revitalizing riley ave.
Since 2015, the MPO and the City of Ogden have been working to improve Riley Avenue to increase safety, aesthetics, and better utilize public spaces. "Revitalizing Riley Avenue" is a testament to how incredible partnerships, innovative planning techniques, and community pride can make positive change.
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public input &
In an effort to recognize and address the concerns and desires of the Ogden community, public input was a necessity. The Flint Hills hosted an open house event at the Ogden Community Center on July 22nd where the public was invited to view a presentation highlighting the need for a visioning streetscape design for Riley Avenue. In addition, the Flint Hills MPO created a survey to gage the opinions of the community as to what design concepts and elements they would and would not like to see in the future development of the main street.
Surveys were distributed and accessible at the Open House, the City Office, the Ogden Fall Festival, and online through the Flint Hills MPO website and City of Ogden website. The Flint Hills MPO collected and analyzed 60 surveys from the community. With the community survey results, the Flint Hills MPO began its collaboration with the College of Architecture. Professor and Landscape Architect Blake Belanger oversaw his Urban Design & Development course, comprised of planner and architect students, who were tasked with creating streetscape proposals for Riley Avenue.
The Urban Design & Development course was divided into three multidisciplinary teams that presented design diagrams and concepts in a preliminary pin-up presentation. The pin-up presentation allowed for students receive critiques and identify key issues with Riley Avenue's current state. Professional input and advice for the teams was provided by Professor and Landscape Architect Blake Belanger, Senior Transportation Manager with the Flint Hills MPO Stephanie Watts, Professor and Director with the Flint Hills Regional Council Gary Stith, and Zoning Administrator with the City of Ogden Angela Schnee.
In order to provide the City of Ogden with a variety of design choices, the student teams were organized based on different street layouts. A final presentation of potential Riley Avenue street layouts was hosted by the three multidisciplinary teams on December 1st.
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tactical urbanism at ogfest
Tactical Urbanism (often referred to as Better Blocks) is an approach used to build short-term and low-cost solutions as a catalyst for change to improve communities. Tactical Urbanism can be used to garner community support by demonstrating design changes to allow people to experience proposed streetscape improvements prior to permanent construction. These are typically day- or month-long demonstrations, using low-cost, temporary materials. They can vary in magnitude, ranging from an intersection to several blocks.
The collaborative efforts during the 2016 OgFest Fall Festival enabled residents to visualize and experience Tactical Urbanism first-hand. Temporary improvements included pocket parks, turning lanes, and bike lanes. Many of the improvements were so well received that the City is moving forward with permanent improvements.