By Gareth Henderson
QUECHEE – A small group of Quechee residents said they wanted more sidewalks, bicycle access and events in their local village, during a recent meeting with town planning officials.
Hartford officials this winter are holding a series of meetings about their town’s village centers, in order to get feedback from local residents about their village’s future. According to Town Planner Matt Osborn, the town plan describes “strengthening the village centers” as a major goal for economic development. The ongoing discussions focus on how to enhance these areas and make sure they are meaningful community center for the future.
On Feb. 23, a group of about 13 Quechee residents met with town officials to their visions for Quechee village. Osborn said the biggest concerns were about the lack of sidewalks, the need for pathways along the Ottauquechee River and the difficulty in crossing the Route 4/Waterman Hill intersections. The residents also wanted more “centers of activity” in Quechee, Osborn said, and also ways to connect areas of commerce – such as Quechee Gorge, Quechee Main Street, Waterman Hill and the area near I-89.
Citing the biggest concerns from that evening, Osborn said, “People would like to see a commitment to sidewalks and also bike access.”
People at the Quechee meeting also wanted to keep the Ottauquechee School open and have more local festivals. They also wanted to establish more connections between the village, Quechee Gorge and the Vermont Institute of Natural Science.
Residents also expressed an interest in setting up an Advanced Transit bus stop in Quechee. Osborn said AT services other locations in Hartford, and ridership has been higher in town in recent months. In the past, the bus came through Quechee en route to Hartland, until the Town of Hartland pulled funding for AT, Osborn recalled. He said there have been previous discussions about bringing that service to Quechee.
“We’ll certainly have that discussion with Advanced Transit again,” Osborn said.
In addition, last week’s meeting compiled a list of favorite places often used by locals. These included the Quechee Green, the Quechee Lakes Golf Course, a parcel near the covered bridge, Quechee Main Street, Quechee Lakes’ Parcel 5C, the polo fields, Lake Pinneo, the Quechee Club, the Quechee Library, Dewey’s Pond, the Ottauquechee River and Red Barn Road.
Recent meetings on “The Future of Your Village Centers” involved Wilder, Quechee, West Hartford and Hartford Village. For more information, visit www.hartford-vt.org.
This article first appeared in the March 10th print edition of the Vermont Standard.