRS meets the first Wednesday of the month at Mary Hogan School. For more information or to help, contact MSRS coordinator Laura Asermily firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-388-9478.
Telecommuting and flexible work arrangements are becoming an increasingly common workplace perk. The option to work outside the office, even just occasionally, can be a win-win for both the employer and the employee. Often it is an employee benefit and saves time as well as the expense and pollution of commuting by car. However, without guidelines, managing remote employees can quickly become a boss’s worst nightmare. The opposite is also true that a telecommuter can feel disconnected from his or her organization, team or supervisor.
Tips for employers
It is recommended to have a formal telecommuting program in place to keep track of employees who choose to work remotely, and make sure everyone is performing at their peak, regardless of location.
Four important areas should be kept in mind when crafting an official policy:
Eligibility – The first thing any employer needs to consider when deciding on a remote work policy is whether the employees’ attitudes, work ethics and personalities align with the expectations of telecommuting. Being able to work from home sounds like a good perk in theory, but not everyone has the ability to be productive when the boss isn’t right down the hall to check in. Eligibility guidelines can include: the nature of the position, how long a person has been at the company/in the role, past job performance and how frequently a staff member can telecommute (full time, once a week, once a month, etc.).
Expectations for work hours – “Business hours” may vary from person to person and job to job. Employers need to trust telecommuters and give them the freedom to do their jobs in a way that works for them. However, regardless of their work hours, employees also need to be held accountable for their assigned jobs by adhering to company expectations. Remote workers should be available during office hours, must meet deadlines and complete projects with excellence and maintain communication with their manager and co-workers. Workers who do not meet these expectations risk losing the trust of leadership and sidelining their team. And, worse, jeopardizing telecommuting as a company-wide option.
Equipment and cyber security – While productivity and accountability may be top of mind for employers who give their staff the freedom to telecommute, an often-overlooked element of remote work is the security of the corporate data workers are accessing outside of the secure office network. Enabling employees to work remotely opens up the likelihood that they’ll use their work devices to communicate via unsecured public networks like those at coffee shops. Business devices should be passcode protected and data going in and out from those devices should be encrypted. Keep a current inventory of all devices and make sure each is safeguarded from theft or loss and take other measures to protect information.
Communication methods – Inside many offices people are often communicating over email, instant messaging and chat services, which makes telecommuting a natural option in many cases. However, face to face work and team meetings are vital to the creativity and synergy many innovative cutting edge businesses rely upon. Ideally remote workers should be able to come to the office some of the time for collaborations and team building – nothing replaces the in-person meeting, voice call or Skype meeting. This type of communication not only builds camaraderie, but it’s also important to be able to see and listen to the tone of someone’s voice, as emails or instant messaging can get lost in translation.
Adapted from businessnewsdaily.com.
Tips for the telecommuter
- You and your job must be suited for telecommuting
- You must be a self-starter and able to work with little or no supervision.
- Your employer and/or your manager must embrace telecommuting completely.
- Consider what kind of hardware and software will be required – part time telecommuting may have different needs than full time telecommuting. Security can be a big concern.
- You’re on your own, so there is very little in person social interaction.
- Depending upon nature of you job, you could be constrained without a visual of the people you are speaking with or emailing with – there is no body language to support interpretations of conversations.
- Have a normal workday routine (shower, get dressed, comb your hair, etc.)
- Dress for work – every day! Don’t work in pajamas or sweats.
- Do start work at a normal time every day. If your office work hours are 9 to 5, then work 9 to 5.
- Do take regular breaks and a lunch break – away from your desk.
- Be on time for meetings. People will assume you are screwing around because you work from home.
- Communicate often with peers and managers. Do not give them any cause for concern.
- Always be available during regular working hours. If your cell phone is your primary work phone, then you take it with you to the kitchen, to get the mail, to let the dog out, etc. It will ring the one time you leave it on your desk and go outside.
Adapted from inconsistentbabble.com.