Lehigh Valley Planning Commission
The LVPC is developing a plan that coordinates transit, trail, sidewalk, bikeway and roadway systems to create a robust regional transportation network that is safe, convenient and efficiently accommodates bicycle and pedestrian transportation. The interconnection of these transportation systems for a seamless walking, bicycling, safe routes to transit system that combines the on- and off-road network supports larger regional goals of sustainability, resiliency and enhanced livability.
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Community Design Projects
BATH MULTIMODAL SAFETY + PARKING ANALYSIS
Bath is a borough of 2,700 people that has an attractive setting in Northampton County and an historic charm that’s helped its downtown withstand economic downtowns. However, its location at the intersection of five busy state roads makes it particularly vulnerable to the kinds of challenges that can come from growth, congestion and truck traffic. The demand on the street network, combined with a lack of cohesion in policies that don’t always promote safe connectivity for drivers or pedestrians, hasn’t maximized positive growth or highlighted the special historic character of the Borough. The size of Bath, its commercial zoning opportunities and proximity to a growing trail network however, make it an ideal candidate for installing active transportation improvements. Through partnership with the Lehigh Valley Transportation Study, Borough of Bath and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, a year-long study was initiated in December 2016 to determine what those improvements could be.
The study began with the collection of information including vehicle volumes, parking capacity, safety data and projected road work in order to identify problems affecting efficiency and safety within the borough's transportation network. During this phase, three project goals were established:
Safety for all users
Adequate parking + connectivity
Preparation for future growth of the borough
A second phase of the project used that information to develop appropriate and realistic recommendations for a cohesive, long-range strategy of street network improvements. These place heavy emphasis on encouraging walkability, multimodalism and placemaking in the central blocks of the commercial and historic district. The report and its recommendations were adopted by Bath Council in July 2018.
The project is already making news. Click here to view the May 7, 2018 LVB.com article "Strategies for upgrading Bath's downtown core revealed"
IMAGES OF BATH BOROUGH AND CONCEPTUAL RENDERINGS
The renderings below demonstrate how, through coordinated efforts by various stakeholders, Bath Borough's street networks might better function for drivers, pedestrians, bikers, residents and business owners.
This intersection of West Main Street + South Chestnut Street currently lacks clarity. Striping for pedestrian crossings are almost non-existent, parking spaces are not striped and, in spite of the special historic character of the buildings, there is a lack of sense of arrival or historic pride. Also, the wide turning radius does not encourage drivers to reduce speed.
This visualization shows clear and vivid street markings which, especially from a distance, indicate that vehicle drivers should approach the intersection with caution. Increased lighting, landscaping treatments, and shared lane bicycle markings encourage other modes of transportation. A gateway sign shows a sense of arrival and local pride.
This view looking north on South Chestnut Street shows a road lacking in lighting, clear curb markings or parking spaces, and a general lack of features to help tie together the elements that give it unique character. This road section is also notorious for vehicles speeding through.
This visualization shows a series of improvements including clear road markings and a striped crosswalk which should slow vehicles down while also encouraging pedestrian and cyclist interaction. Increased lighting, small landscape features and a wall mural contribute to beautification of the street.
This view looking east on Mill Street shows a lack of consistency. The widest road in the study area, its sidewalks have only been partially completed and there is an informal pedestrian crossing that is easy to overlook. Stormwater has taken a toll along parts of the edge of the road and there is a lack of lighting.
This visualization shows the street's potential as a vital and welcoming link for pedestrians and cyclists who will access the borough from the future connected Nor-Bath Trail. Completed sidewalks and formal pedestrian crossings increase safety. A historic marker sign reinforces the historic value of various points in the borough.
Although this space in between these two buildings is small and without defined purpose, it could still host a variety of features that engage passerby and increase the street's vitality.
This visualization shows an example of "creative placemaking" which is the creative designing of particular public spaces by the people who use them. This tiny stage option would be very low-cost, could be flexible in its functions and "adopted" by local artist organizations or student groups, for example.
This is another example of an in-between space that could offer a more engaging experience.
This visualization shows that a large space isn't needed to serve a useful function in a community. This garden could reinforce the values of local food production which are already established at the Bath farmer's market and act as a hands-on learning space. It's maintenance would also encourage a sense of pride and stewardship.
This is an example of a space which currently functions as an alleyway for a small amount of vehicles and how it could be converted into a more interactive place.
This visualization demonstrates a simple idea for engaging young people as there are no play areas along this stretch of road. One of the previous two entrances to the alley would be blocked to vehicles and function as an informal play place with a large-scale chessboard, chalkboard and hopscotch.
This in-between space is only a few feet wide however still has an opportunity of bringing something special to the street.
This tiny library, as in many other places around the world, could be an attraction or pedestrian stopping point for people who want to leave a book or borrow a book. As the borough doesn't currently have its own library, it could serve as a mini-destination for families or school children and generally demonstrate support of local or national reading programs.
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CATASAUQUA FRONT STREET STUDY
This sidewalk inventory is the first of its kind for the Lehigh Valley region and intends to provide an assessment of sidewalk
connectivity. Among the many beneficial applications to this study is one main goal: to promote an interconnected network of pedestrian-accessible transportation corridors.
Uses of the Inventory
The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission (LVPC) has analyzed the results of this inventory against both the transit stop inventory in an effort to identify significant gaps and the trail inventory to identify opportunities for future connectivity. Sidewalk gaps represent a significant barrier to accessibility, and this report will lay the groundwork for a future regional bicycle and pedestrian planning study, which municipalities can use to underpin a variety of additional multimodal activities. This study will support prioritization of projects; inform funding decisions; support comprehensive planning efforts; support bicycle and pedestrian; and parks, recreation and open space initiatives. The results are available to our state, regional and municipal partners, such as the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority (LANta), Lehigh Valley Greenways Conservation Landscape, health officials and school districts. In addition, the inventory will be readily available in an easy to access online format, which will serve as a tool for future planning and prioritization.
Street Connectivity Guidance Document
Connectivity is an analysis of the number and variety of connections serving origins such as residential
neighborhoods and destinations like schools and shopping areas. Connectivity relates to the number of intersections
along a segment of streets and how the entire area is connected to the system. Good street
connectivity means providing a variety of ways to get from Point A to B, from using the car to walking. The
recommendations in this report are geared toward improving the efficiency of mobility (i.e. ease of movement)
and accessibility (i.e. the ability to go from an origin to a desired destination). The benefits of better
connectivity go beyond improved mobility and accessibility and can include less traffic congestion, safer
streets, municipal cost savings in the provision of services, and reduced need to improve arterial streets.