a strategy created by storrow|kinsella using expertise in planning, urban design and land architecture

10/151/15| State of the Art in Virginia

We are excited about the recent release of  Virginia’s statewide guidelines for multimodal planning and design. Our role as advisor and peer reviewer during development of the plan was based on our experience in producing a series of multimodal planning documents for the Indianapolis eight-county region over several years. The Indianapolis Regional Center Multimodal System Plan and its supporting Multimodal Corridor and Public Space Design  Guidelines were a Best Practices reference for Virginia’s process.  Production of the Virginia guidelines was managed by Transit Planning Manager, Amy Inman, and the guidelines document was produced by the Renaissance Planning Group. It received an American Planning Association award and was featured in that organization’s 2013 Annual Conference in Chicago.  The following abstract is from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation:”The Multimodal System Design  Guidelines provide a holistic framework for multimodal planning with a step-by-step process of identifying centers of activity, designating connected networks for all travel modes, and designing and retrofitting specific corridors that fit with the surrounding context. This process can be applied to the full range of contexts throughout Virginia to plan connected regional transportation networks to serve all travel modes.”The Guidelines and three videos that summarize their content can be downloaded here: http://www.drpt.virginia.gov/activities/MultimodalSystemDesignGuidelines.aspx  

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Columbus, IN National Historic Landmark Theme Study

06/12/14| The Rewards of Historic Preservation

Historic Preservation and Cultural Resource consulting is sometimes dismissed as an honorable though not particularly cutting-edge undertaking for a design-based studio such as ours. We think otherwise. Public landscapes and spaces are ephemeral either through inattention, succumbing to competing spatial/economic pressures or mismanagement (and yes, design has a hand in that as well…not everything old is good, and in contemporary terms, much of the new is mediocre if not bad). Public spaces need constant attention and periodic renovation/renewal. And too many design plans either don’t survive the political and funding cycles of public work, or are implemented as cost-constrained phased work that may or may not accrue critical mass impact, in the sense of an intended inter-relatedness of systems. Too visionary on the client or designer side? Maybe, but think Olmsted,  Burnham or Kessler and the lasting values of their visions!But also think of the sometimes wayward/sometimes brilliant  ’60s (now historic) and the current challenge in seeing past the aging trendiness of that period to value the mid-century modern masterpieces it generated and that are being revisited today.  We had the pleasure of guiding the National Register process for modernist work in Columbus, Indiana, and it has been rewarding to see […]

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06/01/13| Rapid Transit: The Downtown Approach

Background: In 2013, Indy Connect was in the public comment stage regarding proposed regional rapid transit routes and how/where they originate, network, and converge on the Indianapolis Downtown. Two specific route alternatives were presented for the Green Line from Noblesville as it departs the NE Corridor rail alignment and enters the street network near East 10th Street. Technologies in contention are either Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) or some Light Rail Transit variant (LRT).  From there, two route alternatives were proposed: Mass Avenue or 10th Street/Fort Wayne.  Our strong preference for a modified Fort Wayne route was coupled with the recommendation that an urban design system of places and connections be integrated into the process rather than as an afterthought. In 2013 public discussion began for the current round of rapid transit alternatives. Mass Ave was one of several alternatives for how the Green Line rapid transit gets from the East 10th terminus of the Hoosier Heritage Port Authority rail corridor, which partly parallels the Monon Trail, to a downtown  transit center (or, though unlikely, to Union Station). It had been called the Northeast Corridor in earlier studies for a rapid transit line from Noblesville to Downtown that, unfortunately, resulted in selection of […]

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05/09/13| ITE Publication!

The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) published a peer-reviewed technical article in the April 2013 issue of the Journal of Transportation. While wonkish, it demonstrates the background efforts SKA undertakes to achieve seemingly straightforward improvements to walkability. In this case it was on behalf of the Midtown Indy neighborhood of Indianapolis, for whom we prepared traffic calming, bicycle-pedestrian accommodations and urban design for its North Meridian Street-Westfield Boulevard-Central Canal Towpath intersection.

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payne connect10n and Legacy Plaza featured in the March 2013 Urban Times

03/09/13| Near Eastside Catalyst Plans

Storrow Kinsella Associates prepared the East 10th Street Urban Design and Gateway Plan in 2009, eight years ago (a plan is considered to be aging after five years). But it hasn’t spent that time gathering dust on a shelf. It had identified as high priority the remaking of the dreadful Interstate 65/69 “north split” underpass area from a barrier to a gateway to the Near Eastside. That has been implemented with great success. Our detailed design process for the gateway was accompanied by strategies that brought together multiple partners and agencies to fashion an inspiring connection between the Mass Ave Cultural District and the emergent Near Eastside, a linking of three greenway trails, a celebration of the origin of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail and a catalyst for economic development that is only now achieving transformative critical mass. Additional priority projects are lining up, with the attached article describing one of them….see  feature story in the Urban Times. There are lots more ideas in that original plan that range from roundabouts to trail links to breaking through the railroad barrier. 

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08/14/11| Elkhart’s Northwest Gateway News

The Elkhart TRUTH – LOCAL BUSINESS: ELKHART COUNTY’S NORTHWEST GATEWAY PLAN CLOSER TO BECOMING A REALITYPublished: Sunday, August 14, 2011By Josh Weinhold, Reporter Motorists entering Elkhart County’s northwest side could soon be greeted by a village.”The Village” is the working title for major proposed development in the county’s so-called Northwest Gateway, the entrance into Elkhart from St. Joseph County at the corner of Old U.S. 20 and Ash Road.An effort to significantly improve an area county planning officials have called an eyesore, the project would include major changes to the makeup of Old U.S. 20 and aims to draw retail, residential and other destination sites to the land on either side of the road.Storrow Kinsella Associates, the Indianapolis consulting firm hired by the county last year to design the development, presented its initial plans to the gateway steering committee and county redevelopment commission last week. Now, county officials must make a series of decisions regarding how exactly they want the gateway to look – from the makeup of the road to the type of intersections to how accessible the area should be to pedestrians and bicyclists.Complicating matters are plans by St. Joseph County to overhaul the Ash/Old U.S. 20 intersection, which falls […]

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