Tuesday, June 7, 2011

20-Minute Neighborhood Workshop: What have we learned so far?

We've been busy working on summarizing the input received from the 20-Minute Neighborhood Workshop event, held in April, and want to share what we've learned so far.

The workshop began with several presentations that provided context and understanding of some basic concepts for how Baltimore can leverage the 20-minute neighborhood concept by connecting walkable places by transit, biking, and car-sharing. After the presentations, the participants began working in small groups on two exercises.

At the beginning of the first exercise, each group was given a choice of working at one of two scales: One base map included the "urban core", or the area roughly contained within the Baltimore Beltway. The second base map included a larger area that comprises much of the suburban jurisdictions in the Baltimore region.

For reference, both maps included Baltimore's "frequent" transit services, or those services that run at a frequency of 15 minutes or better throughout the day. This includes the Metro Subway, Central Light Rail Line, the four QuickBus routes, and the Charm City Circulator. There were eight tables of participants and they all opted to work with the urban core map rather than the regional map.

In the first exercise, participants were instructed to identify places with color coded dots. Places were either identified as "primary" (major destinations of regional significance) with a large blue dot, or "secondary" (local or sub-regional destinations or neighborhoods) with a large yellow dot. Participants were asked to only identify places that were relatively walkable or had the potential to be walkable or vibrant. After placing the large dots, participants went back and placed either a small green dot over the large dots to signify if the place was currently walkable, and a small red to signify that it had potential to become walkable.

In the second exercise, participants were instructed to add color coded tape that represented primary and secondary transit and bicycle routes that connected the places they identified to each other and to other parts of the city or metro area. The wide tape represented primary transit or bicycle routes and narrow tape represented secondary primary transit or bicycle routes. Each table had different color tape so transit and bikes were distinguished in a legend added after the workshop.

Below are images of each group's map from the workshop.

A synopsis of common ideas and themes that appeared at two or more of the tables at the workshop are as follows:

  • Primary bicycle routes connecting all major parks. (5 tables)
  • A primary transit along Cold Spring Lane that connects radial primary transit routes. (4 tables)
  • Improve transit user-friendliness through better customer info, website, and smartphone applications. (4 tables)
  • A primary transit route connecting Fells Point to Downtown. (4 tables)
  • Develop bicycle infrastructure that follows major transit corridors. (3 tables)
  • A primary bicycle route connecting primary transit routes. (3 tables)
  • A primary transit route along North Avenue to connect primary radial transit routes. (3 tables)
  • A primary transit route on the Harford Road corridor. (3 tables)
  • A primary bicycle route from Towson to the Inner Harbor. (2 tables)
  • A primary transit route on the Charles Street corridor. (2 tables)
  • A primary transit route along Northern Parkway to connect primary radial transit routes. (2 tables)
  • A primary transit route to serve Dundalk. (2 tables)
  • A primary transit route along the Baltimore Beltway to connect primary radial routes. (2 tables)
  •  Secondary bicycle routes to connect secondary places (2 tables)
  • Secondary transit routes to fill gaps between primary transit routes (2 tables)
From here, we'd like to get feedback on what ideas have merit, which don't and why. Plus what ideas are not here that should be added. Also, where is the low hanging fruit?

We're particularly interested in ideas that could be implemented relatively quickly and inexpensively, and could start to make an impact - the most bang for the buck. Also, what ideas are good, but would be difficult to implement and why?

Over the coming weeks, we'll begin to evaluate the ideas as part of the vetting process and start to put together a number of conceptual proposals for comment here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...