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Complete Streets and Active Transportation

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Otter Avenue, Parkers Prairie, Minnesota (2014)

Contracted by PartnerSHIP 4 Health, a four-county public health advocacy initiative in western Minnesota, Avenue Design Partners assisted the City of Parkers Prairie in developing a set of Complete Street concepts for Otter Avenue, the city’s Main Street. Complicating the process, was that Otter Avenue is also a state highway connecting Parkers Prairie to communities north and south of it. The state highway, Highway 29, including the segment through Parkers Prairie, was slated for repaving.

To begin, Avenue Design facilitated a community workshop which resulted in defining a set of core community values and identifying the everyday activities of people using the Otter Avenue corridor. A second workshop developed a preferred set of design features to foster those values, accommodate the identified activities, and to enhance public health by encouraging more walking, bicycling, and social interaction in the community.

Based on the workshops, Avenue Design recommended a concept that enhanced the sidewalks and boulevards along Otter Avenue, creating a continuous sidewalk by eliminating gaps, adding a multiuse trail to the community’s major park to the south and a municipal swimming pool to the north, and creating a safer and more efficient pedestrian connection across Otter Avenue between the town’s two school campuses. Features, such as benches and other street furniture, boulevard trees, lighting, and wider sidewalks downtown—wide enough to accommodate outdoor cafés, sidewalks sales, or community events, were proposed. The roadway lanes and on-street parking are proposed to remain as existing, but with narrower widths and curb extensions at selected corners to enhance pedestrian crossings.

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Portland Avenue, Richfield, Minnesota (2014)

Avenue Design Partners is assisting the City of Richfield and Hennepin County with the planning and design of this important connection across the community. Avenue Design has managed the public engagement program and has facilitated design discussions to respond to stakeholder issues along the corridor. Designs were measured by the effect they had on reaching the community’s goals for pedestrian, transit, bicycling and vehicular movement. The approved concept includes a sidewalk and multiuse trail, on-street bicycle lanes and converting the roadway from 4-lanes to 3-lanes. Special design details were added at intersections to improve the pedestrian crossings, enhance access to transit, and accommodate the future development of Urban Arterial Bus Rapid Transit.

The stakeholder engagement plan involved the general public, adjacent property owners, along with technical stakeholders from Hennepin County, Metro Transit, Richfield Economic Development, and MnDOT.

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66th Street, Richfield, Minnesota (2014)

66th Street across the City of Richfield is a major community connector and also serves as a minor arterial in the regional network. The difficult balancing of the community issues and technical challenges has been facilitated by Avenue Design. The community was first engaged in a visioning process for the City which resulted in a set of Guiding Principles for the corridor. A strong pedestrian, transit and bicycling vision was critical for any proposed concept. Concepts have considered the improvement of the pedestrian realm through buffering with landscaped boulevards, improved crossings, and other design elements that support walking. Bicycle accommodations considered on-street bicycle lanes, multi-use trails, and protected bicycle lanes. The enhancements to the existing High-frequency bus service include better facilities at stops and new connections to the future Orange Line BRT and Portland Avenue Urban Arterial BRT.

The preferred concept responds to the varying land uses along the corridor. This four mile corridor passes through the City’s downtown, residential neighborhoods, commercial nodes and several city parks. The preferred concept improves the pedestrian realm and adds a continuous bicycle system across the community. The roadway included some segments of 4-lane to 3-lane conversions. The stakeholder engagement plan involved the general public, adjacent property owners, along with technical stakeholders from Hennepin County Metro Transit, Richfield Economic Development and MnDOT.

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Edina Living Streets, Edina, MN (2012)

Jack assisted the City of Edina with the development of a Living Streets policy and implementation framework, helping the City to envision a balanced transportation network which provides convenient access for all modes and users, makes physical activity enjoyable, and supports the natural environment. This effort established an implementation framework to identify future needs and shape future investment for the roadway system within the City of Edina. Jack served as the lead transportation planner on this project, developing goals and objectives, policy statements, and implementation strategies in partnership with the city.

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US Highway 10 Reconstruction; Detroit Lakes, Minnesota
Minnesota Department of Transportation (2011)

A comprehensive and flexible approach to design and a thorough public involvement process ensured that the project to improve the safety and mobility of Highway 10 through Detroit Lakes would finally be realized after decades of ineffective studies.  By developing alternatives in coordination with all stakeholders—including MnDOT, the City of Detroit Lakes, MNDNR, the watershed district, BNSF Railroad, local business owners, adjacent property owners and nearby residents, civic groups, and local and state historical societies—a preferred alternative not only emerged but was embraced by the community as a desirable outcome.  The completed project reconnected the community with a new underpass of the railroad and Highway 10 along with a new local frontage road connecting the city to its waterfront. The intent of this project was to provide a solution to improve safety and mobility on the highway and railroad along with providing an opportunity for urban development in Detroit Lakes. Concept development evolved through holding public workshops and coordination with the various public and private agencies. From the public discourse, the alternative to shift the alignments of both the highway and the railroad to create a “through town bypass” was selected. In addition, a downtown development study was conducted for the City of Detroit Lakes to set the stage for urban development which has led to expansion of the downtown businesses, redevelopment of the historic depot by the White Earth Nation, and the creation of a new park to honor the communities’ veterans. The Minnesota Erosion Control Association selected the project as the recipient of its Environmental Excellence Award in 2011.

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Bicycle Master Plan, Richfield, Minnesota (2010)

Jack supported the Richfield Bicycle Task Force in developing a city-wide Master Plan for improving safe routes for bicycling. Destinations within the city and routes to adjacent communities were identified to guide the bicycle routing. Coordination with the local schools, park district identified program and infrastructure needs. Routes were identified for commuting and recreational uses.

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Comprehensive Trail and Sidewalk Plan, Apple Valley (2010)

Leading the technical analysis of the city’s existing trails and sidewalks, Jack Broz developed a prioritized list of infrastructure improvements that would complete the planned bicycle and pedestrian trails in the city of Apple Valley. The identified gaps in the network were prioritized based on a benefit/cost analysis. Benefits were determined by improved connectivity to selected land uses. Costs included the financial costs of construction and maintenance.

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Complete Streets Workshops, Minnesota (2010)

Teaming with Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Minnesota and Fresh Energy, Jack Broz help lead a series of Complete Street Workshops for communities across Minnesota. The workshops assisted communities in developing a better transportation system with improved choices for walking, bicycling or using transit on a more regular basis. The workshops provided information on the benefits of Complete Streets, guidance for developing local policies along with design considerations for implementation. Workshops were delivered for Bemidji, Bloomington, Edina, and Richfield, Minnesota.

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Complete Streets - City of Richfield, MN 2009-current

Avenue Design Partners is leading an effort to transform the major arterial streets in the City of Richfield, MN. The goal of this effort is to establish a framework for improving all of the city's major modes of transportation—pedestrian, mass transit, bicycle and vehicular. The designs and studies included the primary streets in the city, development of a bicycle master plan and the design of on-street and off-street bicycle facilities. These complete street corridors have coordinated the planning the programs and projects of several agencies, including the reconstruction of sanitary interceptor sewers for Metro Council Environmental Services, the development of regional trails for the Three Rivers Park District regional trails, access road design for the Richfield Public School District, storm water management for the Watershed District; improving bus operations for Metro Transit; and coordination with MnDOT. This "Complete Streets" project has involved stakeholder coordination with city staff and the public to establish design solutions that are contextually sensitive, sustainable and feasible. Avenue Design has worked directly with the City’s Transportation Commission to establish complete street design process along with presentation materials for the public and is currently working on the final designs of several corridors.

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Bicycle & Pedestrian Connections to Transit Study, Metropolitan Council (2009)

As the technical expert, Jack Broz compiled a prioritized list of infrastructure changes that would improve bicycle and pedestrian connections to transit with the Twin Cities metro area. The prioritization process evaluated safety, ridership levels, transit frequency, ADA compliance, and physical features around the bus stops. The prioritized list is being used to apply for project funding. The work was sponsored by a non-motorized transportation pilot program award from Bike/Walk Twin Cities and administered by Transit for Livable Communities.

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MnDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Toolbox, Saint Paul, MN (2005)

Oversaw the development of a manual MnDOT produced to assist communities in the planning and design of bicycle and pedestrian facilities based on research previously conducted by the department.

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Community Pedestrian System, Glencoe, MN (2002)

As a consulting community planner for the city, oversaw planning of comprehensive sidewalk and trail system to promote pedestrian movement throughout town as part of designing a healthy community.

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Gitchi Gami State Trail, North Shore Lake Superior, MN (2000-2002)

Project manager for locating and designing the initial trail segment through Split Rock Lighthouse State Park along Lake Superior’s North Shore as a consultant to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Managed the development of construction documents and supervised construction inspection.

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Community Trail, Renville, MN, (2001)

Oversaw planning of perimeter trail system to encourage recreational walking by city residents as a consulting landscape architect.

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Trail Plan, Lake City, MN (2000-2001)

Managed the evaluation of the practicality and costs of different trail alignments resulting in a recommended route.

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Lakefront Promenade - Lake Boulevard, Bemidji, MN (1999)

Craig was the project landscape architect for an enhancement project to improve sidewalks and a trail through a residential neighborhood and university campus adjacent to Lake Bemidji serving pedestrian, bicyclists, and snowmobiles.

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Madeline Island Bicycle Trail, La Pointe, WI (1999)

Located alternative and evaluated routes for tourist bicycle traffic that had overwhelmed the island’s road system as a community planner.

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Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Plan, Cobb County, GA (1997)

Analyzed roadway and sidewalk conditions to determine the need for improvements that would facilitate bicycle and pedestrian movements throughout the county.

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Cedar Lake Trail Final Phase Project Memorandum, Minneapolis, MN (1996)

Project manager for environmental documentation of a proposed bicycle and pedestrian trail in downtown Minneapolis.

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All work completed after 2012 has been by Avenue Design Partners. Work produced from 2010 through 2012 was performed by Jack Broz as an employee of HR Green. Craig Churchward managed the development of the MnDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Toolbox as an employee of HNTB. Work from 1999 through 2002 was completed by Craig Churchward as an employee of SEH. Work produced in 1996 and 1997 was done by Craig Churchward as an employee of Parsons Transportation Group.