Case Study:

Direct Access has partnered with DuBois & King, a Vermont based engineering firm to develop the Stormwater and Accessibility plan for Bethel in Windsor County, Vermont. This will be the state’s first ever village accessibility plan. It will become a model for other towns and villages.

Since September 2021 we have worked to develop:

• Facilities and accessibility audits of selected premises along Main Street, Bethel.

Accessibility audits of sidewalks, parks and trailheads.

• A rural accessibility guide.

• Support and advise partners with creating accessible maps and reports, for example in large print, with audio description or sign language.

The accessibility program is designed to support businesses and the local community to identify ways in improving accessibility for residents and visitors. This includes walking, bike paths and trails, traffic and pedestrian safety. Connections between the downtown area, the school, recreation center and some of the historic buildings are also included. In addition to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, the program is drawing on the Vermont Access Rules and best practice from other states.

Bethel is near Interstate 89, half an hour drive south of the state capital Montpelier and 2.5 hours drive northwest of Boston.

This project is funded by the Vermont Better Connections program, a collaboration of the Vermont Agency of Transportation and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.

Bethel on the national stage

Bethel is featured in the 2007 Will Smith film I Am Legend, as a fortified colony of uninfected survivors from a “cancer cure” that mutates into a virus and becomes a pandemic in the film’s then-future of December 2009.

Bethel White granite has been quarried in Bethel, Vermont since the 19th century and has been used for iconic buildings including Union Station, Washington DC, the Wisconsin State Capital Building, and the Western Union Building in New York City.

We are grateful to the following for use of their photos: Liz West from Boxborough, MA, CC BY 2.0,  Jessamyn West CC-BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ and Magicpiano, CC BY-SA 4.0 , all via Wikimedia Commons.

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