R3: Retrofitting Communities for Active Transportation
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
1:30 p.m. - 3 p.m. EDT
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As communities embrace the importance of walking and bicycling, they are often faced with the challenge of retrofitting older streets in a way that all modes of travel are treated well. This session features four case studies where communities are successfully retrofitting infrastructure for pedestrians and bicyclists, three of which are in Delaware. They include: • The New Castle Industrial Track Trail in Wilmington. This project is the centerpiece of Delaware Governor Jack Markell’s First State Trail and Pathway Initiative, the “First State in trails.” When complete, the Industrial Track will link Battery Park in New Castle with downtown Wilmington, a distance of seven miles, with only two at-grade road crossings. This project, a critical link in the East Coast Greenway, has overcome a number of challenges and is scheduled for completion in 2017. • A regional study for connecting Newark and Wilmington by trail. This recently-completed study explored dozens of miles of potential routes to connect the County’s two largest communities. Trail segments were investigated and prioritized based on connectivity, ease of implementation, impacts, and benefits. The results of the study will help establish a program of future trail projects through the First State Trail and Pathway Initiative. • The Manayunk Bridge and Ivy Ridge Trail in Philadelphia. This landmark project, the “crown jewel” in the Delaware Valley trail network, involved the conversion of a rail bridge to trail use. The planning process and technical requirements of the bridge project will be discussed. The presentation will also include an overview of the Ivy Ridge Trail planning effort, which will connect the bridge to local streets in Manayunk and Roxborough. • Route 40 corridor improvements in New Castle County. This program, in its 14th year of implementation, has resulted in the construction of 8 miles of new sidewalks or shared-use paths, 10 miles of new bike lanes, sidewalk connections to every bus stop in the corridor, and a number of Complete Streets projects in a rapidly suburbanizing corridor. The project laid the groundwork for Delaware’s Transportation Investment District process, which results in public/private cost sharing for transportation improvements. Participants will: 1. Learn how disused rail lines can be converted to active transportation uses. 2. Learn how a corridor planning process, even in a highly auto-oriented area, can consider all modes of travel, taking into account Smart Transportation principles. 3. Learn how effective stakeholder involvement can play a critical role in obtaining political support and funding for multimodal transportation projects. Communities with transit facilities are often faced with challenges in maximizing the use of existing transit infrastructure. Accordingly, this session will also feature a planning tool, developed by the Maryland Department of Planning, that is designed to assist planners, developers and elected officials who want to realize more economic development in and around transit stations. Maryland has encouraged development near transit stations since the Washington Metro system was built in the 1970s. Well-done transit-oriented development (TOD) requires more than just building near transit. Successful TOD connects walkable, dense, mixed-use neighborhoods with an efficient transportation system. The Maryland Department of Planning has created a comprehensive online planning and implementation resource to support state and local TOD efforts. The online resource provides a tool for planners, developers and elected officials interested in advancing more TOD in their jurisdictions. During the session, participants will learn how mapping tools can be used to foster TOD and ED projects and learn what key elements can be used to support TOD.