20-1 Definitions.

Whenever in this chapter the following terms are used, they shall have the following meanings respectively given to them:

Assistive device: A human-powered and motorized wheelchair, personal mobility scooter, or other similar device designed to produce a speed of no more than twenty (20) miles per hour to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capability of an individual with a disability. A user of assistive devices shall be considered a pedestrian and not a vehicle.

Authorized emergency vehicles: Vehicles of the fire and police departments, ambulances, emergency vehicles of federal, state and municipal departments, and public service corporations, when the latter are responding to an emergency in relation to the police or fire department.

Bicycle: Any pedal-driven device propelled entirely by human power and having two (2) or more wheels.

Crosswalk: That portion of the roadway ordinarily included within the prolongation of curb and property lines at street intersections, or that portion of a roadway clearly indicated for pedestrian crossing by lines marked on the surface.

Intersection: The area embraced within the prolongation of the lateral boundary lines of two (2) or more streets which join one another at an angle, whether or not one such street crosses the other.

Micromobility device: Human-powered devices for personal transportation, including, but not necessarily limited to, human-powered skateboards and human-powered scooters. A user of a non-motor-assisted micromobility device shall be considered a pedestrian and not a vehicle.

Motor-assisted bicycle: Any bicycle with fully operable pedals and equipped with a motor that in itself is capable of producing a speed of no more than thirty (30) miles per hour on a paved level surface.

Motor-assisted micromobility device: Any motor-assisted device for personal transportation. This includes any device with no more than three (3) wheels and a motor that in itself is capable of producing a speed of no more than twenty-five (25) miles per hour on a paved level surface. Motor-assisted micromobility devices are not motor vehicles and shall obey all traffic regulations applicable to motor-assisted bicycles, except as otherwise provided by law or other ordinances.

Motor vehicle: Every vehicle as herein defined which is self-propelled.

Official traffic signs: All signs, signals and markings placed or erected by authority of the city council, traffic commission or the chief of police for the purpose of regulating or directing traffic or parking of vehicles.

Operator or driver: Any person who is in actual physical control of a vehicle.

Parking: The stopping or standing of a vehicle on a roadway, whether occupied or unoccupied, attended or unattended, other than temporarily for the purpose of and while actually engaged in loading or unloading passengers or goods, or in obedience to a police officer or traffic regulations, signs or signals, or while making emergency repairs, or if disabled, while arrangements are being made to move such vehicle.

Pedestrian: Any person on foot, using a personal assistive mobility device, or using a micromobility device.

Roadway: That portion of a street between regularly established curblines, or that part devoted to vehicular traffic.

Sidewalk: That portion of a street between curblines and adjacent property lines.

Street: The entire width between property lines of every way used for vehicular and pedestrian travel which has become public by authority of the law, and such ways in public places other than highways as the public is permitted to use for vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

Vehicle: Any contrivance on wheels or runners used in the roadways of public streets for carrying persons or things.

(Rev. Ords. 1962, § 5101; Reg. of 2-17-21(b), eff. 6-16-21)

Cross reference—Bicycles, definitions, § 6-1.

20-2 Compliance with chapter and state law required.

No person shall operate or cause to be operated any vehicle on any street of this city except in compliance with this chapter and applicable state laws.

State law reference—Similar provisions, 23 V.S.A. § 1031.

20-3 Authority to control traffic.

(a)    The police department shall have authority to manage vehicular traffic on all public streets. The chief of police or his/her designee in regulating traffic may depart temporarily as far as may be necessary from the traffic regulations of this chapter.

(b)    Due to specific traffic issues on Main Street from University Place west to Summit Street, the public works department shall have authority to alter the direction of the traffic flow and temporarily depart from normal traffic regulations. The public works department may alter such traffic flow Monday through Friday, 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

(c)    The public works director shall have authority to adopt temporary vehicular traffic and parking regulations on all public streets. This authority is given for the exclusive purpose of establishing parking and transportation pilot programs and evaluating the merits of such programs. A parking or transportation pilot program shall be limited to no more than thirty (30) calendar days. When a pilot program is being evaluated, the public works director, or his/her designee, must provide the following notice:

(1)    The neighborhood shall be leafleted at least one (1) week in advance of the proposed changes.

(2)    Temporary signs shall be conspicuously posted in the affected area for at least one (1) week in advance that detail the start and end date, contact name, and phone number.

(3)    The police chief and fire chief shall be given at least one (1) week advance notice of the start of a pilot program.

(4)    The public works commission shall be given at least two (2) weeks advance notice of the proposed changes.

The public works director may, at his/her discretion, terminate a parking or transportation pilot program. Upon the early termination of a pilot program, the director shall provide the affected area with reasonable notice of the early termination.

(Rev. Ords. 1962, § 5102; Reg. of 10-19-94; Reg. of 6-28-95; Reg. of 12-20-00)

20-4 Application of chapter to drivers of authorized emergency vehicles.

The provisions of this chapter governing the movement, parking and standing of vehicles shall not apply to authorized emergency vehicles while the drivers of such vehicles are operating the same in an emergency in the necessary performance of duty. Said vehicles shall have the right-of-way in any street and through any procession when operated in such emergency, but shall approach all official traffic signs with due care.

(Rev. Ords. 1962, § 5103)

20-5 Play streets.

(a)    The traffic commission may declare any street or part thereof a play street and place appropriate signs or devices in the roadway indicating and helping to protect the same.

(b)    Whenever authorized signs are placed, erected or installed designating any street or portion thereof as a play street pursuant to the provisions of this section, no person shall drive a motor vehicle upon such designated street, except persons who have business or who reside within such designated street, and all such persons shall exercise the greatest care when driving upon such play street.

Cross reference—Playing games in streets restricted, § 27-9.

20-6 Coasting or sliding restricted.

No person shall coast, course or slide on a sled, sleigh or other vehicle in a street upon the sidewalks thereof, except such streets as shall be designated by the city council or the mayor.

(Rev. Ords. 1962, § 4251)

20-7 Clinging to vehicle.

No person riding upon a sleigh, wagon, coaster or other vehicle shall attach himself or such vehicle to any moving vehicle while the same is passing in the street.

(Rev. Ords. 1962, § 4260)

Cross reference—Clinging to moving vehicles while riding bicycles prohibited, § 6-5.

20-8 Covering of vehicles.

No person shall convey upon any public highway of the city at any time in any truck, wagon, cart or other vehicle any ashes, refuse, rubbish or waste or discarded materials or matter of any kind, unless such vehicle, during such conveyance of such materials or matter, is covered by a canvas tarpaulin or other suitable material of such character as to effectively prevent the emission of offensive or noxious odors from the materials or matter conveyed and unless such covering is fastened to such vehicle so as to effectively prevent the falling or dropping of the load or any part thereof upon the highway.

(Rev. Ords. 1962, § 2951)

State law reference—Vehicles to be covered to prevent dropping of refuse, § 14-7.

20-9 Mufflers.

(a)    Every motor vehicle shall, at all times, be equipped with a muffler in good working order and in constant operation to prevent excessive and unusual noise and annoying smoke.

(b)    It shall be unlawful for any person to drive or operate any motor vehicle in the city with a cutout, an exhaust whistle, without a muffler or with an exhaust system which has been altered, tampered with or changed from its original construction, thereby causing such motor vehicle to make a louder noise than it would have in its original condition.

(Rev. Ords. 1962, § 5166; 1969 Cum. Supp. § 5166)

20-10 Reserved.

Editor’s note—An ordinance of Oct. 24, 1983, repealed § 20-10. Said former section was relative to motor vehicle operators duty to stop when involved in an accident.

20-11 Driver’s responsibility to notify police department when involved in an accident.

The operator of a motor vehicle involved in an accident whereby a person is injured, or whereby there is total damage to all property to the extent of the dollar amount set forth in 23 V.S.A. Section 1129, shall immediately after such accident notify the police department of the same and the place thereof.

(Rev. Ords. 1962, § 5164; Ord. of 3-20-78; Ord. of 10-24-83)

20-12 Bicycle and pedestrian pathways; designated, prohibited conduct.

The areas of the city listed in the following subsections are hereby established as bicycle and pedestrian pathways to be used for bicycle and pedestrian travel, cross country skiing, snow shoeing and similar uses. All motorized vehicles of every kind and description except for vehicles actually engaged in the repair and maintenance of utility lines are prohibited from using such pathways:

(1)    That area of the city comprised of the land and premises conveyed to the City of Burlington Electric Light Department by warranty deed of the Rutland Railway Corporation dated May 24, 1965 and recorded in Volume 169, page 650 of the Burlington Land Records, being the former right-of-way for railroad purposes of about 3,477 feet in length and 82.5 feet in width, extending from the north boundary line of land conveyed by the Rutland Railway Corporation to the State of Vermont by quit claim deed dated January 1, 1964, to Starr Farm Road, so-called. Such premises contain about 6.53 acres and are comprised of 41.25 feet on each side of the survey centerline of such strip of land.

(2)    That area of the city comprised of the land and premises conveyed to the City of Burlington by the Rutland Railway Corporation by warranty deed dated May 24, 1965 and recorded at Volume 169, page 647 of the Burlington Land Records and being the strip of land, formerly Rutland Railway Corporation right-of-way, extending northerly from the northerly boundary of number one above, to the southerly shore of the Winooski River, containing 20.8 acres of land, more or less.

(Rev. Ords. 1962, § 5025; Ord. of 7-30-73; Ord. of 1-9-95)

Editor’s note—Although expressly amending Tit. 23, Ch. 1, Bicycles, of the Revised Ordinances, Ord. of July 30, 1973, was codified as § 20-12 at the editor’s discretion.

20-13 Penalty.

(a)    A violation of any provision of articles I, II, IV, V or VI, except for violations of section 20-43, of this chapter shall be a civil violation punishable by a fine of fifty dollars ($50.00) to two hundred dollars ($200.00). The waiver penalty for purposes of the municipal complaint (civil ticket) shall be fifty dollars ($50.00). Each day the violation shall continue shall be a separate offense. All law enforcement officers may issue a municipal complaint for a violation of this chapter.

(b)    A violation of a provision of article III of this chapter shall be a civil parking violation punishable as provided in section 20-66 and section 1-9.

(c)    A violation of any provision on section 20-43 shall be subject to a civil penalty. The penalty for the first offense under this section shall be two hundred dollars ($200.00). For second and subsequent offenses within a twelve-month period the penalty shall be no less than three hundred dollars ($300.00) and no more than five hundred dollars ($500.00). The waiver penalty for a violation under this subsection shall be two hundred dollars ($200.00).

(Ord. of 1-9-95; Reg. of 8-14-96; Reg. of 2-7-07(1), eff. 3-21-07)

20-14—20-22 Reserved.