- Associated Press - Monday, May 11, 2015

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - The deadline to comment on the state’s developing bicycle map is fast approaching.

Officials from the state transportation agency told Vermont Public Radio (https://bit.ly/1KXVecs) they’re building an On-Road Bicycle map to make sure certain roadways can handle bicycle traffic safely. The public can comment on the project until Friday.

Users are asked to use color codes on an online map to report which state roads are best for bicycling and which routes they’d ride if they were safer. They can also comment specifically on shoulders and potholes.

“Across the network we’re interested in being able to support bicycle riding of all types and all uses as much as possible,” said Kevin Marshia, deputy chief engineer for the Vermont Agency of Transportation.

But Marshia added they have to prioritize their investments.

“It’s just not feasible to get bike shoulders, wider shoulders on every highway in the state of Vermont all at one time,” he said. “We want to … make sure that where we are investing are those areas that are most important and most critical to bicyclists.”

More than 2,000 people have responded to the map. Planners will use that information to develop a prioritized state highway network for bicycle routes.

After that, planners will look at the most important routes and identify problems cyclists face. Then they plan to integrate those identified improvements into construction work, such as paving projects.

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