The shoulder paving issue is important, but I fear that we are actually
losing more shoulders than we are gaining. We are told that 3 miles of
highway are re-constructed each year, presumably with adequate 3-4 foot
shoulders minimum. However, during the past few years hundreds of miles
highways are paved with new guardrail added in the name of vehicle safety, TOO
OFTEN BLOCKING AND ABOLISHING AVAILABLE SHOULDER SPACE. VT 12 through
Berlin, Northfield, Roxbury to Randolph is an example of a stretch made
impassable to bicycles by narrowing the shoulders--remember a guardrail
creates the need for an extra foot or so of "shy" space.
Correspondence with the VAOT over this isssue in 1997-1998 ended with a
brushoff from the VAOT saying in effect, "so sad, too bad, why don't just go
away." So much for VAOT partnering. In effect, the VAOT giveth and the VAOT
taketh away arbitrarily. the more things change the more they stay the same.