Coming Soon: Better Walking and Biking in Irasville

07 20 2017

Coming Soon:
Better Walking and Biking in Irasville

WAITSFIELD – The Irasville area, together with downtown Waitsfield, is “the beating heart of the Valley’s commercial economy,” according to Mad River Path Association President Laura Brines. “And further, these are great places for residents and visitors alike to walk, bike, enjoy the outdoors, shop, dine, go to a movie, birdwatch, and enjoy some family time.”

The area’s many opportunities, now being enhanced by new business investment, explain why the Mad River Path is embarking on its first major renovation of the Path from the Evergreen Senior Center to the Big Pic Theater.

“People have really used and enjoyed the reconstructed wetlands boardwalk at the center of Irasville since we finished work on it late last year,” according to Brines. “We will keep improving the Path this year with new crosswalks, landscaping surfaces including boardwalks, attractive guardrails to separate traffic and walking, and other enhancements.

“Next summer we will propose further improvements on the north end of Irasville, from the Skatium and the new Lawson’s Finest brewery and taproom all the way to the Big Pic and Route 100.”

A new sitting and people-watching plaza will provide a stopover point near the old bank drive-through at the new Mad River Taste Place. Crosswalks will keep pedestrians safer and make sure drivers know there might be walkers ahead. New signage will help people find the places and activities they are interested in.

The Waitsfield Development Review Board will review the Path Association’s application at a meeting on July 25.

“We are interested in working with local businesses to capitalize on walking and biking. We will build surfaces that should provide safe, comfortable access for people with strollers, push-walkers, or wheelchairs,” said Mad River Path Association executive director Ned Farquhar. “We will start fundraising for the project later in the summer, and pending the Town’s approval, should get a lot of construction done in the fall. We appreciate the cooperation from Crosspoint Associates and other neighbors, landowners and businesses in Irasville.”

Farquhar said he has briefly presented the project at Selectboard and Planning Commission meetings, and the Path Association will paint areas where improvements will occur with disappearing paint this week.

For more information, Farquhar can be contacted at path@madriver.com or 222-1038.