Entries for 'transportation'

Staff preps for bicycle/pedestrian plan; grant will pay for outreach efforts

Posted on May 04, 2017
Initial steps are being taken now for a completely new bicycle and pedestrian plan for Kenton County. Preparation and preliminary research for the upcoming study has been ongoing. The public side of the study is scheduled to begin in the coming weeks and is anticipated to take about 12 months to complete. The resulting plan will replace plans adopted in 1999 and 2001.

Goals of the upcoming study include analyzing the county’s existing bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, identifying problematic crash locations, and recommending policy changes to improve bicycle and pedestrian use, safety, and access in Kenton County.

“It’s been almost 20 years since bicycle and pedestrian transportation has been reviewed,” said James Fausz, AICP, PDS’ long range planning manager. “Since that time, people have become more aware of these transportation options and chosen them more frequently for everything from recreation to daily commuting. Our goal is to make these options safer for people who want to use them.”

Coinciding with the start of the study is an outreach effort to promote education and awareness of bicycle and pedestrian safety. This effort was aided by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet with a generous $10,000 Paula Nye Grant.

The grant is funded through citizen donations during the purchase or renewal of the “Share the Road” license plates and is awarded annually to organizations interested in informing and educating Kentuckians on bicycle and pedestrian transportation. The grant will fund an outreach effort including public service announcements designed to educate the public on how they can be safe as cyclists and pedestrians.

“Bicycle and pedestrian transportation are an increasingly viable options in Kenton County,” said Chris Schneider, AICP, a principal planner at PDS and project manager for the study. “Educating the public to be safe cyclists and pedestrians is essential to continue this growth.”

The public service announcements will air on local cable television and will encourage public involvement and raise awareness for the upcoming bicycle and pedestrian study.

The adoption of the Direction 2030: Your Voice. Your Choice. comprehensive plan in 2014 recommended a comprehensive review and update of the existing bicycle and pedestrian plans. The comprehensive plan details the community’s vision for Kenton County and updating the bicycle and pedestrian plan is one step in achieving that vision.

To learn more about this study, get involved, and/or receive updates about its progress, visit the Direction 2030 Action website or contact Schneider.


Bike/Pedestrian study about to begin; will become part of comp plan

Posted on January 03, 2017

PDS staff began preliminary research recently in preparation for updating Kenton County’s plans for bicycle and pedestrian transportation. Work on the actual study will begin in earnest next month and take roughly 12 months to complete. It will replace plans adopted in 1999 and 2002.

The Kenton County Planning Commission and its 20 local governments utilize two plans currently related to active transportation. The bicycle plan was updated last in 1999 and the pedestrian plan in 2002. Neither subject was covered at length in Direction 2030. Your Voice. Your Choice.—the community’s comprehensive plan.

“These stand-alone plans no longer reflect the needs and issues affecting Kenton County’s bicycle and pedestrian modes of transportation,” said Emi Randall, AICP, RLS, Director of Planning and Zoning at PDS. “And, with growing demand for walkability and healthy lifestyles, now is the time to update these plans.”

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet aided this effort with a $10,000 Paula Nye Grant to improve safety of non-motorized transportation. As recipient of the grant, PDS will use these funds to educate the public, increase awareness of bicycle and pedestrian safety issues, and raise awareness of the countywide planning effort through a public service announcement campaign.

“Awareness of bicycle and pedestrian safety in Kenton County is becoming an important issue as these modes of transportation become more popular and the demand for these facilities increases,” said Randall.

Comments received during the Direction 2030 planning process were incorporated into the plan’s Statement of Goals and Objectives and Mobility elements of the comprehensive plan. The current bicycle/pedestrian study will be adopted into the plan once it’s completed.

As part of the study, PDS staff will study existing conditions and identify issues and concerns with Kenton County’s existing bicycle and pedestrian system. Goals for the plan include inventorying existing bicycle and pedestrian amenities such as bike lanes, bike routes, walking paths, and signage; and, improving the community’s bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.

Adoption of Direction 2030 in September 2014 completed a two-year long process of research and public engagement, ultimately crafting the community’s vision for Kenton County. The adoption of the comprehensive plan was just one of many steps in making that vision become a reality for Kenton County.

If you’re interested in learning more about this study, getting involved, and/or receiving updates about its progress, visit the Direction 2030 Action website or contact Chris Schneider, AICP, Principal Planner.

OKI adopts new Kenton transportation priorities into regional plan

Posted on August 15, 2014

PDS and the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) staffs began updating the 2003 Kenton County Transportation Plan last summer. The project included a completely-new examination of mobility issues and recommendations for Kenton County. Upon its formal adoption in June, the new plan became the official transportation planning document for the county and part of OKI’s transportation priorities for the metro area.

The study encompassed numerous phases throughout the yearlong effort. Some of the key points of the project included: technical analysis of GIS data; outreach to the public via an online survey; working sessions with planners and transportation professionals from around the county; key-person interviews with stakeholders; a public meeting; and, direction from a multidiscipline advisory team.

The plan also involved an in-depth review of areas where land uses were expected to intensify and assess their implications on future transportation needs.

“We knew a stronger connection between land use and transportation was needed before we even got started on the plan’s text,” explained James Fausz, AICP, PDS’ lead on the study team. “A lot of transportation plans look at where development has occurred and make plans to retrofit wider roads. Our idea was to consider where future development is anticipated and use that information to help rank projects.”

The effort resulted in a Future Land Use Demands map that identifies areas where commercial, industrial, and residential uses are likely to intensify. Transportation engineers then interpreted the uses and acreages to produce trip generation figures and show how many additional vehicles might be expected in an area.

Sixty-six recommendations were crafted by the professionals and advisory team and incorporated into the final plan. Projects were multimodal in nature and included recommendations such as: sidewalk construction to fill gaps in the existing network; bicycle amenities; transit enhancements; and, new/improved roadway facilities. The recommendations also included cost estimates for design, utilities, rights of way, and construction to help provide a guide for prioritization.

“The plan does a great job of addressing the needs for Kenton County moving forward,” said Dennis Gordon, FAICP, who is both PDS’ executive director and a member of the OKI Board of Directors. “Not only will the recommendations be used to make our projects eligible for funding through OKI, the document also serves as the basis of the mobility section of the new Direction 2030 comprehensive plan.”

The Kenton County Transportation Plan was adopted by the OKI Board of Directors on June 12, 2014, becoming the county’s official transportation planning document. Furthermore, the plan is completely web based and available online here.


Kenton County transportation plan nears June completion

Posted on May 23, 2014
OKI and NKAPC staffs began studies last summer for a new Kenton County transportation plan. The collaboration researched mobility issues, analyzed transportation data, prompted meetings with the project’s advisory team, and included input directly from the public. It is now yielding a plan with nearly 70 recommendations.

“Recent efforts to collect input on the plan were very successful,” explained Robyn Bancroft, AICP, Strategic Planning Manager for OKI. “Through our outreach efforts, coupled with promotion from NKAPC, we received almost 400 views of the draft recommendations page during April. Of those viewers, more than 60 individual comments were received from the public.”

The comments received during the comment period helped to further refine the draft recommendations and move them toward a more finalized product.

The advisory team met in early May to consider revisions based on public input. The team also worked to define the final list of projects and refine the recommendation rankings. Work is now underway to prepare the final document with an early-June target date for completion. The final plan should be available online in mid- to late-June.

Ranging from filling sidewalk gaps to improving major interstate interchanges, the recommendations cover a wide swath of mobility needs for the county’s citizens. Reconstructing the westbound I-275 interchange with I-71/75, creating the Licking River Greenway Trail, constructing a new Fourth Street Bridge, finishing the sidewalk along Dixie Highway in Covington, and building a new Edgewood Park & Ride are all multimodal recommendations found within the plan.

The preparation of this plan coincides with the Direction 2030 comprehensive planning project that is in the final phase. “Transportation is a major element of our comprehensive planning process,” explained Sharmili Reddy, AICP, NKAPC’s planning manager.

“In an effort to be good stewards of public money, we decided to combine both efforts and use the OKI-NKAPC transportation plan as the basis for our transportation recommendations in Direction 2030. We recognize that there are mobility needs beyond major roadways but the transportation plan is a good overview of the predominant needs in the county.”

You may check the NKAPC or OKI websites for more information on the transportation plan.