New Mobility West Technical Assistance
Charlier Associates has been working with the Sonoran Institute on formation of a training and technical assistance program called New Mobility West
(NMW). New Mobility West is currently focusing its efforts in four Interior Western states: Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Colorado. Our involvement in New Mobility West has included a training program we call the Community Builders Leaders Leadership Institute
(CBLI) and a technical assistance program. Through early 2016, CAI has led technical assistance projects in Bonners Ferry and Quad Cities (Bonner County), ID and Grand Junction, CO
NMW provides direct technical assistance to communities across the Rocky Mountain West to address specific challenges or opportunities at the nexus of transportation and community development. Applications can come from municipal or county governments, downtown development authorities, urban renewal authorities or non-profit organizations. However, strong partnerships are essential for moving a project forward. This is why in addition to a project narrative, it is required that applicants submit letters of support from project partners and key stakeholders.
Applications can only come from Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. Because NMW aims to bring resources to underserved communities across the region, preference will be given to projects from rural towns and medium-sized cities and regions, up to 100,000 in population. However, applications from larger communities will be considered. More Information
Bonners Ferry, Idaho. October, 2014.
Bonners Ferry approached New Mobility West (NMW) for assistance in the South Hill neighborhood to improve pedestrian safety and access, relieve congestion, and maintain the small town character of their city. Under a short timeframe for decision-making on an already earmarked Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) project, to rebuild the portion of US Highway 95 that runs through this district, Bonners Ferry intended to get the community involved to help determine the final direction. Bonners Ferry requested assistance to guide a public process to identify solutions that will serve the interests of both ITD and the community.
An action plan laying out next steps was completed at the conclusion of the site visit. The three key elements to come out of the NMW assistance are working with the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) on the proposed 3-lane cross section of US 95 in the South Hill area, to continue working on a long- term bypass concept and addressing local connectivity in South Hill. The participants identified short term action items with timeframes to complete within 1 to 3 months, including the acquisition of right-of-way, identifying a preferred cross-section and providing community-supported comments to Idaho Transportation Department on the project charter regarding the proposed US 95 corridor project. Medium (3 to 6 months) and longer-term (6 to 12 months) action items were also identified to realistically implement all of the community’s goals for the South Hill neighborhood.
Grand Junction, Colorado. April, 2015.
The City of Grand Junction is the largest metropolitan area on the western slope of Colorado and serves as a regional destination for shopping and medical services. Grand Junction is easily accessed by Interstate 70, which has a business route that runs through the heart of downtown (I-70B). An environmental assessment (EA) that was completed in 2008 indicated that due to traffic projections, the downtown portion of I-70B needed to be widened from five to seven lanes. However, since the completion of the EA, traffic had not increased as much as previously forecasted. The City of Grand Junction and the Downtown Development Authority sought to engage with the Colorado Department of Transportation to revisit the EA’s recommendations and rethink the design of downtown I-70B to match actual demands and increase the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians. Charlier Associates worked with the City, the MPO, Colorado DOT and the Downtown Development Authority to broker a revised design for I-70B that is more urban in character and will help connect rather than divide downtown land uses. The final document from this work is in poster plan format (see PDF below).
Quad Cities/Bonner County, Idaho. December, 2015.
The Highway 2/200 corridor runs through four adjacent communities located within Bonner County along the western shores of Lake Pend Oreille in the Northern Idaho Panhandle. Known as the Quad Cities, the communities of Dover, Kootenai, Ponderay and Sandpoint united to work with a NMW technical team to craft a regional vision for coordinated multimodal transportation investment along an 8.2-mile stretch of state highway. In December 2015, a four-day planning workshop identified ways in which the communities and the Idaho Transportation Department (IDT) could improve the safety, livability, community identity, and multimodal friendliness of the Highway 2/200 corridor. Key issues included pedestrian safety issues along several parts of the highway, needs for regional bicycle system connectivity, lack of transit stops, freight movement concerns, imminent modifications to vehicular traffic flow, and desired investment in and development of various properties along the corridor.
The charrette report (see PDF below) focuses on regional collaboration strategies and addresses three desired types of character districts found along the corridor; concept plans and recommendations for infrastructure improvements including highway crossings, railroad crossings, core activity areas, gateways, multi-use trails, angled intersections, medians and turning access, snow and storm drainage needs, SPOT transit, and freight needs; and a detailed plan of action for regional and city implementation items to be completed in 3, 6 and 12 month timeframes.