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Big views and wide roads in a typical Rocky Mountain West town | Photo by PPS

Next Round of Free Technical Assistance Applications due December 5th

Recognizing the critical role that transportation plays in shaping our communities and citizens’ lives, PPS has always been at the forefront of change in transportation. For more than 20 years we have worked for the Federal Transit Administration and the Federal Highway Administration, helped state Departments of Transportation change their culture via context sensitive communities, collaborated with communities to reframe their approach to streets and transit, and conducted training programs all around the world. The transportation world is changing and we are proud to be part of that change. But perhaps no initiative has been more exciting than the emerging New Mobility West campaign, led by the Sonoran Institute.

With the support of PPS and other partners, New Mobility West is aimed at improving transportation systems while creating more livable communities in Rocky Mountain West communities. In today’s economy, successful communities are creating transportation systems that can do the job of moving people and goods while simultaneously improving the quality and character of their town. They recognize that building a strong and more vibrant economy relies on expanding mobility choices. In short, great communities have great transportation systems. NMW will provide inspiration, increased awareness and practical solutions to cities, counties, State Departments of Transportation (DOTs), Chambers of Commerce, developers, and civic leaders who can help shape smarter transportation systems in order to build stronger and more prosperous communities throughout the Rocky Mountain West.

The NMW campaign has a multi-pronged approach consisting of project specific technical assistance to selected communities, training and capacity building to enable broader geographic impact and long-term reform, and a strategic communication plan intended to broadly share lessons learned. Its three key areas of focus are on Main Streets that also function as state highways, reshaping suburban commercial corridors, and influencing local investment and planning.

The project kicked off this summer with PPS assisting the Sonoran Institute to select three communities for the first round of technical assistance: Missoula and Anaconda in Montana, and Bonners Ferry in Idaho. PPS staff members are providing expertise and technical assistance to the latter two projects.

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A typical main street in Anaconda, Montana | Photo by PPS

Anaconda, MT Project

PPSers David Nelson and Gary Toth just returned from three days on site in Anaconda working with City and County staff, the Sonoran Institute, and Bike Walk Montana. The focus of the technical assistance is Commercial and Park Avenues, a one-way couplet that both carries State Route 1 and serves as the backbone of the downtown. As such, the Montana Department of Transportation attended to engage with the community on its vision for the corridor.

The project’s goal is to improve downtown Anaconda’s vibrancy by balancing vehicle travel and the place functions of this section of scenically-designated highway.

The objectives are:

  • Develop a set of potential design solutions for four key intersections.
  • Work with the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) to assess the State Highway 1 couplet.
  • Develop corridor-wide recommendations for bicycle and pedestrian amenities.
  • Suggest some overarching urban design and place management strategies for edge uses in the corridor.

Opportunities for activation about (Anaconda, MT) | Photo by PPS

Bonners Ferry, ID Project

In partnership with Charlier Associates and Alta Planning + Design, PPS staffer Kate Rube will be working with the City of Bonners Ferry, ID to help ensure that Highway 95 – which runs through the city – meets the needs of the local community as well as the needs of the state highway system. The focus of this project is where Highway 95 runs through the South Hill neighborhood of Bonners Ferry, which is south of the city’s downtown. Bonners Ferry seeks to address the following goals in the South Hill section of Highway 95:

  • Improving pedestrian safety and access;
  • Relieving congestion, potentially by improving local access and circulation or by shifting trips to walking or biking;
  • Maintaining the small town character of the city.

An October site visit will include a series of community workshops and stakeholder meetings with the City and the Idaho Transportation Department.

Technical Assistance Application Deadline: December 5th

And you can be next! Communities from Idaho, Wyoming, Montana and Colorado are welcome to submit applications for the next round of free technical assistance through December 5th, 2014. Access the online application through the New Mobility West website, or receive an electronic or paper copy by contacting Jillian Sutherland at jsutherland@sonoraninstitute.org or 970-928-3411.

PPS Helps Kick Off the New Mobility West Initiative was last modified: October 20th, 2014 by Project for Public Spaces
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