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Last month we recognized our star crossing guard Donna Woods for Crossing Guard Appreciation Day which occurs every November. Middlebury Safe Routes nominated her for America's Favorite Crossing Guard. She was one of 170 entries and the only one from VT and garnered 281 votes. She said she really enjoyed seeing the good work of her fellow crossing guards across the country and thanks everyone for thinking of her. Official winners for cash prizes for their schools will be announced soon. While several achieved many more votes,  she feels like a winner and we know she certainly is a winner--out there every day no matter the weather. 
Our efforts to recognize Donna will help toward the Way to Go! School Challenge in which Mary Hogan is a strong contender for great prizes, including a solar tracker.
On Wed Dec 5 kids that walked, biked, scooted or used the bus were recognized with a mood pencil! Rub it warm and it changes a bright color. Speaking of colors, we appreciated students sporting bright visible ones and reflector detailing on coats, backpacks and shoes--good for dusk hours and our shorter days. 
We also remind families not to idle in front of schools.  Idling is actually more harmful to health in winter when emissions tend to be lower at kids' nose levels in colder air. It's also illegal in front of schools.
Remember we go, unless temps dip below 15 or it's too icy on sidewalks. We'll skip Walk & Roll Day in January since the first Wednesday falls right after New Years Day and celebrate our winter Feb 6 Walk & Roll Day with hot chocolate. Monument Farms graciously donates their popular chocolate milk to Mary Hogan for us to warm up. If the weather is too cold or icy (yes, it's happened twice!), we'll slide to the following Wed Feb 13. April sees the return of spring (hopefully) and bike smart training with the Kohl's Bike Smart trailer of 30 bikes and helmets coordinated by our good friends at Local Motion. 
Middlebury's Frog Hollow Bikes welcomes you to try their "fat tire" bikes, which you can rent. They also organize group rides and can equip you for winter bike commuting and let you test ride an electric assist bike. Check them out at next Thursday's Midd Night Stroll with stores and the choco hut open till 8.  
Someday we may see a bike path connecting East Middlebury to our schools and the TAM system downtown. Meanwhile, watch for construction to begin in spring and summer 2019 on the Pulp Mill/Weybridge St sidewalkand the first phase of the Exchange St multi-use path. The Walk/Bike Council of Addison County has been monitoring these projects. It is also advising on major road construction projects throughout our county for adequate shoulders, turning lanes and traffic calming measures and planning a scenic triangle bike route connecting our hub towns of Middlebury, Vergennes and Bristol via New Haven.  
Remember to try our ACTR bus system when inclement weather and the winter parking ban can present driving challenges. Try out the "trip planner" at VTrans Go! Vermont Home - Go! Vermont . There's lots more there to help us reduce our car use.
VISIT OUR WEBSITE and help us out by completing the survey.
We hope you'll stay "in the mood" for walking and rolling!
Laura Asermily
Middlebury Safe Routes