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Lincoln Highway Community Design Charrette, Perry Township, Ohio


Urban Design is a collective enterprise for which we are all responsible, and to which we all have something to contribute.....


Lincoln Highway Community Design Charrette, Perry Township, Ohio

prepared for Lincoln Way Corridor Association and Perry Township, Ohio 3111 Hilton N. W., Massillon, Ohio 44646 phone: (330) 833-2141

by

Urban Design Center of Northeast Ohio 820 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland Ohio 44115 Phone: (216) 357-3434

April 3 - 5, 2004


Perry Township, Stark County, Ohio

THE CHARRETTE TEAM

Staff of the Urban Design Center

Ruth Durack, Director Bryan Evans Eric Greenberg Steve Manka Gauri Torgalkar Paul Vernon Students of Kent State University Yu Chen (Cherry) Rich Haskell Dong Jia Karthik Karkal Greg Kufner Lisa Webb Courtney Wise Students of Cleveland State University John Baker Chris Friedenberg Grace Gallucci Mark Pugaez Andrea Scallon Rick Seifritz Marc South

The members of the charrette team thank the Lincoln Way Corridor Association, the Trustees of the Township of Perry, and all the citizens of Perry who participated in the charrette for their hospitality and interest in our ideas. We especially thank Trinity United Methodist Church for providing space for the charrette meetings, and Beth Odell whose enthusiasm, commitment and good humor throughout the process was an inspiration.


Lincoln Corridor Community Design Charrette

Contents

The Charrette Process .............................................................................................. 1

The Study Area ............................................................................................................ 3

Community Input....................................................................................................... 7

Design Concepts ......................................................................................................... 9

Next Steps ...................................................................................................................22


Perry Township, Stark County, Ohio

“Everything’s merry in Perry...” Rose the song along the road On a snow covered April morning From each storefront and abode While up north in an angled building A score of whizzing minds Strived to find a new vision For the hopeful and the blind. -Beth Odell, April 4, 2004


Lincoln Corridor Community Design Charrette

The Charrette Process

A charrette is a forum for sharing ideas. It is a technique for bringing the members of a community together to discuss their concerns about the current state of a neighborhood or district, and to explore possibilities for its future improvement. A charrette addresses the physical design issues and redevelopment opportunities of an area. It offers an efficient way for a community to review how designers respond to the physical problems of the area and interpret its development potential. Typically, a team of experienced designers spends two or three days in the community, touring the area, collecting information about its problems and opportunities, and listening to residents’ and other stakeholders’ concerns and ideas for change. From this information, the team prepares sketches of a design vision for the future and presents them for community review. Charrettes are usually organized at the beginning of a planning process as a way to uncover issues and stimulate continuing discussion about the future of the area under consideration. The product of a charrette is not a “plan.” It is only the starting point for a plan, establishing a framework of shared design concepts and development priorities which serve as a basis for the subsequent preparation of detailed development policies and implementation strategies. The central spine of Perry Township is a 3.1 mile stretch of Lincoln Way, the first trans-continental highway of the United States. The Lincoln Way Corridor Association is a committed group of volunteers interested in maintaining the quality of the corridor, as an historic resource as well as the home of successful contemporary businesses. Dismayed by the results of decades of uncontrolled commercial development, the Lincoln Way Corridor Association contacted the Urban Design Center of Northeast Ohio to assist in developing a vision for future public improvements to the corridor right-of-way, and coordinated private investment in the up-grade and redevelopment of individual properties along its length. Funding for the UDC’s work was provided jointly by the Township of Perry and the Lincoln Way Corridor Association.

Orientation meeting at Trinity United Methodist Church on April 3, 2004 1


Perry Township, Stark County, Ohio

The primary goals for improvement of Lincoln Way through the Township of Perry were: • to improve the visual character of the corridor, • to enhance its role as the “town center” of Perry, • to increase vehicular and pedestrian safety, • to celebrate the history of Lincoln Way, and • to attract new investment to the area. The charrette began on Saturday, April 3, 2004 and the design team’s recommendations were presented the following Monday evening, April 5. The design team’s orientation to Perry Township and its stretch of Lincoln Way began with a series of presentations by key informants on Saturday morning, followed by a bus tour of the corridor and surrounding neighborhoods of Perry. Following the bus tour, the group was fortified by an excellent lunch and reconvened to discuss ideas for the corridor with residents and property owners. At the conclusion of this public workshop, the charrette team went to work, preparing plans and sketches of design ideas that responded to the community’s comments and to development opportunities pointed out on the bus tour and in additional field trips throughout the weekend. The results of the work were presented in a public meeting on Monday evening, April 5, in the community space of Trinity United Methodist Church. This report summarizes the recommendations that were presented in that forum.

Community members join the charrette team for a bus tour of the corridor 2


Lincoln Corridor Community Design Charrette

The Study Area

Lincoln Way was America’s first trans-continental highway, conceived in 1913 in response to the popularity and promise of the automobile. The highway and its supporters played an important role in the passing of the Federal Highways Act of 1921, which paved the way for today’s nationwide network of freeways and state routes. When the trans-continental highway initiative was launched in 1913, cities and towns across the country lobbied hard for inclusion on the route. The little township of Perry, which had been established 100 years earlier, was literally “put on the map” when the main street through town became a segment of the country’s first coast-to-coast highway. For almost 100 years since, it has prospered as a corridor of mixed commercial uses serving the farms – which later became neighborhoods – between the cities of Canton and Massillon in Stark County, Ohio. Like so many of the country’s highways, however, Lincoln Way, which is now better known as West Tuscarawas Street or State Route 172, has suffered from uncoordinated growth and the demands of an ever increasing volume of traffic. Development of all types, sizes, shapes, materials and colors lines both sides of the highway, typically surrounded by large parking lots that divide one use from the next. The corridor was recently described by the local newspaper as a “mishmash”: “Car lots sandwiched between a few houses, a gas station here and there, a bar or two and maybe a very neatly kept retail section ...” (The Independent, December 4, 2003). The land use map on the next page shows the distribution of uses along the 3-mile length of the corridor. Retail, restaurant and office uses (shown in reds and brown) clearly dominate, interspersed with significant numbers of car dealerships and auto service businesses (shown in grey). This continuous pattern of independent commercial uses, together with uncoordinated building forms and signage, creates a chaotic and disorganized environment, with minimal landscaping to soften a harsh, automobile-oriented streetscape. The visual character of the route is further marred by a forest of telephone poles and overhead wires, and the street has no curbs or storm sewers. Sidewalks, where they exist,

Looking east, towards the Canton Center Mall 3


Perry Township, Stark County, Ohio

are unsheltered and crossed by too many curb cuts and driveways, making the pedestrian experience unpleasant and often dangerous. One encounters very few pedestrians Lincoln Way, in fact, because the corridor offers few places where it is practical to walk from one building to another. Nor does it offer places that entice people to linger outdoors. But despite its design limitations, Lincoln Way is the “backbone” of Perry, providing direct connections to Interstate-77 and downtown Canton and Massillon. It also supports a wide range of businesses that is unusual for a community as small as Perry, and is an important source of revenue for the township. Given its strategic location and the daily volume of traffic it carries, the corridor is well positioned to attract further development, but it needs to achieve an identity or “sense of place” that will enhance the value of a Lincoln Way address and establish the corridor as a premier business location in Stark County.

4


Lincoln Corridor Community Design Charrette

New investment will also provide the opportunity to create a town center, or series of community gathering places along the corridor. The traditional “town center” is at Perry Avenue, where an auto repair shop, Aldi and Marc’s retail plaza and bowling alley take up the large corner site on the north side of the street, and a new Sheetz gas station has recently been constructed on the opposite side of Perry Avenue. The retail is set well back from the street and the vast sea of parking in front does little to present a positive image of the township or provide an attractive community place. Similarly, the borders of the township, at Whipple Avenue on the east and 27th Street on the west, are unmarked by landscape or signage, and development on the corner sites is not configured to create any sense of a “gateway” into the community. The drab continuity of the streetscape is broken by green space in two important places: at the Canton Central Catholic High School between Bordner and Woodlawn Avenues, and at the Calvary Cemetery between Parkland and Elmford Avenues. The township also has a series of other important public open spaces that are within walking distance of Lincoln Way. The most dramatic of these is Sippo Lake, just north of the Perry Town Center development. This magnificent recreational resource is largely surrounded by private homes, with only a limited number of places where it can be accessed by the public. On the south side, Perry Park is within a block of the corridor, and the extensive playing fields and passive recreation spaces of the Perry Public Schools are only a little farther, stretching from Genoa to Perry Avenue, along 13th Street. Another important asset just off the corridor is the Doctors’ Hospital campus, at Austin Avenue and Bailey Street, on the north side. A block to the

Entry to the Perry Town Center development on Perry Drive

Canton Central Catholic High School 5


Perry Township, Stark County, Ohio

west is the administrative ofďŹ ce of the Township. Both of these major public facilities deserve a more prominent location in the fabric of the community, and the activity that they generate could be a valuable addition to the pedestrian life of the corridor. The Trustees of Perry Township have taken an important step towards improving the appearance of Lincoln Way by adopting a Commercial Maintenance Code. While this is an effective tool for maintaining the quality of existing development, the community also needs a plan to guide future public improvements and private development in the corridor. The challenge for the citizens of Perry is to ďŹ nd a way to harness the opportunities of the corridor itself, and exploit the assets on either side, to convert Lincoln Way from an unattractive, auto-oriented commercial strip into the vibrant heart of the township – celebrating the strengths of the community today, as well as its proud place in the history of transportation in America.

Fishing on Sippo Lake 6


Lincoln Corridor Community Design Charrette

Community Input

To gain a better understanding of the community and its visions for the future, participants in the workshop on Saturday afternoon were asked a series of questions about the strengths and weaknesses of the Lincoln Way corridor and the kinds of changes they would like to see. Key points raised in those discussions are listed below. Assets of Lincoln Way and Perry Township:

$ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $

Sippo Lake and Sander Wildlife Center new library and education center off 12th Street entrance the history of Lincoln Way B and K Café, Angellos, etc.; local businesses are valued by the community Angellos and El Compacino are regional draws Doctors’ Hospital Marcs, Aldi at Perry Town Center churches Township Hall and Police Station are new Sippo Lake is a “hidden jewel” SARTA works really well, but using public transportation is regarded as only for the poor. the old school house is cool! Home of the Boy Scouts right now can we connect the Lake to Lincoln Way? Chase Hotel could be historically significant Lincoln Hotel site is significant Perry Park, most direct access is from Lennox Avenue small unknown park behind Handel’s

Issues and concerns:

$ storm water treatment $ Amish traffic $ sad state of oak trees in the cemetery due to smoke and pollution from the highway $ bicycling is inconvenient and dangerous $ too many left turns $ existing multi-family uses in the corridor are not in good condition $ existing rental units are not complementary (currently zoned as commercial)

Collecting ideas from the community in the Saturday afternoon workshop 7


Perry Township, Stark County, Ohio

$ there has been opposition to building trails $ community identity is a problem – between Perry and Genoa the town “splits” between Massillon and Canton addresses, utilities, phone numbers, etc. $ motels: “no-tell motels” $ schools have access problems; all streets are used as cut-through, but Fairlawn is the preferred street for traffic $ library gets a lot of use $ parking problems during events at school, mainly football matches Suggestion and ideas:

$ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $

$ $ $ $ $ $ $

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promote pedestrian access from streets leading to Lincoln Way Perry and Genoa are the most significant cross streets use the utility poles for signage, banners, flower baskets median on Lincoln Way is desirable, creates a boulevard identity provide for multi-modal movement: pedestrian, bicycle, car, transit reduce the number of access streets into Lincoln Way “cars & bars” history of Perry Township create gas incentives to drive Lincoln Highway? need a shipping and mailing store, like Post Boxes Etc. need a senior center or community center, YMCA? balance revenue generating development with open space redevelop buildings up to the street at Perry and Route 172 welcoming signage: “Together we take pride” is the current Township tag need something that tells you when you are in Perry Township: gateway, signage/welcoming sign that has identity and character of Perry Township Doctors’ Hospital could expand to Lincoln Way 2 acres of vacant land adjacent to Chase Motel aggregate lots into larger development parcels work from the existing nodes programming, activities, housing for seniors identity/character elements – median, brick, landscape, lighting we want achievable first steps! Don’t think too big!!!


Lincoln Corridor Community Design Charrette

Design Concepts

At the conclusion of the workshop on Saturday afternoon, the charrette team returned to the Urban Design Center’s offices in Cleveland to sketch ideas suggested by the discussions with the community and our own observations of the corridor and surrounding neighborhoods. The following summary of the team’s recommendations is organized in four parts: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Greening the street Creating identity Connecting nodes Leaving the car at home

1. Greening the street

Improving the landscape quality of the street environment is the single strategy that will have the most dramatic effect on changing the character of the corridor. Recommended landscape improvements are of three types: a central median, setbacks and parking lots, and enhancements to existing open spaces. Installing a median requires reconstruction of the entire street which is a major project that must be undertaken by the State Department of Transportation. The other two types of “greening”, however, can be accomplished incrementally, by voluntary action of individual property owners with an interest in improving the character of the corridor, or by the enforcement of design guidelines which require mandatory compliance whenever a property owner applies for a permit to improve or redevelop his or her property. a. The median: The stretch of Lincoln Way through Perry Township is two lanes wide in each direction, with a center turning lane which allows opposing left turns into streets and driveways. Because of the frequency of intersections and entries throughout the corridor, the center lane creates a consistently dangerous condition that contributes to car accidents and pedestrian hazards. Replacing the center turning lane with a planted median accomplishes four important objectives: $ opposing left turns are eliminated and the number of opportunities to turn left can be limited to critical points, at a reasonable distance apart;

Looking east from Lennox Avenue 9


Perry Township, Stark County, Ohio

$ pedestrian crossings are made safer by reducing the width of the street and providing a center refuge where one can wait for a break in traffic on the other side; $ a new storm sewer system can be installed in the center of the street where it is readily accessible without interfering with traffic flows; and $ the landscaping of the median softens the visual character of the corridor and provides a continuous element that helps to establish a unique identity for the Township of Perry.

6'

10'

2'2' 24'

24'

12'

2' 2' 10'

64'

18'

A typical boulevard median is 10 to 14 feet wide, with trees spaced at approximately 30 feet on center, in a lawn bed which may include floral or ground cover accents. A more environmentally sensitive solution is construction of the median as a “bioswale” or natural drainage channel which collects storm water run-off and allows it to naturally recharge the aquifer. Bioswales are planted with native plant materials and species that remove pollutants from run-off water as it percolates through their roots. A supplementary sewer pipe under the swale deals with unusually heavy storm events and carries the water across breaks in the median. Although both types of medians require regular maintenance, the native landscape of the bioswale avoids mowing, irrigation and seasonal replanting.

6'

18'

Typical boulevard section

6' 18'

10

10'

2' 2' 24' 64'

12'

24'

2' 2' 10' 18'

6'

Bioswale median, planted with native species of grasses and groundcovers


Lincoln Corridor Community Design Charrette

b. Setbacks and parking lots: The recommended standard street section includes a 6 - 10 feet wide planting strip separating a 6-foot sidewalk from the traffic lanes. Like the median, this planting strip may also be designed as a bioswale, with regularly spaced breaks in the curb to allow run-off to flow into the drainage area, or with no curbs at all to produce a more natural, rural character along the corridor. The number of breaks in the planting strip should be minimized by permitting no more than one access drive per property, by encouraging shared driveways for adjacent uses, and by relocating access drives to side streets where possible.

Setback with parking in front

12'

24'

2' 2' 10'

6'

5'

parking

18'

Ideally, the overhead utilities will be replaced by underground lines, but if the 2'2' 10' 12' 24' 6' reconstruction budget for the street does 18' not cover this significant cost, all utility poles should be located in the planting strip, along with street lighting, traffic control signs, and regularly spaced shade trees that have a sufficiently broad canopy to mask the overhead wires but do not grow tall enough to create maintenance problems. Suitable street trees include flowering pears (Pyrus spp.) or Japanese zelkova (Zelkova serrata).

Setback without parking

5'

lawn

To create opportunities for further landscaping along the corridor, parking in the front of buildings should be relocated where possible to the side or rear of the property, allowing redevelopment of the building setback as additional green space or activity areas, such as an outdoor dining terrace or employee smoking plaza. Examples of different front yard treatments are shown in the “before and after” sketches on the following page. All parking lots with more than eight spaces should be required to devote at least 10% of the total paved area to landscape, with shade trees spaced at 40 feet on center, or approximately one for every eight cars. Planting islands and the perimeter of parking lots should also be designed as

Bio-remediation swale in a parking lot 11


Perry Township, Stark County, Ohio

bio-remediation areas which allow run-off to drain naturally through native plantings that remove pollutants. Before

12

After


Lincoln Corridor Community Design Charrette

c. Existing open spaces: The grounds of Canton Central Catholic High School and the Calvary Cemetery are two important “breathing spaces” in the corridor that punctuate the continuity of commercial development with welcome patches of green. With some additional enhancements, however, they could have a more dramatic effect on the visual quality of the streetscape, as well as providing more attractive passive recreation amenities for the community.

Landscape improvements to the frontage of Canton Central Catholic High School

The forecourt of Canton Central Catholic, for example, could be improved as a more welcoming, formal entry to the campus, with a sweeping drive that curves up the hill to a drop off at the main building, a romantic water feature at the foot of the slope, denser planting of large specimen trees such as willows or oaks, and a series of pedestrian paths that meander across the lawn and through the trees. Similarly, the Lincoln Way entry to Calvary Cemetery could be enhanced with a large self-irrigating flower garden, taking advantage of the site’s relatively low elevation to collect local run-off in an underground cistern which supplies water for the flowers and an allee of flowering trees along the entry drive. The garden provides fresh cut flowers for people visiting graves, attracts birds and butterflies, and offers a startling field of color to the passing motorist. Underground cistern that collects storm water runoff for irrigation of the new flower garden and trees

Flower garden at the entry to Calvary Cemetery

13


Perry Township, Stark County, Ohio

2. Creating identity

Landscape improvements will go a long way to distinguishing this stretch of the corridor, but to recognize it as part of Perry Township and the historic route of the Lincoln Highway requires more explicit signs and markers. Techniques for conveying specific information about the place and its history include marking the entries, furnishing the street, and referencing the history. a. Marking the entries: Currently, there is no way to tell when one has entered or exited the Township of Perry. If the median starts and ends at the municipal boundaries, it will provide an obvious indication of entry into a distinct district. However, the sense of crossing a threshold into a new domain could be enhanced at Whipple Avenue and 27th Street with the inclusion of specially paved crosswalks and a low sign wall that displays the name of the community. This sign wall can be located in the median, or integrated into special landscape treatments of the corner sites. At the Whipple Avenue entry, redevelopment plans for the Fisher’s site on the north west corner of the intersection are currently being prepared, offering an immediate opportunity to install a suitable “gateway” treatment. Sign wall in the median marking the entries into Perry at Whipple Avenue and 27th Street

Redeveloped Fisher’s site at Whipple Avenue with a landscape “gateway” treatment at the corner 14


Lincoln Corridor Community Design Charrette

b. Furnishing the street: Perhaps the element of street furniture that makes the most dramatic visual impact is lighting. A special light fixture could be selected for the Perry Township stretch of Lincoln Way, or a pair of related fixtures scaled to the highway and to the sidewalk. These could be solar fixtures that avoid additional electrical supply lines and mark Perry as an environmentally responsible community – or they could be custom designed standards that carry a Lincoln Highway designation. Similar inventive references to the history of the corridor should be displayed in other essential elements of street furniture, such as benches, trash cans, tree grates, manholes, bollards, and paving. The design of these elements is an excellent opportunity to engage the talents of local artists or school students, which helps to build community interest in the design quality of the corridor and commitment to its maintenance. Lincoln Way light fixtures

Lincoln benches that could become “landmarks” along the corridor

15


Perry Township, Stark County, Ohio

c. Historic references: In addition to the historic references that can be integrated into everyday elements of the streetscape, there are also numerous opportunities for more whimsical pieces of public art or iconographic signage that tell the story of this unique corridor. For example, a bronze sculpture that recalls the original condition of the Lincoln Highway might mark the historic Chase Motel site; or the distinctive silhouette of Lincoln could show up in everything from mile markers to crossing signs, becoming a memorable “logo” of the corridor – adopted by businesses in their signage and marketing materials, on T-shirts, shopping bags and coffee mugs.

L’il Lincoln mile markers

For a relatively low cost and immediately practical installation, a special set of Lincoln Highway banners could be attached to the existing utility poles. These could be produced in different colors, and changed two or four times a year to mark the passing of the seasons in a constantly colorful display that celebrates the history of the corridor and educates residents and visitors about its national significance.

Bronze casting of early conditions on Lincoln Way 16

L’il Lincolns everywhere....


Lincoln Corridor Community Design Charrette

3. Connecting nodes

The most effective way to break down the visual monotony of an autooriented strip of continuous commercial development is to establish contrasting “moments” or nodes of a different development character at points along the corridor. These nodes should be located in places that provide access to other assets of the community, creating an integrated network of mixed activities that complement the functions of the corridor. The key locations in the Perry stretch of the Lincoln Highway are at Perry Drive, Genoa Avenue, and Austin Avenue, leading to the Doctors’ Hospital complex and the Township Hall. a. Perry Drive: This is the location of the so-called “Perry Town Center” but the configuration of buildings and development of the outdoor spaces does nothing to suggest a community place. To create a more appropriate setting for community events and festivals, as well as a pleasant place to chat with a friend or enjoy a cup of coffee on an ordinary day, the plan recommends replacement of the automotive use on the corner and part of the parking lot that fronts Lincoln Way with a series of small retail uses, restaurants and coffee shops, and development of a public town square or landscaped piazza that faces onto the street. This space serves as a community gathering place for special events, and an outdoor dining or café terrace at other times. The Marc’s and Aldi stores are preserved at the rear of the complex, but the shops on the western side of the plaza are removed to allow a direct connection from the town square to Shoreline Avenue and a short

The new town square offers a place for community events, like a weekend farmers’ market.

Redevelopment of the Perry Town Center at Perry Drive 17


Perry Township, Stark County, Ohio

walk to Sippo Lake beyond. This new connection is lined with 2-3 story townhouses on the west side to introduce a new housing choice in the community and concentrate additional development around the town square, with immediate pedestrian access to Marc’s and Aldi’s, the new retail and food service uses, the bowling alley and the lake. Additional and replacement parking is provided on the site immediately behind the bowling alley.

Linco

ln Wa

y

b. Genoa Avenue: This is an important north-south connector across the corridor which provides access to the schools and Calvary Cemetery on the south side, and the historic School House at 13th Street. This building, which has direct access to the cemetery and the library, class rooms and playing fields of the school opposite, would make an ideal community center or senior day care facility. Given the development on all four corners of the Genoa Avenue intersection at Lincoln Way, there is little opportunity at this time to mark the significance of this street other than with attractive signage. As the Lincoln Way properties redevelop, however, the Township should consider acquisition of one or more parcels on the south side to create a landscaped “invitation,” or gateway, to the public amenities on 13th Street. 18


Lincoln Corridor Community Design Charrette

c. Austin Avenue: Although undistinguished at present, Austin Avenue provides access to two of Perry’s most important public institutions: the administrative offices of the Township and the Doctors’ Hospital complex which is programed for expansion in the near future. The plan for this area suggests that the hospital expand south, towards Lincoln Way, achieving visibility from the corridor across a small public park or civic square that announces the importance of the location. Landscape enhancements to Austin Avenue will improve the route to the Township Hall which is celebrated with another public square at Bailey Street. New development on the Township owned property and the vacant site immediately to the east could be expansion of municipal services, or professional office space catering to independent practitioners connected to the hospital. The objective of these aggressive redevelopment proposals is to create an elegant, pedestrian-oriented “civic place” for Perry that complements the commercial character of the new town center at Perry Drive, and contrasts with the auto-oriented character of the Lincoln Way corridor. To connect the new civic center to the south side, it is further recommended that over time, the Township acquire the properties on Star Circle and redevelop them as an extension to the park, through to Lynch Street, from where an easy connection can be made to Perry Park. The houses at the end of the Star Circle cul-de-sac turn their backs on Lincoln Way, creating an awkward, inappropriate relationship to the street that should be corrected if possible. The houses on the north side of Persia Circle are similarly ill-sited in relation to Lincoln Way and should be redeveloped when possible as retail or office space facing the corridor. 19


Perry Township, Stark County, Ohio

4. Leaving the car behind

The final recommendations of the charrette focus on providing alternatives to the private automobile and encouraging people to walk, cycle or use public transit to get from place to place along the corridor. Apart from its benefits to public health, this helps to reduce the amount of local traffic in the corridor and relieve congestion, particularly at rush hours. As noted in the Saturday workshop, SARTA already provides adequate transit service, but there is a social stigma associated with taking the bus. One way that this problem has been overcome in other communities is by offering local community circulators to supplement long haul bus services. Typically, a community circulator runs back and forth over a fixed, short route, with minimal headway, in vehicles that are smaller than normal buses and often playful or historic in appearance. A suitable route in Perry would be from the Canton Center Mall at Whipple Avenue to the K-Mart plaza at 27th Street, stopping only on demand at each intersection in between. To maximize local ridership, circulators often operate at no charge to the riders. The cost of providing the service may be supported by advertizing revenues from advertisements displayed at the bus stops or on the vehicle itself, by corporate sponsorships, or by a levy on the businesses that benefit. To help overcome negative perceptions of transit, the bus stops should be clean, comfortable and attractive places to wait, and they should be designed as an integral part of the corridor streetscape. A custom designed circulator for Perry

Comfortable transit waiting environments should be designed as part of the streetsacpe 20


Lincoln Corridor Community Design Charrette

With respect to bicycles, it is unlikely that a bike path along the corridor will ever provide a safe or comfortable experience. There are ample opportunities, however, to develop bike paths along streets that parallel the corridor, connecting to the schools and other amenities such as Sippo Lake, Perry Park and the Township ofďŹ ces. From these “internalâ€? routes, it is only a short ride on any of the north-south streets to points all along the corridor.

Bike racks should be provided at frequent intervals on the corridor, and like other elements of the street furniture, should be designed to visually enliven the streetscape.

21


Perry Township, Stark County, Ohio

Next Steps

The Design Concepts section above outlines the charrette team’s recommendations for improving the function and appearance of Lincoln Way. This is NOT a plan. It is only a collection of possible development ideas, intended to stimulate community debate which will eventually lead to consensus on a detailed plan of action for the future. An immediate first step, however, is to begin lobbying the State for a commitment to funding roadway improvements. Ideally, such a commitment will involve extensive transformation of the corridor, including construction of a median, new sidewalks, lighting, landscaping—perhaps even burying the utilities. But even if the State’s allocation of funding for this stretch of Lincoln Way is less than ideal, the improvements will generate investment interest, from existing property owners as well as new businesses attracted to the corridor To ensure that private investments are properly coordinated and contributing collectively to a more orderly and attractive streetscape, the Township should consider development of a manual of detailed design guidelines that establishes standards for the siting, massing and architectural character of buildings, signage, landscape requirements, site access, parking provisions, and so on. To facilitate the process of developing effective guidelines, the Township could immediately begin work on up-dating physical mapping of the corridor and existing conditions information, particularly with respect to commercial properties and vacant sites, proposed private development initiatives and institutional expansion programs. From our brief exposure to some of the opportunities and challenges of the Lincoln Way corridor, we think Perry is in an excellent position to set an example to other communities on how to transform a decayed auto-oriented strip into a vibrant, attractive business environment of which the community can be proud. A charrette does not attempt to resolve how to reach such a grand objective. It only offers some preliminary ideas of what it might involve. If this exercise does nothing other than stimulate interest in pursuing some of the concepts summarized in this report, our weekend will have been well spent. Thank you for inviting us to your town, and for listening to our ideas.

22


Lincoln Corridor Community Design Charrette

Notes

23


Perry Township, Stark County, Ohio

24

Lincoln Way Corridor Charrette Report  

April 2004 report prepared by the Urban Design Center of Cleveland, Ohio for the Lincoln Way Corridor Association of Perry Township, Ohio.

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