Street Enhancements: Project Investment & Community Planning
- posted in: Knowledge Center
Many communities in the western United States face a twofold obstacle to effective community planning. These communities must balance popular demand for visually appealing streetscapes with limited city budgets and resources to construct and maintain them. On top of that, environmental consultants are tasked with the difficult process of cost-estimate analysis for these street enhancement projects. This requires extensive interagency and interdepartmental cooperation, as well as regimented data collection processes, to substantiate long-term funding needs.
Logan Simpson’s work with the Cheyenne Metropolitan Planning Organization can provide us with one such example of how community planning teams can organize data to build community consensus.
In this project, the City of Cheyenne was faced with implementing several streetscape redevelopment initiatives. Following an extensive collaboration with the Cheyenne MPO, the Cheyenne Public Works Department, the Cheyenne Parks and Recreation Department, Laramie County, and the Wyoming Department of Transportation, Logan Simpson developed a mechanism that assists in the selection and cost estimation of right-of-way enhancements
The system is a combination of three documents: 1) the Cheyenne Area Street Enhancement Toolbox, 2) the Cheyenne Area Streetscape Enhancement Worksheet, and 3) the Streetscape Enhancement Best Practices Analysis.
1) The Cheyenne Area Street Enhancement Toolbox is an illustrative document that provides nine prototype streetscape designs. Each design is uniquely adapted to suit the city’s extreme environmental conditions and character. Each prototype is then presented with associated capital requirements and annual replacements and maintenance costs over a twenty-year cycle.
2) The Cheyenne Area Streetscape Enhancement Worksheet is a dynamic spreadsheet that provides users the ability to mix and match different streetscape elements within the Toolbox. The worksheet then calculates an estimate for the capital and long-term funding requirements. It can be updated periodically throughout project development or when material costs change significantly.
3) The Best Practices Analysis highlights the strategies five similar western communities use to manage and fund their streetscape projects. This research provided the basis for the design and cost of the nine prototypes for the City of Cheyenne.
With relative ease, these tools can be customized according to the specific budget and needs of other communities, providing a more comprehensive and long-term strategy for street enhancement projects. Logan Simpson Design’s tools are in place now and continually have a profound impact on the way the City of Cheyenne moves forward with community planning and environmental design initiatives.