E3: Corridor Planning in Action
Thursday, April 25, 2019
10:30 a.m. - noon EDT
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"When the US 401 Bypass around Rolesville was constructed, the Town of Rolesville was presented with the opportunity to reclaim their Main Street. As a growing town in northern Wake County, the Town of Rolesville saw a dramatic reduction in through traffic as US 401 through town was re-designated as US 401 Business. Many residents, along with the Town Council, business owners and employees in the town had just completed an update to the Town's Comprehensive Plan, but one question remained: what should Main Street look like? The 4.5 mile long corridor stretches from US 401 south of town to US 401 north of town. Along the corridor, there are a variety of land uses and travel conditions that do not currently mesh to create a real identity for the Town of Rolesville. There are stretches of rural area with very low density residential to the Town's historic downtown core to spans of strip commercial, and even an elementary school.
Together with the Town, CAMPO and Stantec led a charrette-based planning process to answer the question ""what does Main Street want to be when it grows up?"" With a highly engaged technical steering committee and enthusiastic public, the vision for Main Street was created through a series of public workshops, technical analysis, one-on-one conversations with business owners and Council members, and a variety of opportunities for public input. Long-time residents, at first wary of major changes, began to see the opportunity associated with re-defining Main Street, and thus the Town, as a livable and active corridor. Residents and students became excited to discuss multi-modal connections from their neighborhoods and schools into downtown and to other attractions along the corridor, and to envision placemaking opportunities along the corridor.
Thorough and extensive public engagement led to a Main Street vision plan that was enthusiastically supported by Town Council, business owners and residents new and old. Since the plan was completed in mid-2018, the Town has already taken steps toward implementation of the vision plan as development has continued along the corridor.
This session will discuss the elements of the plan (transportation analysis, economic analysis and public engagement) and the elements of the planning process (public workshops, multi-day charrette, and personal engagement with stakeholders) that led to a unanimously adopted vision plan for Rolesville’s Main Street. "
The Virginia Department of Transportation's (VDOT) Arterial Preservation Program is designed to preserve and enhance the capacity and safety of critical transportation highways that accommodate the long-distance mobility of people and goods across the commonwealth. Within the framework of the Arterial Preservation Program, VDOT is developing methodologies to consistently and programmatically evaluate the corridors, creating a toolbox of preservation and enhancement strategies and identifying opportunities to implement these strategies.
As an alternative to widening major highways to add capacity, preservation and enhancement strategies promote the use of innovative transportation solutions, minimizing delays for through traffic and improving safety, while incorporating local economic development goals. Developed in partnership with localities, the strategies will be used as tools to plan for infrastructure that supports future land use and development.
This presentation will educate attendees on the background and goals of the Arterial Preservation Program and will also include an overview of recent Arterial Preservation planning activities along US 58 in the Hampton Roads region. US 58 is a principal arterial that runs parallel to the North Carolina border. This facility is significant in that it provides connections to multiple interstates while serving one of Virginia’s largest economic engines, the Port of Virginia. The US 58 Arterial Preservation Plan employs strategies, including access management and innovative intersection design, that seek to serve mainline traffic with priority while facilitating local development goals.
The NC Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration are studying roadway improvements from Andrews to Stecoah in Cherokee and Graham Counties. The improvements are needed to provide safe, reliable transportation infrastructure and would complete a portion of Corridor K of the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS).
Corridor K presents a multitude of challenges: mountainous terrain, the Appalachian Trail, Cherokee homesteads, the Trail of Tears, the Nantahala National Forest, jurisdictional waters, high quality riparian headwaters, pyritic rock, and protected species. Given these challenges, it is among the last ADHS corridors to be completed.
In 2010, the project was included in the FHWA Every Day Counts initiative and was evaluated by the US Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution. After a three-year pause for a separate regional economic study, planning efforts were resumed in 2015. Recommendations from the Institute’s 2011 report were incorporated into the process, notably, to create “an atmosphere of exploration” where “preliminary ideas can be expressed freely...” The project team implemented this recommendation by developing an iterative planning process that allows for the exploration and refinement of the project scope prior to the NEPA process. The project team also incorporated aspects of FHWA’s Red Book and Eco-Logical guidance when developing the planning process.
The Corridor K planning process also reflects elements of the FHWA Planning and Environment Linkages (PEL) approach, where concerns and constraints are identified early in the planning process and used to inform project development and review. This integrated planning process also facilitates implementation of Executive Order 13807 regarding environmental review and permitting timelines. Moving forward, the project will be developed to include PEL elements to streamline the review process.
Mike Rutkowski, PE, AICP
Amy Sackaroff, AICP
Neil Burke, email@example.com