The Warren Select Board and town residents heard a presentation by Broadreach Planning and Design about the feasibility of creating a path on Sugarbush Access Road. The July 26 presentation was on the Sugarbush Access Road path scoping study, which addressed the feasibility of the project. Town residents were asked to give input and ask questions.
The study was funded by the Vermont Department of Transportation (VTrans). Town officials contracted multiple companies to oversee the study alongside an advisory committee. Broadreach Planning & Design, Lamoureux & Dickinson, Heritage Landscapes LLC and the University of Vermont Consulting Archeology Program were some of the groups that assisted in the study.
The purpose of the path would be to create an alternative nonmotorized connection from the surrounding area to Sugarbush. The path would run down to Route 100.
John Atkinson, director of the Mad River Riders, told the board that he wanted to make sure that the path would not be used solely for pedestrians but would be used by bikers as well, noting that riding on Route 100 is not ideal for a mountain biker.
The largest concern that people brought up was the point at which the path would end and which surrounding areas would be included. Multiple community members voiced concern about Inferno Road, noting that it is a highly trafficked area by pedestrians and that the road is becoming increasingly dangerous.
Bob Ackland, a member of the select board, was surprised that they expanded the scoping study to Route 100 but did not include Inferno Road. The road has guardrails, which leaves pedestrians with nowhere to go when cars drive by, he said.
Most of the people who voiced concern believed that if a path is built, it would be worth including Inferno Road in further research and planning.
Another point of consideration that residents asked about was the exact route that the path would take, noting that there is significant side hill surrounding the road and that the path would be unable to follow the grade of the road, simply because it is too steep.
Broadreach Planning and Design founder Jim Donovan stressed that this was simply a scoping study to assess the viability of the path. There is no route set yet for the path.
He will be taking the public’s concerns into consideration while moving forward.