Opportunity Link: Transformation Through Transportation

Page 1

OPPORTUNITY LINK TRANSFORMATION THROUGH TRANSPORTATION

Submitted by:

Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority & Lackawanna County

Type of Project: Project Location: Total Project Cost: Matching Funds: Grant Request:

Public Transit & Bicycle/Pedestrian Access Lackawanna County, State of Pennsylvania $14.8 Million $4.5 Million $10.3 Million


Scranton Half Marathon

TABLE OF CONTENTS I. PROJECT DESCRIPTION & LOCATION..............................................................................................................2 a. OPPORTUNITY LINK INITIATIVE #1: DOWNTOWN SCRANTON LINK.....................................................5 1. The Scranton Pedestrian and Bike Connections to the Lackawanna County Intermodal Center and Steamtown National Historic Site...................................................................................................11 a. Pedestrian Bridge from the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail...................................................11 b. Tunnel to Intermodal Center..............................................................................................13 c. Lackawanna Avenue Connector...........................................................................................14 2. Downtown Scranton Bike Lanes.....................................................................................................14 3. Scranton Safety Street Crossings.....................................................................................................17 4. Scranton Trail Construction............................................................................................................19 d. Marvine Trail Connector....................................................................................................20 b. OPPORTUNITY LINK INITIATIVE #2: MID VALLEY LINK.......................................................................22 1. Dickson City Trail Construction ....................................................................................................22 2. Olyphant Trail Construction...........................................................................................................26 e. Olyphant Trail Connector...................................................................................................27 c. OPPORTUNITY LINK INITIATIVE #3: UPPER VALLEY LINK...................................................................28 1. Mayfield Trail Construction ..........................................................................................................28 2. Carbondale Township Trail Construction.........................................................................................28 3. Carbondale Riverwalk....................................................................................................................28 4. Fell Township Connection..............................................................................................................33 II. PROJECT PARTIES............................................................................................................................................35 III. GRANT FUNDS AND SOURCES / USE OF PROJECT FUNDS...........................................................................38 IV. BENEFIT-COST ANALYSIS SUMMARY............................................................................................................39 V. SELECTION CRITERIA.......................................................................................................................................41 a. Primary Selection Criteria.................................................................................................................41 i. State of Good Repair......................................................................................................................41 ii. Economic Competitiveness............................................................................................................42 iii. Quality of Life............................................................................................................................47 iv. Environmental Sustainability.........................................................................................................50 v. Safety..........................................................................................................................................52 vi. Project Schedule..........................................................................................................................57 b. Secondary Selection Criteria...........................................................................................................58 i. Innovation....................................................................................................................................58 ii. Partnership...................................................................................................................................59 VI. PROJECT READINESS......................................................................................................................................60 VII. FEDERAL WAGE CERTIFICATE.......................................................................................................................61

APPENDIX A: BENEFIT/COST ANALYSIS APPENDIX B: LETTERS OF SUPPORT APPENDIX C: LACKAWANNA COUNTY STATISTICS 1


Steamtown Marathon

I. PROJECT DESCRIPTION & LOCATION The Lackawanna Heritage Valley Transportation Initiative, also known as Opportunity Link, closes the gaps on critical connections to a 70 mile heritage trail alternate transportation network, that links 30 communities and hundreds of thousands of economically and culturally diverse residents to multimodal public transit, i.e., the Lackawanna County Intermodal Center. These trail connections provide access to schools, employment centers, healthcare services, recreation, and shopping, particularly for seniors and residents from low to moderate income households who cannot afford cars. This transformative project will redefine the region by offering safe, convenient, low cost, healthy, nonmotorized transportation alternatives that reduce emissions, transportation, and healthcare costs and providing links to multimodal public transportation that will open up and broaden opportunities for residents and will attract skilled workers to the region. The Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority (LHVA), a municipal authority of Lackawanna County, and Lackawanna County are co-applicants for this grant. LHVA is the Congressionally designated management entity of the Lackawanna Heritage Valley National and State Heritage Area. As one of 49 National Heritage Areas, the Lackawanna Heritage Valley (LHV) encompasses the watershed of the Lackawanna River in four counties of Northeastern Pennsylvania, including Lackawanna, Luzerne, Susquehanna and Wayne. LHVA is a federal, state, and local public/private partnership that works to facilitate community action in the preservation, promotion and development of the regions’ history, cultural heritage and natural resources. Through the development and management of the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail, it enhances the quality of life in the community, attracting tourism, and contributing tens of millions of dollars to the local economy each year. Since its inception in 1991, the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority was responsible for the acquisition and construction of an alternative transportation network. The Plan for the Lackawanna Heritage Valley (April, 1991) called for creating routes and modes of transportation, or “Linkages” that “will bind together all of the existing sites in the cities and towns in the Valley.” The “Valley Trail” was identified as “a priority demonstration” project. Twentyfive years later, Opportunity Link will fulfill that vision by completing the gaps in that trail network from Scranton to Fell Township, connecting to intermodal public transit and providing low income, elderly and immigrant populations with job, educational, recreational and cultural opportunities. Lackawanna County encompasses forty municipalities in Northeastern Pennsylvania, including the cities of Scranton and Carbondale. It works closely with the Lackawanna Heritage Valley on the development of the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail (LRHT or Trail) to connect thirty communities. Historically Lackawanna County was a major commercial and industrial center with a confluence of railroads that transported vast amounts of anthracite coal to fuel the nation through the labor of immigrants from numerous countries. Today, the County works collaboratively with the LHVA to welcome new diversity and to provide the amenities that will attract dynamic and innovative individuals to visit and live in the area. Located within driving distance of the major cities of the northeast, at the confluence of interstate highways (Routes 80, 81 and 84) Lackawanna County and the LHVA work together to transform the abandoned historic rail lines into an alternative transportation network that reinvents the region. 2


Intermodal Transportation Center

(Project Description & Location continued) FHWA’s Performance Year 2016 Strategic Implementation Plan emphasizes assessing and bridging gaps in multimodal transportation connectivity and enhancing transportation choice. It builds upon FHWA’s longtime support for alternate transportation. The 2010 “United States Department of Transportation Policy Statement on Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodation Regulations and Recommendations” identified the role of these networks in promoting livable communities that encourage active transportation and that guide priorities for FHWA and other agencies within the U.S. Department of Transportation. Specifically, it noted that “increased commitment to and investment in bicycle facilities and walking networks can help meet goals for cleaner, healthier air; less congested roadways; and more livable, safe, cost-efficient communities.” Opportunity Link dovetails perfectly into these plans and recommendations, building safe and convenient bicycle and pedestrian facilities into transportation and public transit projects to establish continuous, connected networks. The walking and biking that will be supported by Opportunity Link are healthy and environmentally friendly modes of transportation, improving well-being while reducing emissions. It also simultaneously reduces our nation’s dependence on fossil fuels and takes pressure off the cost of road maintenance life-cycle costs by reducing traffic and congestion. Opportunity Link will close the remaining three critical gaps in the 70 mile trail that runs from the City of Pittston in Luzerne County to the New York State border, creating a seamless, fossil-fuel free transportation link connecting to a multimodal transportation network. When complete, the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail System also will link to the Luzerne County trail system, the Delaware and Lehigh Trail Heritage Corridor’s 165 mile system of trail and canal paths, the New York State trail system and to the Susquehanna Greenway, a linkage that would create a 250 mile trail and greenway loop. Importantly, the Trail will provide safe and convenient, non-motorized access to public transit via the Lackawanna County Intermodal Center for commuters, students, senior citizens, low-income residents, people with disabilities, employees and shoppers, providing access to schools, hospitals, employment centers, shops, parks and businesses. The Lackawanna Valley is bounded by mountains on both sides of the Lackawanna River. This geography has contained sprawl, and densely populated communities are clustered along the river. Many people live within one mile of the river on either side, allowing residents convenient walking access. Opportunity Link will be a non-motorized “Main Street” paralleling the river and providing a continuous, interconnected transportation network from Pittston to Fell Township and through the city centers of Scranton and Carbondale, as well as along the Main Streets of Taylor, Dickson City, Olyphant, Peckville, Blakely, Jessup, Archbald, Jermyn, Mayfield, Carbondale Township, and Fell Township. North of Fell Township the trail becomes rural, and it is being developed and managed by the Rail Trail Council of NEPA, an entity that collaborates with LHVA in developing the northern part of the trail system. The preferred alignment of the LRHT was determined by the Lackawanna Greenway Feasibility Study of 2012. Running parallel to the Lackawanna River and using abandoned railway corridors, the Trail is the spine of the greenway. Since cities and communities grew near rivers, the Trail also serves as a linear interpretive park for the Lackawanna Heritage Valley, not only to create a network of pedestrian and bicycle open space corridors that tie together communities, but also to connect historical and cultural sites and to renew awareness of the region’s rich railroading legacy within view of today’s active freight and passenger lines.

3


3C

The Opportunity Link Initiatives that close the three critical gaps in the Trail include the following:

Opportunity Link Initiative #1: Downtown Scranton Link (Page 5)

3B

Opportunity Link Initiative #2: Mid Valley Link (Page 20) Opportunity Link Initiative #3: Upper Valley Link (Page 25)

CARBONDALE 3A

JERMYN UPPER VALLEY LINK UPPER VALLEY 2A

2B

2C

DICKSON CITY MID VALLEY LINK 1C

LACKAWANNA HERITAGE VALLEY

1B

SCRANTON 1A

DOWNTOWN SCRANTON LINK

Exhibit I

4


Opportunity Link Initiative #1: Downtown Scranton Link Intermodal connections; Bridge Repurposing; Tunnel Repurposing; Safety Crossings; Gap Closure Scranton is a Pennsylvania Act 47 Distressed Community. It is the sixth largest city in Pennsylvania and home to over 76,000 citizens, many of whom, according to 2010 census data, are low to mid income and/or elderly. The median Household Income in the Lackawanna Valley is well below the national average with many residents below the poverty level (See Exhibit II & Appendix C). Nonetheless, Scranton is on the verge of transformation. It has a vibrant downtown with beautiful architecture and a recent influx of people who are attracted to downtown living. As soon as apartments go on the market, they are leased by citizens who want to walk or bike to neighborhood amenities and work. These residents are primarily young professionals, graduate students and “empty nesters�. The history of the Heritage Valley is defined by the waves of Western and Eastern European immigration to the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century. The area remains a tapestry of ethnicities that represent those who came to America to find a new life and who settled in Scranton to work in the iron, coal, and textile industries, often under deplorable conditions with stifled opportunity. Organized labor began early in Scranton with the birth of the United Mine Workers union. Despite the overwhelming challenges, these proud people brought their skills and craftsmanship, populating the region with ethnic enclaves that continue to celebrate and preserve their respective cultures and traditions. New forms of energy emerged and coal mines shut down or became obsolete, railroads filed bankruptcies and the textiles moved offshore, resulting in stagnant wages and high unemployment. Nevertheless, immigrants used their skills and perseverance to become successful in the professions, politics, the arts, and large and small businesses.

2012 Household Income Statistics for Scranton, PA 17.5%

15%

12.5%

10%

7.5%

5%

2.5%

0%

EXHIBIT II

-$15,000

$15,000$24,999 Scranton

$25,000$34,999

$35,000$49,999 Pennsylvania

$50,000$74,999

$75,000$99,999

$100,000$124,999

$125,000$149,999

$150,000$199,999

$200,000+

United States

5


(Opportunity Link Initiative #1: Downtown Scranton Link continued) As seen in Exhibit III, Scranton is now experiencing a second wave of immigration, weaving in a new tapestry of races and ethnicities. More than 32 languages are spoken currently at Scranton High School by students who have emigrated from countries on virtually every continent. Recognizing and appreciating the richness that diversity brought to the community in the past, the community is embracing its newest immigrants and working to provide them with pathways to success, especially through education and work force opportunities. Scranton is home to many area businesses, three regional hospitals and four institutions of higher education, including the University of Scranton, The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC), Marywood University and Lackawanna College. The Scranton Enterprise Center houses a business incubator that has produced some impressive local entrepreneurs. For this reason, the “Central Business District Revitalization Plan,” prepared by the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, visualizes a future anchored on “Eds & Meds” with a strong emphasis on entrepreneurialism.

2000 Population by Race Race

Counts

Percentages

White

71,422

91.17%

Hispanic/Latino

1,999

2.55%

African American

2,304

2.94%

Asian

1,232

1.58%

Other Race

1,299

1.67%

Native American

85

0.11%

2010 Population by Race

EXHIBIT III

Race

Counts

Percentages

White

61,635

83.54%

Hispanic/Latino

6,313

8.56%

African American

4,299

5.83%

Asian

1,105

1.50%

Other Race

408

0.55%

Native American

22

0.03% Downtown Scranton Link

9


Land Use Districts/Scranton Safety Street Crossings: Scranton Link

DICKSON CITY

Land Use Districts Commercial Educational Historic Industrial

THROOP 9 12 7

10

D

Residential

Marvine Trail

Existing Trail Proposed Trail

11

8

6

5 4

3 Pedestrian Bridge

A B

Tunnel to Intermodal Center

Scranton Safety Street Crossings

SCRANTON

2

1

Exhibit IV

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Elm St. Broadway St. Olive St. Poplar St. Albright Ave. Green Ridge St. Nay Aug Ave. Market St. Depot St. Dean St. Amelia Ave. Race St.

10


0 ft

DOWNTOWN SCRANTON LINK: 1A

1000 ft

2000 ft

N

Weston Field

Legend Existing Trail (using independant paths) Existing Trailhead Existing Trail (using roadways) Proposed Trail Educational Facility

BikeScranton

Hospital/ Medical Facility

$

Farmers’ Co-Op Market

307 6

Intermodal Station

Recreational Area/Park

#

500 ft

Low Income Housing

Historic Site

Senior Housing

Existing/Proposed Conditions

Local Business

John Adams Elementary School Geisinger Medical Center: Mount Pleasant Scranton Running Company

Scranton High School Scranton Housing Authority

$

Redner’s Market Finch House Apartments

Lackawanna Avenue Connector Pedestrian Bridge from the LRHT

A

Career Link

Inter-modal Underpass

Intermodal Transportation Center

BikeScranton: Lackawanna Heritage Valley Dollar Store Low Income Housing

$

Steamtown National Historic Site

Price Rite

Scranton Housing Authority

Mercy Hospital

$

Low Income Housing

$

SCRANTON University of Scranton BikeScranton: University of Scranton

Historic Iron Furnaces

Salvation Army

$

The Commonwealth Medical College

Regional Hospital Surgery Center

BikeScranton: Hilton Hotel

Low Income Housing

United Neighborhood Center

Lackawanna College

B

Steamtown National Historic Site Park

$

$

University of Scranton Recreational Fields

United Neighborhood Center Housing

$

$

Catherine McAuley Center

BikeScranton: Cedar Bike & Paddle South Side Intermediate School

5


0 ft

DOWNTOWN SCRANTON LINK: 1B Legend

500 ft

1000 ft

2000 ft

81

Johnson College

Existing Trail (using independant paths)

N

Existing Trailhead Existing Trail (using roadways) Proposed Trail Bus Stop

Educational Facility

BikeScranton

Hospital/ Medical Facility

Recreational Area/Park

#

$

Scranton Trail Construction

D

Marvine Trail Link

Low Income Housing

Historic Site

Senior Housing

Existing/Proposed Conditions

Local Business

The Gardens of Green Ridge

Providence Square Bus Stop Neil Armstrong Elementary Goodwill Senior Apartments

Nay Aug Avenue Natural Play Area GIANT Food Store Walgreens

$

Bus Stop

United Neighborhood Center Robert Morris Elementary School

SCRANTON Scranton Lace Company

Marywood University

St. Joseph’s Center

Green Ridge Assisted Living

Bancroft Preschool

6


0 ft

DOWNTOWN SCRANTON LINK: 1C

500 ft

1000 ft

2000 ft

N

St Mary’s Park

DICKSON CITY Elm Street Park

Johnson College Washington School

Scranton Trail Construction

D

Marvine Trail Link

6 The Gardens of Green Ridge

81

Legend Existing Trail (using independant paths)

THROOP

Existing Trailhead Existing Trail (using roadways) Proposed Trail

Marywood University

St. Joseph’s Center

Bus Stop

Educational Facility

BikeScranton

Hospital/ Medical Facility

Recreational Area/Park

#

$

Low Income Housing

Historic Site

Senior Housing

Existing/Proposed Conditions

Local Business

7


(Opportunity Link Initiative #1: Downtown Scranton Link continued) The Downtown Scranton Link has four components that will close a critical gap in the trail and will create a transformative connection to the new Lackawanna County Intermodal Center: 1. The Scranton Pedestrian and Bike Connections to the Lackawanna County Intermodal Center and Steamtown National Historic Site A

Pedestrian Bridge from the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail: This defunct, dilapidated vehicle bridge is located just off the 7th Street Trail Head (See Rendering A). This will be repurposed as a foot bridge to

allow for safe pedestrian and bike crossing of the Lackawanna River, linking the existing Trail to a new spur at Cliff Street that will connect to Steamtown National Historic Site and the Electric City Trolley Museum, located on the Steamtown Campus.

Steamtown, a unit of the National Park Service, tells the story of America’s transportation network, past and present. It preserves and keeps alive the history of the early railroads—the steam locomotives, the cars, the buildings and the lives of the workers. It is the region’s premier historic and tourist destination. Skilled craftsmen and craftswomen at Steamtown National Historic Site (NHS) continue to preserve and restore railroad steam locomotives, cars and equipment in the original locomotive repair shops that were first established over a century ago as part of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad. Today, these craftsmen and craftswomen restore and preserve steam locomotives and other historic equipment used in Steamtown’s live railroad yard. With the proposed connections to the Heritage Trail, Steamtown has the capability, as well as the need, to train people from diverse social and economic populations for jobs in this unique transportation industry. As past generations of skilled railroad mechanics diminish, there is a vital need for the skilled craftspeople to pass their knowledge to the next generation as trained, capable replacements. Creating a national training center for railroad mechanics has been discussed by advisory groups as part of a strategic plan for Steamtown’s sustainability. Potential opportunities for internships with area trade schools, universities and neighborhood outreach centers for underserved individuals exist. A recently released NPS report shows that Steamtown had a cumulative benefit of $6,521,800 to the local economy. “Steamtown NHS welcomes visitors from across the country and around the world,” said Superintendent Debbie Conway. Visitation to Steamtown is a significant driver to in the national and local economy, and the proposed connections to the Trail and the Intermodal Center will increase tourism with great impact on Lackawanna Heritage Valley communities.

Steamtown National Historic Site

11


(Pedestrain Bridge from the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail continued) The National Park Service is the primary funder of the Lackawanna Heritage Valley. It is the the federal agency that administers the National Heritage Areas program, and it places a high value on collaboration between National Heritage Areas and National Park sites. According to Peter Samuel, Regional Director of National Heritage Areas in the Northeast Region of NPS in Philadelphia, “the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail is a key element contributing to the success of the Lackawanna Heritage Valley. The National Park Service provides substantial federal resources to LHVA in support of their work to develop the trail and to sustain their success in accomplishing the goals…outlined in their authorizing legislation. Their partnership with Steamtown was recognized in 2005 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation with a Federal Partnership Award as a model for collaboration between federal entities.” Just across the river from the Trail, the Lackawanna County Parks and Recreation Department is preparing a Feasibility Study for an urban park on a boomerang-shaped former industrial area. The bridge would connect the Trail to the park and to Steamtown. The Trail would continue to the Intermodal Center via a currently abandoned tunnel described below.

Existing

Proposed

RENDERING A

12


B

Tunnel to Intermodal Center: From Steamtown, the Trail will continue by way of a long-abandoned

tunnel that passes under active railroad freight lines and active passenger excursion lines. By repurposing and renovating this abandoned tunnel, safe, well-lit access will be provided for pedestrians and bikers from Steamtown to and from the Lackawanna County Intermodal Center, eliminating the need to cross dangerous active railroad tracks and turning an eyesore into an asset (See Rendering B). The link to the Intermodal Center is an important direct connection for visitors to the National Park Site or from the Steamtown site to downtown Scranton. It is a priority of the National Park Service for the National Heritage Areas and National Parks to collaborate. Lackawanna Heritage Valley and Steamtown work closely, with shared educational programming that interprets the transportation history of the region. During this Centennial Year of the Park Service, LHVA and Steamtown celebrating “Every Kid in A Park” by partnering in a program called “Rivers, Railroads and You,” bringing fourth graders from school districts throughout the region to Steamtown where rangers utilize state standards to teach about railroads. After lunch they visit the nearby Trail where they learn about the Lackawanna River and the environment. Enhanced Trail connections will facilitate alternate transportation excursions, enabling visitors to a take their bicycles on a bus, board a train and ride the rails to one of several stations adjacent to the Trail, then disembark and ride their bikes back to Scranton, Steamtown and the Intermodal Center.

Existing

Proposed

RENDERING B

13


C

Lackawanna Avenue Connector: The only current route from the 7th Avenue trailhead to the Intermodal

Center and the downtown Scranton central business district is extremely hazardous, requiring trail users, including bicyclists, pedestrians and individuals with limited mobility, to utilize a narrow sidewalk (18 inches) under the rail bridge where a stone wall abutment protrudes onto the walkway. Traffic narrows to one lane in each direction at the underpass on heavily traveled 7th Avenue. The Lackawanna Connector will be a major safety enhancement, creating an alternate route from the trail via a parallel walkway to Lackawanna Avenue. This new connection will link the trail to downtown Scranton, the State Office building, financial institutions, professional services and downtown shops and restaurants. It also will provide a direct link to Employment Opportunity and Training Center (EOTC) as well as to Scranton High School, and Mt. Pleasant Professional Park. 2. Downtown Scranton Bike Lanes:

From the report Beyond Traffic: “Several American cities have also introduced a new infrastructure element: bicycle sharing programs that put bicycles on the street for short-term rental. In cities in which such programs have been implemented, these systems have increased the use of bicycles, particularly as a way to make connections to public transit.” The Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority sponsors BikeScranton, a free bike share program sponsored and managed by LHVA, offering people who do not own a bicycle a chance to explore downtown Scranton and the surrounding neighborhoods. The program, in its second year, has been remarkably popular, with more than 600 people borrowing bikes during four months in 2015. The Heritage Valley doubled the numbers of bikes for 2016 and added several rental locations (See Exhibit V & VI). The Lackawanna County Regional Planning Department is in the early stages of a plan for the Downtown Bike Circulator, a program that will implement bike lanes throughout the City, increasing the safety for those who choose healthy, fossil-fuel free transportation. The Downtown Bike Circulator will also link to the Trail, providing safe access from neighborhoods to this alternate, non-motorized “main street”, as well as to public transit via the Lackawanna County Intermodal Center. COLTS has already incorporated bike racks on their buses. They have also expressed interest the Intermodal Center becoming a site for BikeScranton, a free bike share program sponsored and managed by LHVA, thereby offering people who do not own a bicycle an opportunity to travel through downtown Scranton and the surrounding neighborhoods. The Bike Lanes will link hotels, state, federal and county buildings, educational institutions (University of Scranton, The Commonwealth Medical College, Marywood University and Lackawanna College), employment sites, parks, hospitals and retail/dining outlets to the Intermodal Center, Steamtown and the Trail. The Downtown Bike Circulator is part of the Lackawanna-Luzerne Bi-County Comprehensive Plan and Long-Range Transportation Plan (2012) promoting alternative transportation modes. It will be funded with State and Federal funding through a contract with PennDOT. The plan is also consistent with the Lackawanna and Luzerne Bi-County Open Space, Greenways and Outdoor Recreation Master Plan (2004), the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Management Action Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (2004), the Upper Lackawanna River Conservation Plan (2002) and the plan for the Lackawanna Valley (1991). It also aligns with the Lackawanna and Luzerne MPO’s Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), the Pennsylvania State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) and the Pennsylvania Twelve Year Transportation Program (TYP). The project also supports Smart Transportation principles.

Scranton

14


Exhibit V

BikeScranton

BikeScranton is a completely free bike share program managed by the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority. Anyone age 18 and over can borrow a bike by providing a valid driver’s license or state ID to a program administrator. To check out a bike, stop by one of the BikeShare locations. You will need to hand over your driver’s license or ID and fill out a liability waiver. Then you can take a bike! It’s that simple. The administrator will hold onto your license until you return. The bikes can be used for a short period of time or an entire day, but they must be returned one hour before the loaning office or shop closes. Bike share hours vary by location.

Age of BikeScranton Users at Location University of Scranton

Age

Counts Percentages

Hilton Hotel

Counts Percentages

Lackawanna Heritage Valley Offices

Cedar Bike & Paddle

Counts Percentages

Counts Percentages

18-30

280

86%

106

53%

16

17%

20

54%

31-50

21

6%

53

26%

13

13%

11

30%

51-70

26

8%

41

20.5%

68

70%

6

16%

70+

0

0%

1

0.5%

0

0%

0

0%

Overall Use by Age

21%

15%

64%

18-30

64%

51-70

21%

31-50

15%

70+

0%

15


Exhibit VI

BikeScranton

During the BikeScranton season (May 15-November 5 - 143 days) there were 672 bicycles shared from the 4 locations (University of Scranton, Hilton Hotel, LHV Offices, and Cedar Bike). The program originally began in May with 20 bicycles and by November the number of bicycles more than doubled to 41. At each location we collected data by having the participants fill out a rental form and signing a waiver.

Where Were the Users From? University of Scranton

Location

Counts Percentages

Hilton Hotel

Counts Percentages

Lackawanna Heritage Valley Offices

Cedar Bike & Paddle

Counts Percentages

Counts Percentages

Scranton

176

53%

87

41%

64

17%

20

61%

Lackawanna

36

11%

17

8%

8

13%

3

9%

16

5%

17

8%

4

70%

0

0%

101

31%

92

43%

21

0%

10

30%

(excluding Scranton)

Pennsylvania (excluding Lackawanna)

Other State

80% 63% 52%

Overall Geographic Use (538) of the bicycles shared were at the University of Scranton and the Hilton Hotel, primarily because their location allows for the bicycles to be used during all daylight hours vs. the Lackwanna Heritage Valley and Cedar Bike who restricts rental hours to the time of business. (422) of the bicycles shard were used by people under the age of 30, the number is influenced by the number of students at the university that used the bicycles.

33% 52% 6%

(347) of the bikes were used by Scranton Residents.

5 shares per day over the course of 143 days, leading to 672 total shares On average, there was a total of

9%

Scranton

52%

Pennsylvania

6%

(excluding Lackawanna)

Lackawanna

9%

Other State

33%

(excluding Scranton)

16


3. Scranton Safety Street Crossings:

This vital safety improvements project will begin at the Elm Street crossing in South Scranton and continue for seven miles, ending at Dean Street in North Scranton. The main goal of the project is to create a safe pedestrian and bicycle path to connect sections of the city. Street crossing safety improvements will be made to eight intersections: Elm Street, Broadway Street, Olive Street, Poplar Street, Albright Avenue, Green Ridge Street, Market Street, and Dean Street. Bicycle lanes will be added to seven intersections: Elm Street, Broadway Street, Olive Street, Poplar Street, Albright Avenue, Green Ridge Street, and Market Street (See Exhibit IV). The plan is consistent with the Lackawanna Greenway Plan, the Lackawanna-Luzerne Bi-County Comprehensive Plan and Long-Range Transportation Plan (2012), the Lackawanna and Luzerne Bi-County Open Space, Greenways and Outdoor Recreation Master Plan (2004), the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Management Action Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (2004), the Upper Lackawanna River Conservation Plan (2002) and the plan for the Lackawanna Valley (1991). It is also consistent with the Lackawanna and Luzerne MPO’s Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), the Pennsylvania State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) and the Pennsylvania Twelve Year Transportation Program (TYP). The project also supports Smart Transportation principles. This critical project will assure a safer route for pedestrians and bicyclists through 7 miles of Scranton streets that link to the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail (LRHT or Trail). The installation of additional safety signage consisting of overhead flashing warning lights, colored concrete crosswalks and detectable warning surface will alert motorists of pedestrian and bicycle traffic in adjacent corridors and crosswalks. The creation of a bicycle lane with bicycle safe grates will improve safety for the bicyclists and will follow the trend of the larger cities as will the installation of bicycle racks and safety signage at bus stops to allow cyclists to utilize multiple modes of transportation safely. An enhanced transportation system and streetscape improvements are crucial for the city’s revitalization and economic development efforts. The City of Scranton is an Act 47 Distressed Community with extremely limited funding to implement a project of this magnitude. Although the Multi-Modal Transportation Fund recognized the importance of this project with an award of $700,000, it has been challenging to obtain the additional $300,000 needed to complete the project, despite several applications by LHVA to State, local and private programs. The Scranton Police Department (SPD), a partner in this effort, has demonstrated its concern about the dangerous conditions at these street crossings. The SPD applied, albeit unsuccessfully, for funding through the ARLE (Automated Red Light Enforcement) program of PennDOT for the additional funds needed to implement these important safety improvements. As trail use increases, so does the risk of serious accidents at these intersections.

Scranton

17


(Scranton Safety Improvements continued) The proposed safety enhancements and streetscapes will also create a safer alternative transportation path for individuals wishing to commute to work or school by walking or riding bicycles and/or connecting to public transit via the lntermodal Center. Moreover, the street crossings provide easy accessibility for minority and low income populations who live nearby. The Elm Street crossing is near the South Side Plaza that is anchored by a Weis Market and near a Rite-Aid Pharmacy and the South Scranton Intermediate School, where the population of students is low income and mostly minority and children of immigrants. United Neighborhood Center (UNC) has developed low and moderate income housing and various social services on Cedar Avenue, serving the disadvataged citizens and immigrants in the neighborhood, including daycare facilities and a senior community center. Headquarters of the Salvation Army is located halfway between Elm Street and Broadway. The Trail crossing at Broadway Street, next to the South Side complex of playing fields that are regularly used by Scranton’s Latino population, connects to a low income public housing project that is located adjacent to the Trail. A couple of blocks away, a Price Rite discount grocery store features ethnic specialties and all merchandise displays are in Spanish. A Rite-Aid pharmacy, a Dollar Store, a McDonalds, a furniture rental store and other small businesses catering to the immigrant population are clustered in that area. A General Dynamics plant, downtown hotels and businesses are all within walking distance, offering jobs for blue collar and service industry workers who, in many instances, do not own cars (See Exhibit XIV). The discount employee-owned Redner’s Supermarket, is located directly along the trail near Olive Street, and nearby residents use the trail as a regular shopping route. The Gino Merli Veterans Center, St. Francis Kitchen, a soup kitchen, and St. Francis Commons, a transitional housing facility for veterans, as well as Geneva House and Mulberry Towers, both Senior Housing high rises apartments, are within a few blocks of Olive Street. The Scranton School District does not provide bus transportation to school for high school age students, creating a particular disadvantage to low income households with one or no cars. The spur trail (constructed with Safe Routes to School funds in 2009) from the Downtown Scranton Riverwalk at Olive Street to Scranton High School provides safe access for students and faculty by foot or bike to virtually every residential section of Scranton, i.e. South Side, West Side, East Scranton, Central City and North Scranton. The Olive Street crossing is walking distance to the Farmers Cooperative Market that is open from July through Thanksgiving, giving access to fresh food. A block away is Weston Field, a fully staffed city recreational facility of the City of Scranton which has athletic fields and a fieldhouse with indoor and outdoor swimming pools and a gymnasium.

Farmers Cooperative Market

18


(Scranton Safety Improvements continued) Goodwill Industry’s Gerald T. Langan Apartment building overlooks the Green Ridge Street crossing, and the Green Ridge Senior Apartments are a block away. The Green Ridge Plaza Shopping Center is located on one corner, providing residents of these buildings with walking access to a Giant Supermarket, a Walgreens and a CVS pharmacy. LHVA’s Nay Aug Avenue Natural Play Area, located between the Green Ridge and Market Street crossings offers recreation and programming for children in a neighborhood where almost 100% of students at two nearby elementary schools participate in the free or reduced school lunch program. There are no other city or county parks nearby. The Market Street crossing is a few hundred feet from Providence Square, a neighborhood commercial center with several coffee shops, stores and family owned restaurants—including several owned by immigrant families from Brazil, Kosovo and other foreign countries. The safety benefits at every intersection of the trail through Scranton is matched by the employment opportunities at the small businesses in each Scranton neighborhood that will benefit from the individuals who will utilize the crosswalks to shop and dine through the city, as well as to visit doctors’ offices, barber shops, and community centers. In addition, many prevailing wage construction jobs, although temporary, would be created by this project. 4. Scranton Trail Construction:

In April 2015, after several years of complex negotiations, the LHVA received a donation of several easements from private landowners specifically for Trail development at three separate sites in Scranton, Dickson City and Carbondale Township. The cost of professional fees associated with this acquisition was in order to protect family ownership and to spur development of these properties. The owners placed a reversionary clause in all three easements requiring that the sites must be under construction within ten years (December 31, 2025). Significant professional fees were incurred during negotiations for these rights of way. For more details on these easement restrictions, please see Opportunity Link #2, Mid Valley Link. Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority acquired the contiguous .81 mile easement in April 2015 to complete a gap in the Trail, and it is the last leg of the Scranton Link, completing the Trail through Scranton for seven miles from the Taylor border to the border with Dickson City and the MidValley Link. The section will include trail construction and street improvements at the former Marvine Colliery. A colliery is the coal mine and its connected buildings where extracted coal was loaded onto nearby railcars. This site is a brownfield, covered with culm and, in its current state, it is a hazardous connection for either for recreation or transportation. Each of the three newly acquired easement sites will reclaim brownfields and create beautifully landscaped trails for public use and enjoyment. These reclaimed sites also will enhance the value of the properties for new development of businesses that utilize rail services located on or near these sites. The completion of the link connecting Scranton to Dickson City also will create a close connection to Johnson College of Technology. As the only technology-driven college in the region, Johnson College enjoys a strong relationship with area employers and offers customized job training to meet the unique needs of various kinds of industries and professions. It has taken a lead role in regional economic development and community partnerships by offering programs that complement business trends as well as developing programs that target education for high-demand occupations. Transportation is an area of focus with training for automotive, diesel truck and diesel preventative maintenance technology. The proximity of the trail to this campus offers access to important educational and training opportunities and it also will offer resident hall students alternative transportation routes to businesses and services in nearby Scranton and Dickson City.

19


(Scranton Trail Construction continued) This specialized training at Johnson College and the restoration shop training at Steamtown have the potential to make Scranton a unique employment training center for the transportation industry, creating opportunities for creating specialty jobs for workers of varying abilities. Sometimes, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. When these four components are complete, citizens (particularly of low income), students and seniors will have safe, non-motorized access not only to all of the amenities the downtown has to offer—jobs, education, shopping, healthcare, career training, parks, and restaurants—but also to the Intermodal Center. This transformative connection will make Scranton a hub for transportation and will provide access for residents to education and job opportunities across the region and the throughout the valley. In Beyond Traffic, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx, lays out three strategies that need to be employed to get beyond traffic. In one strategy, he states, “…we must use technologies and better design approaches that will allow us to maximize the use of our old and new transportation assets.” D

Marvine Trail Connector: (.81 miles) (See Rendering D).

Existing

Proposed

RENDERING D

20


(Scranton Trail Construction continued) The County of Lackawanna Transit System (COLTS), is an important partner in transforming the region’s transportation infrastructure from an antiquated system that dates to Scranton’s heyday as the “Electric City” when trolleys were the main mode of transportation. The bus routes are based on this old transportation network. COLTS has committed to revisiting its bus runs to ensure that public transportation will be available to connect citizens directly to centers of employment and industrial parks. This commitment includes the addition of an Express Bus route from neighborhood and downtown bus stops to Office and Industrial Parks that are currently cut off. The Lackawanna County Regional Planning Department is hiring two new transportation planners and one of them will assist COLTS in this effort, which will be complete before 2019. At the same time that COLTS is updating a transportation network based on the trolley lines of the past, Opportunity Link continues the transformation of old rail road lines along the river into an alternate, nonmotorized “main street”, providing bicycle and pedestrian access along the transit-oriented corridor of the valley and access to the Intermodal Center to connect citizens to opportunities and amenities across the valley and beyond. In fact, Martz Trailways, which operates out of the Intermodal Center and takes citizens to the Poconos and New York City, has teamed up with Amtrak to be a throughway bus. It is possible to purchase a ticket through Amtrak and link to the train networks at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, getting all membership privileges and discounts applied, so that it is essentially an extension of the rail system. By providing safe connections from the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail to the Intermodal Center, a cohesive system of transportation linking rails to public transit to trails opens up a new world of possibility and opportunity to the citizens of the region. It is truly transformation through transportation. The Intermodal Center has also been strategically placed to include rail passage in the future. This project will leverage future projects so that the transformation will be aggregate as projects build upon each other.

21


Opportunity Link Initiative #2: Mid Valley Link Gap Closure; Intermodal connections; Trail Safety Enhancements; Bridge Restoration The Mid Valley Link will close a gap in the trail and provide a critical connection for this alternate transportation “main street” across the valley and region: 1. Dickson City Trail Construction:

LHVA acquired the Dickson City easement from the property owner in April 2015. In order to spur development of these sites, the property owner placed a reversionary clause in the easement. Section 3.03 of the easement states “In the event that construction on the Dickson City portion of the Trail...has not commenced by December 31, 2025, or be complete by December 31, 2035 ...the owners may file with the Lackawanna County Recorder of Deeds a release and vacation of this Agreement, extinguishing the public access easement conveyed in this Article.” It is imperative for LHVA to develop this section of trail in order to meet the easement terms. The property is a critical gap in the LRHT system, connecting Dickson City to Olyphant to create a continuous alternate transportation network-a non-motorized “main street”. Alternative alignments in this area compromise trail user safety by forcing users to a narrow motorized Main Street that connects the communities and is populated by a series of strip malls and other businesses with a heavy volume of traffic.

Land Use Districts: Mid Valley Link Land Use Districts Commercial Educational Historic Industrial Residential

ARCHBALD

Existing Trail Proposed Trail

BLAKELY DICKSON CITY

E

JESSUP

Olyphant Trail Connector

Exhibit VII

22


0 ft

MID VALLEY LINK: 2A

500 ft

1000 ft

2000 ft

N

Legend Existing Trail (using independant paths) Existing Trailhead Existing Trail (using roadways) Proposed Trail Bus Stop

Educational Facility

BikeScranton

Hospital/ Medical Facility

Recreational Area/Park

#

$

BLAKELY

Low Income Housing

Historic Site

Senior Housing

Existing/Proposed Conditions

Local Business

DICKSON CITY

Mid Valley Hospital

Condella Park

$

Olyphant Senior Housing

Lackawanna County Housing Authority

$

Washington School Lafayette School Bus Stop

E

$

Lackawanna County Housing Authority

Olyphant Trail Connector

Dickson City Trail Constuction Olyphant Trail Constuction

(Leads to) Midvalley School District

23


0 ft

MID VALLEY LINK: 2B

500 ft

1000 ft

2000 ft

N

Legend Existing Trail (using independant paths) Existing Trailhead Existing Trail (using roadways) Proposed Trail Bus Stop

Educational Facility

BikeScranton

Hospital/ Medical Facility

Recreational Area/Park

#

$

Low Income Housing

Historic Site

Senior Housing

Existing/Proposed Conditions

Local Business

ARCHBALD

BLAKELY Bus Stop

Sarah Bratley Park

Blakely Borough Recreation Complex

JESSUP Jessup Senior Housing

La Salle Academy

6

24


0 ft

MID VALLEY LINK: 2C

500 ft

1000 ft

2000 ft

N

Legend Existing Trail (using independant paths) Existing Trailhead Existing Trail (using roadways) Proposed Trail Bus Stop

Educational Facility

BikeScranton

Hospital/ Medical Facility

Recreational Area/Park

#

$

Low Income Housing

Historic Site

Senior Housing

Existing/Proposed Conditions

Local Business

Bus Stop

ARCHBALD

Memorial Park

David Masylar Park

6

Sarah Bratley Park

25


(Dickson City Trail Construction continued) The development of this 1.1mile long section of new trail along the river will implement the preferred alignment that is recommended in the “Lackawanna River Heritage Trail Feasibility Study,” and the key recommendations from the “Lackawanna Greenway Plan.” Both planning studies were funded by DCNR in 2009. This section will complete a 1.1 mile critical gap in the LRHT system in the Borough of Dickson City, The trail section begins at Railroad Street and continues north to Lackawanna Avenue along the Lackwanna River. Access to the new section will be through a long neglected and abandoned brownfield. There were four active rail lines at this site; three have been abandoned and in major disrepair, while one remains active with very limited use. LHVA will construct the trail along the abandoned rail corridor. The easement requires LHVA to build fencing along the trail to ensure the safety of trail users and to plant a tree line along the fence to further separate the public from the active rail line. Directional, safety, distance marking, and interpretive signage will be installed at the trailhead and throughout the new trail section. LHVA plans to complete the final design, permitting, and construction development with DCNR funding support, again transforming a “moonscape” brownfield that is devoid of flora or fauna, into a lovely green corridor. This trail section will be designed and built with a paved pathway to safely accommodate the widest variety of trail users. The trail will have a 12’ wide path of asphalt suitable for walkers, runners, bicyclists, individuals who use a wheelchair/walker for mobility, and families with strollers who require a smoother surface. The project will be fully ADA compliant. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the LHVA managed trail sections. Closing this gap of the trail will offer pedestrians and bicyclists, including students, a safe, alternative transportation route as they travel through the borough to school and work. The new trail connections will create a link between the river and the growing main street development projects and residential communities. It will provide access to historic, cultural, recreational, and natural resources in the community from the region’s coal mining and railroading past. Retail and other commercial development has created traffic delays and congestion along Dickson City’s narrow two lane main street. Without an alternative transportation corridor, bicyclists would find the area unsafe and difficult to maneuver. The trail will allow Olyphant residents a safe walking or biking route to the companies located on Enterprise Drive in Dickson City, including the Dickson City Borough Building, a police headquarters. 2. Olyphant Trail Construction

The easement for the Olyphant section was part of the April 2015 acquisition, and it contains the same reversionary clause as the Marvine and Dickson City easements previously referenced. Therefore, the same urgency applies to development of this section. This section is on the east side of the Lackawanna River, across from and parallel to the Dickson City trail section. The boroughs are connected by an old railroad bridge that was part of the April 2015 acquisition and that will be rehabilitated and repurposed for pedestrian traffic, linking a new connection among three municipalities, i.e., Dickson City, Olyphant and Throop. The Olyphant/Throop boundary is less than one half mile from the bridge crossing (See Rendering E).

26


(Olyphant Trail Construction continued) The Olyphant section of trail will provide an extraordinarily critical access to the Borough of Throop and to the campus of the Mid Valley School District. Students from Dickson City, Olyphant and Throop attend elementary, intermediate and high schools at this complex. Of the 1800 students in the district, 49.2% live at or below the federal poverty level. Currently, there is no pedestrian access to the school district, and every student must be dropped off by vehicle or be transported on a school bus. Development of this section, allowing pedestrian access to the schools from the three municipalities that comprise the school district, will have significant impacts, not only by alleviating congestion on the busy roads during rush hour traffic but also by obviating the need for a car and related costs of gas and maintenance for disadvantaged families, mitigating logistics for working parents who must arrange for transportation, and saving the school district busing costs. Walking to school also gets students outdoors, encourages socialization and health and fitness activities. It also simplifies arrangements for after school activities, offering opportunities for participation in team sports and other extracurricular activities Faculty and staff also will be able to take advantage of this new route for walking or bicycling. E

Olyphant Trail Connector:

Existing

Proposed

Rendering E

27


Opportunity Link Initiative #3: Upper Valley Link Gap Closure; Intermodal connections; Trail Safety Enhancements The Upper Valley Link will close a gap in the trail and provide a critical connection for this non-motorized alternate transportation “main street” across the valley and region: 1. Mayfield Trail Construction:

In May 2014, Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority acquired a piece of property from a private owner that would allow completion of a gap in the LRHT that will connect to an existing trail segment in Carbondale Township. Although the property dimensions might allow for future development, e.g. for a trailhead and parking, the current plan is to clean up this brownfield and to construct trail and street improvements to link Mayfield and Cabondale Township. An elementary school, a small strip mall and several other businesses are located in nearby Mayfield. 2. Carbondale Township Trail Construction:

LHVA acquired the Carbondale Township easement from the property owner in April 2015 as part of the larger transaction, with the same caveats included in the easement language. For the same reasons as previously stated, it is imperative for LHVA to develop this section of trail in order to meet the easement terms. The Carbondale Township section is a .9 mile section of trail that will reroute pedestrians from a busy secondary road that has no sidewalks or shoulder, making it hazardous for walkers or bicyclists. The Carbondale Township section will connect the existing trail from the south to the City of Carbondale. This will close a critical gap in the trail system. 3. Carbondale Riverwalk:

The Carbondale Riverwalk section is in its final design and is much anticipated by the local community. The City of Carbondale has experienced a rebirth in the past decade as a Main Street Community. Its Streetscape improvements have included a facade grants program, new sidewalks, a new hotel and conference center and several boutiques and family owned restaurants that reflect the local character of the communities and represent investments by local residents. The Trail alignment in Carbondale takes it along Main Street through the business district, a best practice according to Pennsylvania’s program called Connecting Nature and Commerce where the trail brings users to patronize local businesses. From Main Street, the Riverwalk connects at John Street, directly through low income public housing and contiguous to high rises for the elderly. The Riverwalk begins directly across the street from the YMCA, the community’s main gathering place and recreational facility.

Lackwanna River Heritage Trail

Carbondale YMCA

28


(Carbondale Riverwalk continued) The two mile Carbondale Riverwalk will travel through the Carbondale Industrial Development Park where Linde Corporation receives and transfers goods. This section of the trail connects Carbondale, Lackawanna County’s second city, to the LRHT and to the D&H Rail Trail. The design for the Carbondale Riverwalk has been completed, and it is currently under review by PennDOT, after which construction drawings will be finalized. The project will be bid in summer 2016. Bids will be awarded for construction that is slated to begin fall 2016 as weather permits.

Land Use Districts: Upper Valley Link Land Use Districts Commercial

FELL TOWNSHIP

Educational Historic Industrial Residential

Fell Township Trail Connector

Existing Trail

F

Proposed Trail

CARBONDALE

MAYFIELD

JERMYN Exhibit VIII

29


0 ft

UPPER VALLEY LINK: 3A

500 ft

2000 ft

N

1003

1004

Legend

1000 ft

Geisinger Health System

Existing Trail (using independant paths) Existing Trailhead Existing Trail (using roadways) Proposed Trail Bus Stop

Educational Facility

BikeScranton

Hospital/ Medical Facility

Recreational Area/Park

#

$

Low Income Housing

Historic Site

Senior Housing

Existing/Proposed Conditions

Local Business

Carbondale Township Trail Construction

Bus Stop

Bus Stop Lackawanna County Domestic Relations Office

1023 6 Mayfield Trail Construction

Mayfield Elementary

MAYFIELD

6

JERMYN 30


0 ft

UPPER VALLEY LINK: 3B

500 ft

1000 ft

2000 ft

N

Legend Existing Trail (using independant paths) Existing Trailhead Existing Trail (using roadways) Proposed Trail Bus Stop

Educational Facility

BikeScranton

Hospital/ Medical Facility

$

Recreational Area/Park

#

Fell Township Trail Connector

Low Income Housing

Historic Site

Senior Housing

Existing/Proposed Conditions

Local Business

F Bus Stop

Carbondale Riverwalk

CARBONDALE

Garfield Park

Greater Carbondale YMCA

Carbondale Senior Living

$

Summit Garden Apartments

Memorial Park

6

Bus Stop

Carbondale Area High School Bus Stop

Shopping Center

31


UPPER VALLEY LINK: 3C

0 ft

500 ft

1000 ft

2000 ft

N

FELL TOWNSHIP Fell Township Connector

Fell Township Park Fell Charter School

Legend Existing Trail (using independant paths) Existing Trailhead

$

Existing Trail (using roadways) Proposed Trail

Housing Authority Carbondale

Simpson Senior Living Comm

Gentex Corporation

SIMPSON

Bus Stop

Educational Facility

BikeScranton

Hospital/ Medical Facility

Recreational Area/Park

#

$

Low Income Housing

Historic Site

Senior Housing

Existing/Proposed Conditions

Local Business

32


(Carbondale Riverwalk continued) The Carbondale Riverwalk will connect two separate facilities operated by Gentex Corporation, one of the largest employers in Lackawanna County. Employees of the company already use the rugged and undeveloped path that the Riverwalk will follow to travel approximately two miles between the two facilities, one in Carbondale and one in Simpson. The President of Gentex has expressed his strong commitment and support for the LRHT, not only by his membership on the Board of Directors of Heritage Valley Partners and his financial support of LHVA development efforts, but also by his advocacy in the community.

“Gentex finds it challenging to attract high level employees who consider quality of life issues as paramount. The LRHT has been transformative. It is one of the key reasons why Gentex remains in Lackawanna County, although it needs to expand its physical plant. Convenient access to recreational and fitness activities not only increases employee morale and productivity, but they also lower healthcare costs and absenteeism. We anticipate the ability of employees to travel to and from the workplace will have an impressive impact when the Carbondale Riverwalk is complete and connects to the Fell Township trail section.” - L.P. Frieder President of Gentex Corporation

4. Fell Township Connection:

The project is located within Fell Township. The project begins near the boundary with Vandling Borough at the end of the existing D & H trail on the west side of the Lackawanna River, and it continues to Morse Avenue in Simpson, Fell Township. The proposed 2.2 mile trail project will bring new life to the abandoned rail line by building a dual surface pathway to accommodate a variety of trail users. Currently trail users from Fell Township are forced to detour onto busy roads including a dangerous section of SR 171, and then to cross the Lackawanna River over the narrow Morse Avenue bridge to connect back to the LRHT, or to use the O&W Trail . The O&W is privately owned, and it is in very poor condition. This vital Vandling-Simpson link must be completed in order to provide a safe alternative transportation route. LHVA will repurpose abandoned brownfields (rail beds) that are currently used as de facto trails to become a safe, multi-purpose trail that can be used as a safe alternative transportation route. After final design and engineering are completed, the trail will be constructed with a dual pathway to accommodate a wide variety of trail users. It will consist of both a 6 foot wide crushed stone path suitable for walkers, runners, equestrians, cross-country skiers and snowshoers, contiguous to a 10 foot wide paved path to accommodate bicyclists, strollers, and people with limited mobility (See Rendering F). The width of the trail will be 20 feet, consisting of a 10 foot wide paved path, a 6 foot stone trail mix path, and a 2 foot wide shoulder on either side. This project will create a lengthy destination trail and continuous, nonmotorized alternate transportation network that will connect communities to education, jobs, critical amenities and public transportation, and it will attract new day and overnight trail users, thereby increasing the economic vitality and sustainability of the local communities. It will provide substantial economic impact through trail users’ purchases of hard goods (bikes, apparel, footgear, cameras, bird watching equipment, canoes etc.), soft goods (food and beverages), and overnight accommodations. Based on documented experience in trail communities throughout the country, new businesses, such as rental shops for bike, canoe, and kayaks; bait shops; restaurants and other trail and tourist related entities will be established. “The Lackawanna River Heritage Trail 2009 Trail User Survey and Economic Impact Analysis” determined that every mile of improved rail trail will result in an annual economic impact of approximately $1,661,874 and 74 jobs. This Trail portion will create a link between the businesses and neighborhoods of Simpson/Fell Township and the City of Carbondale, as well as municipalities north and south and contiguous to this portion of Trail. This project will encourage the communities to implement the goals of the “Connecting Nature to Commerce” initiative that has been established to support emerging businesses based on outdoor recreation activities.

33


(Fell Township Connection continued) The 2.2 miles that are currently under design are adjacent to the Simpson to Vandling Trail connection. This portion of trail largely benefits Fell Township and neighboring Simpson (Fell Township), Vandling Borough, Carbondale City, and Carbondale Township. This part of the project is consistent with Scranton-Abington’s Planning Association Comprehensive Plan (2010), The Lackawanna County and Luzerne County Comprehensive Plan, Long-Range Transportation Plan and Hazard Mitigation Plan {2010), The Lackawanna and Luzerne Bi-County Open Space, Greenways and Outdoor Recreation Master Plan ( 2004), The Lackawanna Heritage Valley Management Action Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (2004), The Upper Lackawanna River Conservation Plan {2002), and The Lackawanna River Watershed Conservation Plan (2001). F

Fell Township Trail Connector:

Existing

Proposed

Rendering F

34


Lackwanna Heritage Trail

Lackwanna River

II. PROJECT PARTIES The Lackawanna Heritage Valley is a special place. Rich in natural resources, the region attracted thousands of immigrants in search of work and a new life in America during the 19th through the 20th centuries. Northeastern Pennsylvania became a major manufacturing hub for coal mining, railroading and railroad building, steel production and textile mills. The area is known today for its authentic historic sites, stunning architecture, vibrant ethnic communities, world class universities and medical school, budding entrepreneurialism, a variety of recreational activities, as well as beautiful mountains, lakes and waterways, particularly the Lackawanna River. The Lackawanna Heritage Valley National and State Heritage Area (LHV) tells the story of the region and the significant role that it had in the history of the state and the nation. LHV enhances the quality of life and improves the economic vitality of local communities through partnerships and projects that preserve, enhance and educate the people and assets of Northeastern Pennsylvania, such as the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail (LRHT). The co-applicant, Lackawanna County, through its Economic Development Department, which includes the Lackawanna Regional Planning Commission, Office of Community Development, and the Lackawanna County Redevelopment and Industrial Development Authorities, has a mission to effectively promote and attract job creating businesses to the area. Members of both Lackawanna County and LHVA sit on the committees that make up the Lackawanna/Luzerne County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), established as a result of the 1973 Federal Highway Act, that determines how all federal and state highway/bridge funds are allocated.

Marywood University

Scranton

Carbondale

35


Thanks to both public-private collaboration on both planning and funding, the use and economic impact of the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail has grown significantly since its inception in 1992. Working closely with National, State, Regional and local transportation agencies, government entities, and public and private organizations, LHVA has developed a 70+ mile trail that runs from the New York State border to the City of Pittston in Luzerne County. The Lackawanna River Heritage Trail Transportation Initiative, or Opportunity Link, proposes closing the three critical gaps in the trail to create a fuel-free, non-polluting alternative to motorized vehicles while also providing safe access to employment, education, businesses and healthcare and connecting to public transit via the Lackawanna County Intermodal Center. For this reason, it is supported throughout the region and community, especially by those committed to the environment, public health, work force development, equal opportunity, and transportation safety. Over the past 25 years, the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail has grown from a 2 mile link to more than 70 miles. LHVA has accomplished this by nurturing relationships and developing partnerships with multiple municipalities, counties, state, local and federal agencies, and non-profits. Partners have include Lackawanna County, the cities of Scranton, Carbondale, Olyphant and Dickson City; the Lackawanna-Luzerne MPO, the Army Corp of Engineers, the Northeast Regional Rail Authority, Steamtown National Historic Site and many others who have supported LHVA’s efforts by providing expertise, rights-of-way, funding, technical and community support in order to provide a continuous non-motorized, safe and healthy transportation network that links to the Lackawanna County Intermodal Center. The next section will highlight many of these partners who have funded the effort. A full list of partners who have contributed funding or collaborated on Trail projects are outlined in Exhibit IX & X.

ELECTED OFFICIALS United States Congressman Matt Cartwright United States Senator Bob Casey United States Representative Tom Marino Pennsylvania State Senator John Blake Pennsylvania State Representatives Mike Carrol, Marty Flynn, Frank Farina, Sid Kavulich Lackawanna County Commissioners Patrick O’Malley, Jerry Notarianni, and Lureen Cummings Scranton Mayor Bill Courtwright

FEDERAL, STATE & LOCAL: Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) County of Lackawanna Transit System (COLTS) Federal Highway Administration Lackawanna-Luzerne Transportation MPO National Park Service (NPS) National Scenic Byways Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (PA DCED) Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and natural Resources (PA DCNR) Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Steamtown National Historic Site United States Army Corps of Engineers Archbald Borough City of Carbondale City of Dickson City Jermyn Borough Mayfield Borough City of Olyphant City of Pittston in Luzerne County City of Scranton

EDUCATION & PUBLIC HEALTH: The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC) Johnson College Lackawanna College Marywood University The University of Scranton Steamtown National Historic Park Geisinger Health Systems Highmark Blue Cross Pennsylvania Department of Health Exhibit IX

The University of Scranton

36


The Lackawanna River Heritage Trails (LRHT) provide residents and visitors opportunities for wellness, social and recreational activities—including access to fishing, canoeing and kayaking— and access to an affordable alternate transportation network linking to public transportation and employment and educational opportunities. The Trail also serves as a linear interpretive park, educating trail users about the significant industrial, historic and cultural sites along the river. In 2015 every $1 that LHVA invested in the community, project partners brought $6.26 of additional matching funds in public and private funding. Since 1992, LHVA has invested $37 million in the region. Based on the U.S. Department of Commerce formula that calculates the dollars needed to generate one job, this funding has created 1,649 full-time jobs over the last 20 years.

Everhart Museum

BUSINESS, COMMUNITY, ENVIRONMENTAL & PRIVATE FOUNDATIONS: American Heritage River Protection Program American Water Company Charitable Trust Anthracite Bike Coalition Barrier Breakers Bike Scranton Carbondale Chamber of Commerce Carbondale Housing Authority CIDA Carbondale YMCA Cedar Bike and Paddle Everhart Museum Fidelity Bank First National Community Bank Friends of Lackawanna Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce Lackawanna County Convention and Visitors Bureau Lackawanna River Corridor Association (LRCA) Linde Co. McGowan Foundation McGregor Iron Munley Law Northeastern Pennsylvania Conservation Alliance Penn Foster Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) Peoples Security Bank PNC Bank Sickler Bike Scranton Area Community Foundation Scranton Half Marathon Scranton Running Company Scranton Sewer Authority Steamtown Marathon Tour de Scranton United Neighborhood Centers (UNC) Walmart Exhibit X Willary Foundation

United Neighborhood Center

37


III. Grant Funds and Sources/Use of Project Funds The Lackawanna River Heritage Trail Transportation Initiative, or Opportunity Link, will reqire a coordination of funds from Federal, State and local sources. Opportunity Link is requesting $10.3 million from the TIGER VIII grant program out of a total project cost of approximately $14.8 million. Opportunity Link has matching funds in the amount of $4.5 million secured, representing 30% of the total project cost (Exhibit XI).

Estimated Project Cost

Opportunity Link Initiative # 1: Downtown Scranton 1 Linking to the Intermodal Center: a) Pedestrian Bridge from the LRHT b) Tunnel to Intermodal Center c) Lackawanna Avenue Connector 2 Dowtown Scranton Bike Lanes 3 Scranton Safety Street Crossings 4 Scranton Trail Construction Opportunity Link Initiative # 2: Mid Valley 1 Dickson City Trail Construction 2 Olyphant Trail Construction Opportunity Link Initiative # 3: Upper Valley 1 Mayfield Trail Construction 2 Carbondale Township Trail Construction 3 Carbondale Riverwalk 4 Fell Township Connection Total

Acquisition/ Site Control

Design

Construction Administrative

TOTAL

TIGER Request

Secured Non Federal Federal Funds Funds

Private/ LHVA

180,000 120,000 70,000 25,000 100,000 125,000

1,033,300 1,000,000 615,954 500,000 1,000,000 1,055,656

48,000 40,000 24,000 20,000 32,600 42,000

1,261,300 1,160,000 709,954 545,000 1,132,600 1,222,656

1,213,300 1,120,000 685,954 500,000 300,000 1,165,492

20,750 20,750

150,000 200,000

850,000 1,734,288

60,000 60,000

1,080,750 2,015,038

5,328 1,855,020

90,200 80,000 -

160,000 125,000 150,000 85,000

1,375,145 1,058,568 1,326,653 1,033,776

55,000 40,000 50,000 24,924

1,680,345 1,223,568 1,606,653 1,143,700

1,554,998 1,179,321 134,835 553,432

211,700

1,490,000

12,583,340

496,524

14,781,564

10,267,680

1,081,635

2,894,225

538,024

14,781,564

69.5%

7.3%

19.6% 23.2%

3.6%

-

Funding Partners are as follows:

470,560

611,075

25,000 P 800,000 S 15,164 S

48,000 40,000 24,000 20,000 32,600 42,000

524,112 P 79,268 S

80,750 80,750

70,347 4,247 810,743 565,344

55,000 40,000 50,000 24,924

S S S S

S Secured P Pending

Exhibit XI

FEDERAL:

TIGER VIII Request: $10,267,680 OTHER FEDERAL:

PennDOT Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP): $1,081,635 STATE:

PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR): $1,782,970 PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED): $974,585 PA Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP): $136,670 LOCAL:

Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority: $538,024

38


IV. Benefit-Cost Analysis Summary The Benefit-Cost Analysis quantifies potential benefits, ladders of opportunity, and the removal of barriers to connected systems of transportation. This Lackawanna County project directly impacts all residents as it creates a transportation infrastructure linking people to jobs while providing an opportunity to develop a healthier lifestyle and reduced dependence on automobile use. The analysis follows the principles and parameters documented in the “National Academy of Sciences Transportation Research Board, National Cooperative Highway Research Program Report (NCHRP) 552: Guidelines for Analysis of Investments in Bicycle Facilities (2006)”. The document provides the standard benefit-cost analysis method for analysis of bicycle facilities. It also complies with the principles outlined in “Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular No. A-94.” Categories of benefits considered include mobility, health, recreation, and reduced auto benefits (Appendix A). Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority’s transportation initiative proposed project costs are $14.78 million. For benefit-cost analyses, these costs are adjusted to include the net present value of annual maintenance and operating costs for trail segments as well as two new linkage structures of a pedestrian bridge and an underpass tunnel connecting trails and Steamtown National Historic Site. The construction costs, which are incurred in 2017 through 2020, are adjusted to the net present value. Annual benefits were calculated for “high,” “best” and “low” data inputs, following the NCHRP Report 552 method for both 7 and 3 percent discount rates. The “best estimate” annual benefits are $16.52 million. The Total Net Present Value of Benefits calculations results in a best estimate of $40.82 million. The net present value of benefits greatly exceeds the project costs by $24.3 million over a 30 year period when discounting at 3% interest factors (See Exhibit XII). The project costs include the net present value of annual maintenance and operating costs, as required for benefit-cost analysis. Total project costs are higher for the 3 percent discount rate than for the 7 percent discount because the lower discount rate results in less discounting of construction costs and annual maintenance costs in later years. Furthermore, these estimates are based on conservative, lower-bound type data assumptions, and there are additional categories of benefits that have not been considered in the above analysis such as the Census data underestimating bicycle commuters or the shift in the City of Scranton to more “downtown living” by young professionals, and graduate and medical school students.

         

 



 

  

  

  

  

  

  

Exhibit XII

39


(Benefit Cost Analysis Summary continued) The climate in Lackawanna County may also contribute to greater bicycle commutes since the winters are milder and allow for more year round commuting. The proposed trail projects fill “gaps” in the existing Lackawanna River Heritage Trail’s heavily used trail sections of the projects. The new linkages will likely have a multiplier effect with greater usage of the new trail segments going forward. The Benefit-Cost Analysis considers only the benefits for bicycle commuters and adult cyclists. The LHVA’s BikeScranton Bike Share is growing in usage as more residents learn of the program and will increase interest in biking by residents. The Total Annual Benefits of $2.22 million based on “best estimate” are conservative. This transformative transportation project will provide the opportunities that have been missing for many Lackawanna County residents and surrounding counties. The demographics are indeed changing and the implementation of this initiative will indeed provide a safe link. Given the higher median age in Scranton, it would be unwise to attempt to bike or even walk in busy transportation corridors that were not designed for today’s traffic flow. While modest when compared to larger cities, $2.22 million is very significant for Lackawanna County. The reduced use of automobiles will definitely improve air quality and encourages the county’s residents to “get their tail on the trail” for increased exercise that will lead to greater health benefits as the Delaware and Lehigh Trail Area partners with Saint Luke’s Healthcare System just to the south of Lackawanna County. As the alternative transportation system adds additional connections and miles, it becomes more feasible and practical for residents to avail themselves for mobility, health, recreation benefits and it reduces emissions (See Exhibit XIII).

      

     

     

     

Exhibit XIII

40


V. SELECTION CRITERIA a. Primary Selection Criteria i. State of Good Repair The goal of the State of Good Repair is to ensure the U.S. proactively maintains critical transportation infrastructure in a state of good repair and to improve the condition of existing transportation facilities and systems with particular emphasis on projects that minimize life-cycle costs. Due to the distressed nature of several cities along the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail and the winter conditions that Northeastern Pennsylvania experiences, road repair and maintenance remains a constant issue. Costs are not only incurred by municipalities, but also by citizens, visitors and commercial drivers who suffer damage to vehicles. Completing the three critical gaps in the Trail through Opportunity Link will address state of good repair by doing the following:

Redeveloping underutilized former train railways and abandoned infrastructure in order to close the gaps. Improvements to footbridges and tunnels and widening of sidewalks allow for safer pedestrian access and alternate modes of transportation. Encouraging alternative to single occupant vehicles thereby reducing congestion and wear and tear on roads and highways while minimizing life-cycle maintenance costs to roads and vehicles. Increasing the safety and appeal of walking and/or biking, providing safety crossings and reducing miles traveled, emissions of vehicles, and fuel costs. Encouraging the further development of bike lanes throughout the cities and towns along the trails. Increasing mobility and accessibility to schools, jobs, hospitals and businesses, especially for the low-income households in communities along the trail that do not have cars, as well as seniors and citizens/ job-seekers who want to live a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle. Paving and/or widening trail sections to safely accommodate the broadest variety of trail users of all abilities. Providing a safe, alternative transportation system.

The LRHT system is maintained in partnership with communities along each section of the Trail by charging a maintenance fee of $4,200 per mile. LHVA pursues larger grants, such as Redevelopment Capital Assistance Program (RCAP) funds for projects that include major resurfacing or improving. As noted above and in the Project Description and Location section, many miles of the trail have been paved and/or widened to safely accommodate the broadest variety of trail users of all abilities. Scranton Running Company is a burgeoning private business that was established next to the Downtown Scranton Riverwalk five years ago. The company began a running program, aptly named Barrier Breakers, that enrolls between 400 and 450 new walkers and runners every four to six weeks. These groups account for approximately 3000 trail users every year. This popular program was the impetus for the Scranton Half Marathon, inaugurated in 2014, attracting 3,000 competitors each year from 32 states to run a course that completed the last 6.5 miles on the LRHT. The organizers of the race donate 50% of the proceeds to further development and maintenance of the Trail in Scranton. 41


(State of Good Repair continued) An article in CNN Money states, “If more money isn’t spent [on infrastructure] -- $1.1 trillion more from all funding sources by 2020, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers -- deficiencies in the nation’s infrastructure will cost the country almost $1 trillion a year in lost business sales and 3.5 million jobs.” One way to reduce the cost of infrastructure is to reduce congestion by increasing the use of public transit and access to clean, non-motorized transportation networks. Though Opportunity Link seems like a very small piece of a large problem, the regional impact will be tremendous and the results can be leveraged in the future to continue to eliminate the single occupant vehicle and reduce congestion on an Interstate 81, a highway that spans six states. $10.3 million in Northeast Pennsylvania can go further and create much more significant impact than the same amount spent in a large metropolitan area.

The goal of Opportunity Link is to close critical gaps in the trail network in order to provide a continuous, safe, non-motorized alternate transportation system that connects to and supports other transportation networks, including intermodal public transit, thereby facilitating access to multiple communities and municipalities along the trails and reducing life-cycle costs for roadway infrastructure and vehicle repair maintenance.

ii. Economic Competitiveness According to “An Economic Analysis of Transportation Infrastructure Investment” from July 2014, Americans spend 5.5 billion hours in traffic each year, costing families more than $120 billion in extra fuel and lost time. A modern transportation network is vital to our economy and is a prerequisite for future growth. A modern network needs to utilize public transit and alternate transportation networks, such as trails, to be truly competitive in a global market. Trails stimulate business creation, influence corporate location decisions, boost spending at local businesses, increase property values, reduce medical costs by encouraging exercise, and generate tax dollars. They also provide low or no-cost recreational opportunities and transportation options to the public. These economic benefits of trails are not a matter of speculation. Rather, they have been documented in an array of economic impact studies conducted across the United States. By linking the LHRT alternate transportation network to the Lackawanna Intermodal Center, public transit and clean alternate transportation networks are combined in order to create affordable access to employment, healthcare and other critical amenities across the region, as well as access to New York City and Philadelphia. A new trail economic impact study began in April 2016 and, in a few short weeks; the Heritage Valley received as many survey responses as in the entire six months of the 2009 survey. Preliminary results make clear that there will be a significantly greater outcome than the 2009 study. Urban Partners, the economics research firm that is assisting with the survey, is reluctant to project the outcomes lest they underestimate the true usage and economic impact based only on these early results.

COLTS Bus

42


(Economic Competitiveness continued) The disparity in preliminary numbers regarding Trail usage is overwhelming but predictable since two major trail projects, including the Downtown Scranton Riverwalk and more than five additional miles of trail, have been completed in the past seven years. As noted throughout this application, the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail (LRHT) has had a truly transformational impact on the community, with people of all ages and backgrounds using the Trail to enhance their lives for commuting, traveling between communities for work and pleasure, and recreational and fitness activities. The Trail has become an integral part of the life of the community, and residents of unfinished sections advocate strongly for the Trail to be completed in their respective neighborhoods. Several bridge re-deckings, installation of signage, and paving or resurfacing of older sections miles have improved the Trail since 2009, including four miles of paving and fencing projects in the Mid Valley and Scranton sections that were recently completed in 2016 at a cost of nearly $1 million. An independent evaluation by Westat, a national firm that was commissioned by NPS in 2015 to assess the impact of federal investments made to the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority (LHVA), recognized “the vast majority of its funding resources, and a considerable amount of staff time and effort” is devoted to “preparing, building and maintaining the LRHT. The LRHT serves as a regional connector and contributes to many of LHVA’s goals,” concluding that “there are many advantages to having this resource: the LRHT is a permanent and physical representation of LHVA and the Heritage Area; it serves as a free event space; it is heavily used by the community, both informally and via scheduled events; it serves to advertise for LHVA and the Heritage Area; it provides and encourages access to the Lackawanna River; it draws tourists and visitors; it provides resources for wellness activities; and many others.” National Economic Impact

The Lackawanna River Heritage Trail has and will continue to provide regional economic development, especially once Opportunity Link closes the gaps. Looking at the project from 30,000 feet, it will also have an impact on our nation’s ability to compete in a global market. The following are ways Opportunity Link will improve the nation’s global economic competitiveness: Less reliance on fossil fuels means less exposure to increasing volatility in energy prices. Reduced use of fossil fuels also results in reduced emissions of other pollutants and fine particulate matter, which have been linked to premature deaths and lost working days. This coupled with the health benefits of walking and biking not only reduces healthcare costs (especially for those who are low income and have less access to healthy food choices), but healthier, more productive people enhance a country’s competitiveness. Sustainable modes of transportation that promote well-being are attractive to employees, especially young people entering the workforce and seeking places to live and work that aligned with their personal values of environmental responsibility. Safer, more attractive communities lead to more businesses and higher property values. Increased tourism, especially since the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail is a linear interpretive park with links to heritage sites. Reduced road congestion leads to lower infrastructure and maintenance costs, as well as less money spent on vehicle maintenance and repair. 43


Quantified estimates for Reduced Auto Use Benefits (which includes reduced congestion and pollution estimates) for Opportunity Link can be found in the Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA) Summary section and Appendix X, along with Mobility Benefits, Health Benefits and Recreation Benefits. Ladders of Opportunity “The challenge we face as a country is that we must reinvent how we think about transportation. We need to aspire to more, we need a transportation system that connects a big missing dot in the line between income inequality and opportunity.” -Anthony Foxx Transportation Secretary

The lack of a continuous non-motorized transportation network of interconnected trails and bike lanes providing access to the Intermodal Center has made hundreds of thousands of citizens who live in communities along the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail (within a mile of the Trail) almost completely dependent on cars. This not only increases greenhouse gas emissions and emits harmful pollutants, but it puts pressure on businesses to find locations with parking for employees in order to remain competitive. Unfortunately, this often keeps companies out of the urban centers where it is more expensive to park and increases the demand for office space with vast seas of impervious on-grade asphalt parking. It also puts low to moderate income households with only one car or no cars at a disadvantage in terms of access to employment opportunities, education, and other essential services. It also makes it harder to attract employees who want a healthier, more sustainable place to live and access to environmentally-friendly transportation and recreational opportunities. Opportunity link will improve the region’s long-term economic competitiveness by encouraging walking, biking and the use of public transportation—the most efficient and cost-effective modes of transportation—and linking to the Lackawanna County Intermodal Center. The major transportation link to the communities along the Lackawanna Valley is currently via Interstate 81. This highway’s southern terminus is at Interstate 40 in Dandridge, Tennessee and its northern terminus is on Wellesley Island, near Fisher’s Landing, NY, at the Canadian border. Due to extreme use, the highway is almost eternally under construction and/or undergoing maintenance and repair, particularly between Wilkes-Barre and Scranton. As a result, there is significant congestion along parts of the Lackawanna Valley corridor. In addition, there are not efficient alternate routes at the moment, making it almost essential to own a car, especially to provide access to competitive jobs. By completing a non-motorized transportation network that will directly link to city bike paths, public transportation and other transit nodes, Opportunity Link reduces congestion, especially on I-81, and makes the region more attractive to outside businesses and employees who may need and/or desire such safe, low-cost and healthy alternatives. It also adds rungs to the ladders of opportunity, as now low-income residents of the region from households without cars (See Exhibit XIV) will have access to low-cost, reliable alternate transportation modes linked to multimodal transportation systems that will connect them to employment, education, and other critical services and opportunities.

44


(Ladders of Opportunity continued) In addition, the largest city along the trail, Scranton, has completed a Community Revitalization Plan that is based upon a platform of business attraction, sustainment and growth of a mixed-use, Eds & Meds Innovation District. This district abuts the Iron District—named after the historic Iron Furnaces that led to the founding of the city. The project is intended to be a cultural and artistic link between the downtown and South Scranton. South Scranton is also a low to middle income neighborhood that has a changing demographic (Exhibit X). It is the area of the city that is supporting a second wave of immigration that includes Hispanic, Indian and South Asian residents. This area is buzzing with small and disadvantaged entrepreneurial business enterprises that are adding to the vibrancy of the neighborhood. A complete trail system will support both of these districts and their economic development initiatives, specifically the Community Revitalization Plan’s goal of creating at least 2,000 new jobs and attracting 1,000 new residents. The Plan also includes a Bike Share program and biking lanes through-out the Central Business District. The bike lanes will continue into the Iron District. Both districts will link to the Lackawanna River Heritage Trails. A complete trail system will then provide links to multimodal public transportation, jobs, schools, parks, and shops throughout the region, enhancing the overall economic impact and quality of life. The implementation of the Community revitalization Plan, the Iron District Comprehensive Plan and Opportunity Link will also create construction jobs, service industry jobs for unskilled workers and educational opportunities. By creating jobs and paving the way for business, including disadvantaged businesses; by creating a multimodal transportation system that provides reliable and affordable connections to employment, education, healthcare and other essential services; and by helping revitalize the downtown and other neighborhoods along the Trail by creating new opportunities, Opportunity Link satisfies the Work, Connect and Revitalize mission of the Ladders of Opportunity and adds rungs to the ladder.

Opportunity Link will complete the critical gaps in the systems. When a complete non-motorized transportation system works in tandem with bike lanes and public transportation, the potential economic impact of all initiatives increases as one builds upon and enhances the other. Establishing a transportation network that supports the growth of the Eds & Meds institutions, Innovation District and cultural and the Iron District is important for the economic health of the region and the nation. Opportunity Link will provide alternate and public transit connections to several isolated, low-income, automobile dependent communities. Not only will it connect to the Downtown Bike Lane Circulator and the downtown Bike Share program, but it will also connect to a regional intermodal station. In addition, healthy transportation options such as walking and biking will be an asset to an area with some of the higher than normal rates of cancer and asthma.

Vehicles Per Housing Unit in Lackawanna County None

8,907

One

31,905

Two

31,643

Three +

14,036 Exhibit XIV

Information taken from “Lackawanna County Lines”

45


(Ladders of Opportunity continued) Opportunity Link plays its part in the economic competitiveness of the nation by providing safe, affordable access to the Intermodal Center, which opens up a new world of opportunities for citizens who will now have more choice in employment and healthcare throughout the region. Among other things, a well-performing transportation network allows businesses to expand and gives workers better access to jobs, attracts businesses and workers from outside the region, and ultimately keeps jobs in America and supports a thriving economy. Local Economic Impact

The Lackawanna River Heritage Trails have already shown a local economic impact of $28,251,362 due to purchases of soft goods, hard goods and overnight accommodations linked to use of the trail, as per a 2009 study. Now that more sections of the trail are complete, those numbers are certain to have increased. Since the start of April 29, 2016, LHVA has paved and improved several miles of trail in the in the Scranton and Mid Valley Links, using funds from Pennsylvania RACP program, a combined investment of approximately $1 million. These improvements are important accommodations for the thousands of runners who use the Trail for the Scranton Half Marathon and the Steamtown Marathon, which is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon. The Steamtown Marathon hopes to reconfigure its route in order to run most of the race on the LRHT from the starting point in Forest City to the finish line in downtown Scranton. Such large scale events provide bursts of economic development for the communities along the trail. For every $1 that LHVA invested in the community, project partners brought $6.26 of additional matching funds in public and private funding. Since 1992, LHV has invested $37 million in the region. Based on the U.S. Department of Commerce formula that calculates the dollars needed to generate one job, this funding has created 1,649 full-time jobs over the last 20 years. The Project Schedule section includes a table (Exhibit XV) that outlines the total jobs per project component that Opportunity Link would create. In total, 228 temporary, higher than average wage, family-sustaining construction jobs and design and planning jobs would be created over the course of the project. Scranton Half Marathon April 10, 2016

46


iii. Quality of Life Opportunity Link provides extensive quality of life benefits to the communities and municipalities throughout the region. Opportunity Link will complete a network of non-motorized access that serves over 214,057 residents living adjacent to or in close proximity to the Trail (mostly within 1 mile). According to “Pennsylvania’s Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan Executive Summary 2014-2019,” prepared under the advisement of DCNR, of 10 choices of what they value most in a community, 90% of respondents to the online survey listed the trails, natural areas and waterways category as a choice. Connectivity through the use of trails was important to Pennsylvanians. The majority of residents said that they would be more likely to use a trail if it were within easy walking distance from where they live and connected to neighborhoods with schools, shopping areas, parks and the riverfront. Half of the respondents thought outdoor recreation improves physical and mental health and fitness as well as reduces stress a “great deal”. Pennsylvanians see a clear connection between health and outdoor recreation. More than 77% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that parks, trails and open spaces are an essential part of our healthcare system. In the 2005 report by the Conservation Fund “Better Models for Development in Pennsylvania,” the Six Principles for Better Development include: “Reduce the Impact of the Car and Promote Walkability;” “Build and Maintain Livable and Attractive Communities” and “Preserve Historic Resources.” Its section on Economic Development advises that successful communities “craft land use and economic development policies around their distinctive assets: river corridors or waterfronts, stunning views or historic buildings, a local college or university, a particular crop or manufacture product, a blue ribbon trout stream... “From the Lackawanna River corridor, to the magnificent architecture of downtown Scranton, the proximity to the Trail of the University of Scranton, Marywood University and Lackawanna and Johnson Colleges, the location along the Trail of the Historic Scranton Iron Furnaces and the Scranton LaceWorks to the designation of the Lackawanna River as “Class A Wild Trout Stream,” that attracted the Trout Unlimited statewide conference to Scranton in 2015, the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail possesses every one of these attributes. The report goes on to state that these assets provide a “sense of place, a quality for which more and more Americans are searching.” Opportunity Link will enhance the quality of life and assure that Scranton is a “walking city,” a phrase coined by the iconic planner Jane Jacobs, who was a Scranton native, graduate of Scranton Central High School and author of Death and Life of American Cities. Opportunity Link will provide alternate and public transit connections to several isolated, lowincome, auto-mobile dependent communities. Not only will it connect to the Downtown Bike Circulator and the downtown BikeShare program, but it will also connect to a regional intermodal station. The project supports healthy transportation options such as walking and biking that will be an asset to an area with some of the higher than normal rates of cancer and asthma. As mentioned under Economic Competitiveness, trails stimulate business creation, influence corporate location decisions, boost spending at local businesses, increase property values, reduce medical costs by encouraging exercise, and generate tax dollars. They also provide low or no-cost recreational opportunities and transportation options to the public. All of these enhance livability and quality of life.

47


(Quality of Life continued) Research conducted by Rainer vom Hofe, an associate professor of planning, and Olivier Parent, an assistant professor of economics from the University of Cincinnati shows that home location near nature trails holds a financial benefit for homeowners and ultimately neighboring communities. To be more specific, housing prices went up by nine dollars for every foot closer to the trail entrance. Ultimately, the study concluded that for the average home, homeowners were willing to pay a $9,000 premium to be located one thousand feet closer to the trail. The researchers say their study is among the first to quantify the impact of multipurpose trail proximity on residential property values while isolating the results from the biasing effect of nearby property values. Trails and greenways also provide a variety of quality of life benefits that ultimately affect the sustainability of a region’s economic, environmental, and social health. These benefits include: Trails increase the value of nearby properties. Trails boost spending at local businesses. Communities along trails, often called trail towns, benefit from the influx of visitors going to

restaurants, snack shops and other retail establishments. In the Lackawanna Heritage Valley, Carbondale has been designated a Trail Town for the Route 6 Heritage Corridor. This means that the community has positioned itself for visitors to shop, stay and play in the community when they are using the trail, with overnight accommodations, with stores and restaurants staying open during nights and weekend to accommodate long distance trail users. On longer trails, hotels, bed and breakfasts, and outdoor outfitters benefit. Trails make communities more attractive places to live. When considering where to move, homebuyers rank walking and biking paths as one of the most important features of a new community. Trails influence business location and relocation decisions. Companies often choose to locate in communities that offer a high level of amenities to employees as a means of attracting and retaining top-level workers. Trails can make communities attractive to businesses looking to expand or relocate both because of the amenities they offer to employees and the opportunities they offer to cater to trail visitors. Trails reduce medical costs by encouraging exercise and other healthy outdoor activities. Trails revitalize depressed areas, creating a demand for space in what were once vacant buildings. Trails provide transportation options and cut fuel expenses, offering reliable means of transportation for short distance trips. Nearly half of all car trips are less than 3 miles and more than a quarter are one mile or less. Trails provide low or no-cost recreation to families with low costs relative to other recreational services that could be provided by government. Trails increase tax revenues in the communities in which they are located. These benefits represent a huge economic return on the money invested into trail projects. The costs of land acquisition for trails, trail construction and maintenance are far outweighed by the economic benefits generated by trails.

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(Quality of Life continued) In answer to the question whether investments in trails are worth the burden to taxpayers, the Center for Urban Policy and the Environment responds, “it is clear that homes in greenway corridors on average sell for higher prices.” “Trails consistently remain the number one community amenity sought by prospective homeowners.” -National Association of Homebuilders (2008)

Numerous studies and reports have made the positive link between trails and their quality of life benefits abundantly clear. Transportation Oriented Development (TOD) is an emerging planning tool that seeks to combine the active transportation benefits of a trail with the revitalization potential associated with welldesigned and well-managed urban parks to help create more livable communities. According to “TOD Trail Towns: The Tourism Potential of Trails,” communities are realizing the economic potential of trails as highly desirable destinations that bring dollars into the places they serve. In addition to preserving critical open space and providing important transportation options, trails andgreenways attract visitors from near and far—visitors who facilitate job growth in tourism-related opportunities like restaurants, local stores and lodging. Communities around the country are increasingly utilizing this “Trail Town” model of economic revitalization that places trails as the centerpiece of a tourism-centered strategy for small-town revitalization. Trail Towns contain trails that are well connected to downtown businesses. Based on the wellknown National Main Streets economic model, Trail Towns are literally inviting trail users to spend time and dollars in their community. Researchers have found that the economic impact of this approach is significant. Through careful planning, communities are realizing the full economic potential of linking trails and local businesses. Drawing obvious inspiration from the TransitOriented Development (TOD) concept, TOD’s have a proven track record of economic success. By connecting the LRHT to the Lackawanna County Intermodal Center, Opportunity Link also provides Quality of Life benefits by: Providing more transportation choice, personal mobility and flexibility. Providing access to jobs, healthcare and other essential amenities. Reducing noise and air pollution Alleviating congestion. Reducing road maintenance costs. Reducing travel time, fuel costs and care maintenance costs. Minimizing sprawl.

49


(Quality of Life continued) Quantified estimates for Reduced Auto Use Benefits (including reduced congestion and pollution estimates) for Opportunity Link can be found in the Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA) Summary section and Appendix A, along with Mobility Benefits, Health Benefits and Recreation Benefits. Mobility Benefits include the benefits of more attractive and convenient transportation options for cyclists and improved options for pedestrians. Opportunity Link components have been the subject of extensive planning processes with public involvement. As noted in the Project Descriptions and under Project Parties and Partnerships, these components are done in conjunction with various partners and consistent with various State and local plans, including comprehensive plans, conservation plans and transportation plans, such as the Lackawanna and Luzerne MPO’s Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). Combining the inherent benefits of this non-motorized, fossil-fuel free transportation system with connections to bike lanes, public transportation and intermodal transit, the quality of life for the region will be greatly enhanced, which will, in turn, make the area more desirable and more economically viable and competitive. Providing safe, convenient, affordable transportation choices to all citizens, whether by walking, bicycling, transit or driving, is key to a livable community and enjoyable quality of life.

iv. Environmental Sustainability The largest sources of transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions include passenger cars and light-duty trucks, including sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks, and minivans. These sources account for over half of the emissions from the sector. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, in 2014, greenhouse gas emissions from transportation accounted for about 26% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, making it the second largest contributor after the Electricity sector. Greenhouse gas emissions from transportation have increased by about 17% since 1990. This historical increase is largely due to increased demand for travel and the limited gains in fuel efficiency across the U.S. vehicle fleet. The number of vehicle miles traveled by passenger cars and light-duty trucks increased 35% from 1990 to 2014. The increase in travel miles is attributed to several factors, including population growth, economic growth, urban sprawl, and low fuel prices during the beginning of this period. On the EPA’s website there is a table that categorizes the opportunities to reduce emissions from transportation. It lists “Reducing Travel Demand” as one of the primary opportunities and explains that “reducing the need for driving through travel efficiency measures such as commuter, biking, and pedestrian programs are paramount to reducing emissions.” Multipurpose trails, or “green transportation corridors”, provide the potential for bicycle commuting; help alleviate noise, pollution and congestion; and expand the means for green transportation and a community’s walkability.

50


(Environmental Sustainability continued) Two-thirds of all car trips made in the U.S. are for a distance of five miles or less. Surveys by the Federal Highway Administration show that Americans are willing to walk as far as two miles to a destination and bicycle as far as five miles. A complete trail network, as part of the local transportation system, enables residents to commute to where they want to go in a more sustainable and affordable manner. The environmental impacts of getting people out of single occupant cars and using non-motorized means of transportation (i.e. bikes or walking) and public transit can be huge: One person with a 20-mile round trip commute who switches from driving to public transit can reduce his or her daily carbon emissions by 20 pounds, or more than 4,800 pounds in a year. A single commuter switching his or her commute to public transportation can reduce a household’s carbon emissions by 10 percent and up to 30 percent if he or she eliminates a second car. Emissions not only contribute to global warming, but they are also responsible for a host of other adverse environmental effects, such as air pollution, crop damage, acid rain, and water pollution via leaking oil and gas tanks. Encouraging people to walk, bike and take public transit reduces the use of single occupant cars helping to limit these effects. Because such a large part of the population of the Lackawanna Valley lives within a mile of the Trail, by closing the gaps in the Trail through Opportunity Link and providing a continuous non-motorized “main street� that connects to jobs, education and other critical amenities, the ability to walk or bike to work and access public transit is exponentially increased, which has both health and environmental benefits. By connecting the Trail to multimodal public transit, many environmental challenges as outlined by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) can be met, such as: Improving air quality/reducing pollution Reducing congestion Reducing greenhouse gas emissions Reducing sprawl Saving energy Quantified estimates for Reduced Auto Use Benefits (including reduced congestion and pollution estimates) for Opportunity Link can be found in the Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA) Summary section and Appendix A, along with Mobility Benefits, Health Benefits and Recreation Benefits. An apt illustration of the health (and economic) impact of the LRHT is the success of the Scranton Running Company, a burgeoning private business that was established next to the Downtown Scranton Riverwalk five years ago. The company began a running program, aptly named Barrier Breakers, that enrolls between 400 and 450 new walkers and runners every four to six weeks. These groups account for approximately 3000 trail users every year. This popular program was the impetus for the Scranton Half Marathon, inaugurated in 2014, attracting 3,000 competitors each year from 32 states to run a course that completed the last 6.5 miles on the LRHT. The organizers of the race donate 50% of the proceeds to further development and maintenance of the Trail in Scranton. 51


(Environmental Sustainability continued) As tools for ecology and conservation, greenways and trails help preserve important natural landscapes, provide needed links between fragmented habitats and offer tremendous opportunities for protecting plant and animal species. In addition, several components of Opportunity Link provide for brownfield redevelopment, including the Scranton Trail, Dickson City Trail, Olyphant Trail and Fell Township components.

v. Safety A livable community is one that provides safe and convenient transportation choices to all citizens, whether it’s by walking, bicycling, public transit, or driving. According to FHA (Federal Highway Administration), each year, unfortunately, pedestrian fatalities comprise about 12 percent of all traffic fatalities and there are approximately 4,000 pedestrian deaths. Another 59,000 pedestrians are injured in roadway crashes annually. According to the FHWA “Guidance: Bicycle and Pedestrian Provisions of Federal Transportation Legislation” (updated September 10, 2015): The Department of Transportation (DOT) issued the United States Department of Transportation Policy Statement on Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodation Regulations and Recommendations on March 11, 2010, to reflect the Department’s support for the development of fully integrated active transportation networks. It states: Improving conditions and safety for bicycling and walking creates an integrated, intermodal transportation system that provides travelers with a real choice of transportation modes. New and improved transportation facilities should be planned, designed, and constructed with this in mind. Opportunity Link dovetails into the recommendations of this report by providing a non-motorized transportation network that links to an intermodal center and public transportation reducing the amount of cars on the road, which in turn reduces the number of traffic accidents and associated injuries and fatalities. Also, pedestrians and bicyclists are the most vulnerable users of the transportation system. Linking them to the Trail and Intermodal Center by way of bike lanes and pedestrian routes requires ensuring those feeder systems are safe.

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The Downtown Scranton Link will enhance safety the following ways: (See Project Description & Location for more information on each Opportunity Link) The Scranton Pedestrian and Bike Connections to the Lackawanna County Intermodal Center and Steamtown National Historic Site: Pedestrian Bridge from the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail: This defunct, dilapidated

foot bridge will be repurposed to allow for safe pedestrian and bike crossing of the Lackawanna River, linking the existing Trail to a new part of the trail that will connect to Steamtown National Historic Site (Steamtown) and continue to the Intermodal Center via a currently abandoned tunnel described below (See Rendering A). Tunnel to Intermodal Center: From Steamtown, the Trail will continue by way of a tunnel

which passes under active railroad freight lines and active passenger excursion lines. By repurposing the abandoned tunnel, safe, well-lit access will be provided for pedestrians and bikers from Steamtown to the Lackawanna County Intermodal Center, eliminating the need to cross dangerous active railroad tracks and turning an eyesore into an asset (See Rendering B). Lackawanna Avenue Connection: The only current route from the 7th Avenue trailhead

to the Intermodal Center and the downtown Scranton central business district is extremely hazardous, requiring trail users, including bicyclists, pedestrians and individuals with limited mobility, to utilize a narrow sidewalk (18 inches) under the rail bridge where a stone wall abutment protrudes onto the walkway. Traffic narrows to one lane in each direction at the underpass on heavily traveled 7th Avenue. The Lackawanna Connector will be a major safety enhancement, creating an alternate route from the trail via a parallel walkway to Lackawanna Avenue. This new connection will link the trail to downtown Scranton, the State Office building, financial institutions, professional services and downtown shops and restaurants. It also will provide a direct link to Employment Opportunity and Training Center (EOTC) as well as to Scranton High School, and Mt. Pleasant Professional Park. . Downtown Scranton Bike Lanes:

Beyond Traffic presents a distressing fact, “safety for the most vulnerable users of our transportation systems remains a problem, and we have not had the same success in reducing pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities that we have had in reducing highway fatalities.� The Downtown Bike Circulator, a program that will implement bike lanes throughout the City, builds upon recent advances to ensure continued growth and improved safety in cycling and walking, designing and retrofitting roads to allow for safe passage of vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians and those with disabilities and assisted mobility devices. It increases safety for those who choose healthy, non-motorized, fossil-fuel free transportation to link to the Trail and the Intermodal Center. COLTS has already incorporated bike racks on their buses.

53


(Safety continued) Scranton Safety Street Improvements:

This critical project will assure a safer route for pedestrians and bicyclists through 7 miles of Scranton streets, i.e. Elm, Broadway, Olive, Albright, Green Ridge , Market and Dean Streets that cross the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail. It includes the installation of additional safety signage consisting of overhead flashing warning lights, colored concrete crosswalks and detectable warning surface that will alert motorists of pedestrian and bicycle traffic in adjacent corridors and crosswalks. The creation of a bicycle lane with bicycle safe grates will improve safety for the bicyclists and will follow the trend of the larger cities as will the installation of bicycle racks and safety signage at bus stops to allow the cyclist to utilize multiple modes of transportation safely. An enhanced transportation system and streetscape improvements are crucial for the city’s revitalization and economic development efforts. Replacement and repairs to deteriorated retaining walls will insure pedestrian and cyclist safety. According to PennDOT reports, between 2010 and 2014, various Scranton intersections accounted for 254 crashes and at least 86 injuries. The proposed safety improvements are imperative to providing a safer pedestrian and bicycle route (See Appendix A). Scranton Trail Construction:

The section will include trail construction and street improvements at the former Marvine Colliery. A colliery is the coal mine and its connected buildings where extracted coal was loaded onto nearby railcars. This site is a brownfield, covered with culm and, in its current state, it is a hazardous connection for either for recreation or transportation. Each of the three newly acquired easement sites will reclaim brownfields and create beautifully landscaped trails for public use and enjoyment. These reclaimed sites also will enhance the value of the properties for new development of businesses that utilize rail services located on or near these sites. The Mid Valley Link will enhance safety the following ways: Dickson City Trail Construction:

LHVA will construct the trail along the abandoned rail corridor. The easement requires LHVA to build fencing along the trail to ensure the safety of trail users and to plant a tree line along the fence to further separate the public from the active rail line. Directional, safety, distance marking, and interpretive signage will be installed at the trailhead and throughout the new trail section. LHVA plans to complete the final design, permitting, and construction development with DCNR funding support, again transforming a “moonscape” brownfield that is devoid of flora or fauna, into a lovely green corridor. This trail section will be designed and built with a dual pathway to safely accommodate the widest variety of trail users. The trail will have a 6 foot wide path of packed stone dust suitable for walkers and runners immediately adjacent to a 10 foot paved path that will accommodate bicyclists, individuals who use a wheelchair/walker for mobility, and families with strollers who require a smoother surface. The project will be fully ADA compliant. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the LHVA managed trail sections.

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(Safety continued) Olyphant Trail Construction:

The Olyphant section of trail will provide and extraordinarily critical access to the Borough of Throop and to the campus of the Mid Valley School District. Students from Dickson City, Olyphant and Throop attend elementary, intermediate and high schools at this complex. Of the 1800 students in the district, 49.2% live at or below the Federal poverty level. Currently, there is no pedestrian access to the school district, and every student must be dropped off by vehicle or be transported on a school bus. Development of this section, allowing pedestrian access to the schools from the three municipalities that comprise the school district, will have significant impacts, not only by alleviating congestion on the busy roads during rush hour traffic but also by obviating the need for a car and related costs of gas and maintenance for disadvantaged families, mitigating logistics for working parents who must arrange for transportation, and saving the school district busing costs. Walking to school is also gets students outdoors, encourages socialization and health and fitness activities. It also simplifies arrangements for after school activities, offering opportunities for participation in team sports and other extracurricular activities. Faculty and staff also will be able to take advantage of this new route for walking or bicycling. The Upper Valley Link will enhance safety the following ways: Mayfield Trail Construction:

The preferred trail alignment through the borough of Mayfield is partially along borough roads and along a developed trail segment. The section along borough roads follows a busy secondary road with no sidewalks and the roadway is not stripped. The on-trail section through the borough was acquired by LHVA in 2013 and has not been developed. Once the section of trail is built, it will alleviate pedestrian traffic from the shoulder of the roadway. Carbondale Township:

The Carbondale Township section is a .9 mile section of trail that will reroute pedestrians from a busy secondary road that has no sidewalks or shoulder, making it hazardous for walkers or bicyclists. The Carbondale Township section will connect the existing trail from the south to the City of Carbondale. This will close a critical gap in the trail system. Carbondale Riverwalk:

The Carbondale Riverwalk project directly addresses the current safety concerns of the busy State Routes 6 and 171. The creation of a bicycle and pedestrian safe corridor is vital because the street is very narrow and winding. The current sidewalks are in very poor condition or nonexistent in many instances. This heavily travelled transportation corridor has two way traffic and parallel parking. Large tractor trailers travel from Carbondale Industrial Development Authority Park and there are no sidewalks on which pedestrians can travel safely. The project also addresses two closed bridges that separate sections of the city and will now provide access over the river. By moving pedestrian and bicycle traffic to a safer corridor,

it will allow individuals with limited mobility to enjoy the ADA trail surface with gentle grades.

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(Safety continued) Fell Township:

Currently trail users from Fell Township are forced to detour onto busy roads including an extremely dangerous section of SR 171, and then to cross the Lackawanna River over the narrow Morse Avenue bridge to connect back to the LRHT, or to use the O&W Trail . The O&W is privately owned, and it is in very poor condition. This vital Vandling-Simpson link must be completed in order to provide a safe alternative transportation route. LHVA will repurpose abandoned brownfields (rail beds) that currently are used as de facto trails to become a safe, multi-purpose trail that can be used as a safe alternative transportation route. After final design and engineering are completed, the trail will be constructed built with a dual pathway to accommodate a wide variety of trail users. It will consist of both a 6 foot wide crushed stone path suitable for walkers, runners, equestrians, cross-country skiers and snowshoers, contiguous to a 10 foot wide paved path to accommodate bicyclists, strollers, and people with limited mobility. Quantified estimates for Mobility Benefits (half of the mobility benefits are assigned to safety and the other half to livability) for Opportunity Link can be found in the Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA) Summary section and Appendix A, along with Reduced Auto Use Benefits, Health Benefits and Recreation Benefits. Appendix A of the BCA also includes monetized values for fatalities and injuries that were sustained over

a 5 year period. Opportunity Link would greatly reduce these numbers due to the safety measures described above. In the City of Carbondale and Carbondale Township, this number is approximately $3.5 million and in the City of Scranton it is approximately $16.2 million. More importantly, these safety measures would also greatly reduce the human toll of pain and suffering and the negative effect that sustained injuries can take on quality of life. By creating a continuous heritage trail that links to bike paths, safer and better connected walking and bicycling networks will be an alternative to using busy roadways and surface transportation injuries and fatalities will be greatly reduced.

56


57

Scranton Link

Mid Valley Link

Upper Valley Link

P

C

C

D

2017 2 56

LEGEND Planning (P) Design/Engineering (D) Construction (C)

8.) Upper Valley trail Construction (4.8 Miles Total)

~3 Jobs/Quarter ~4 Jobs/Quarter Varies

Project 1 - Mayfield Project 2 - Carbondale Twp Project 3 - Carbondale Riverwalk Project 4 - Fell Twp.

C

D

C D

D

C

P

2017 1 40

6.) Olyphant Trail Construction: Lackawanna Avenue to Valley Project 1 - Olyphant Trail Connector Avenue (.8 miles)

C D

D

2016 4 29

D

Project 1 - Marvine Trail Connector

Project 1 - Pedestrian Bridge from Trail Project 2 - Tunnel to Intermodal Center Project 3 - Lackawanna Avenue Connector

Phase

5. Dickson City Trail Construction: Railroad Street to Lackawanna Avenue (1.1 Miles)

4.) Scranton Trail Construction (.81 Miles)

3.) Scranton Safety Street Crossings

2.) Downtown Scranton Bike Lanes

1.) Scranton Pedestrian Connections to SNHS & Intermodal Center

Quarter Average Jobs per Quarter

Year

Project Schedule

D

D

D

C

C

D D

P P

C

D

C

D

2018 1 64

D

D

D

C

C

C

C

D

C

2017 4 65

P

D

2017 3 52

C

D D

C

C

C

C

C

C

2018 2 134

Opportunity Link - Lackawanna River Heritage Trail Initiative Project Timeline

vi. Project Schedule

C

C C

C

C

C

C

2018 3 126

C

C C

C

C

C

2018 4 114

C

C C

2019 1 40

C

C C

2019 2 40

Exhibit XV

228

22 22 24 19

20

24

19

16

8

15

19

20

Total Jobs/ Project


a. Secondary Selection Criteria i. Innovation According to The Council of State Governments Knowledge Center, one of the top transportation issues for 2016 is federal funding uncertainty and underinvestment in infrastructure. As the population and automobile use continues to grow, our transportation infrastructure continues to decline. Highways and local roads are congested and road maintenance is expensive and perpetual. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2015 that the poor condition of many of the nation’s roads cost the average driver $515 in extra operation and maintenance costs on their car, according to an analysis from TRIP, a national transportation research group. Governing.com writes about “the focus of a recent Deloitte University Press report that lays out strategic transportation solutions that governments can adopt. The report’s central concept: By supporting alternative approaches such as car-, ride- and bike-sharing, jurisdictions can greatly improve mobility for residents without the need to spend billions of dollars on new roads, bridges and tunnels. The report cites Helsinki, Finland, as an example of how such a mobility infrastructure would look. By 2025, Helsinki’s goal is that no city resident would find it necessary to own a private car…. Rather than having a transportation system designed around infrastructure and vehicles, Helsinki’s model is designed around individual mobility -- moving each traveler from point A to point B as quickly and efficiently as possible. It goes on to say,”Car-sharing, bike-sharing, walking and car ownership all play a role in the multimodal network, but public transportation is ranked among Millennials as the best mode to connect to all other modes. And with the advent of data-rich smartphone transportation applications, travelers have much more flexibility in choosing and linking their modes of transportation.” As technology begins to impact transportation (Uber, driverless cars, Apps, etc.) and as the Millennial generation becomes more mobile, flexibility in travel is becoming an expectation that is also an asset. A study by the American Public Transportation Association looked at “hot spot” neighborhoods that attract Millennials. It found that communities that attract Millennials are increasingly going to be those that provide a multitude of transportation choices to support multimodal lifestyles. “Meeting future challenges will require a long-term vision for the transportation sector that includes more and cleaner options, and expands those options to communities across the country.” –Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx unveiling the FY 2017 Budget Proposal

Opportunity Link is innovative for Northeast Pennsylvania because it is a cleaner option that expands opportunities to communities by offering a continuous, non-motorized transportation network linked to bike lanes, bike sharing and an Intermodal Center. It provides accessibility, flexibility, individual mobility, choice and opportunity to citizens, while at the same time reducing congestion, emissions, road maintenance, and other infrastructure costs. It provides greater opportunity to those from low to middle income households who may not be able to afford cars as well as for those of all incomes who want multimodal choice and less dependence on cars for personal, environmental and financial reasons.

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(Innovation continued) It is also innovative because it enhances economic competitiveness by reducing the time and cost of commuting to work and improving access to intermodal facilities. This improves the mobility of the workforce, improves their health, and reduces dependence on fossil fuels, which is key to economic competitiveness and livable communities.

ii. Partnership The Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority (LHVA) is an authority of the County of Lackawanna. The Lackawanna County Commissioners appoint the members of the Authority board of directors. Although it is an independent municipal entity, the Authority works closely with the County and particularly with many of its departments, namely the Departments of Economic Development and Planning, Parks and Recreation, Arts and Culture, and Roads and Bridges. As an umbrella economic and community development organization, LHVA partners with myriad groups throughout the region, creating a network of historic and cultural organizations that collaborate and complement the programs and projects that enhance the life of the community. The co-applicant, Lackawanna County, through its Economic Development Department, which includes the Lackawanna Regional Planning Commission, Office of Community Development, and the Lackawanna County Redevelopment and Industrial Development Authorities, has a mission to effectively promote and attract job creating businesses to the area in partnership with myriad groups throughout the region. Jurisdictional Partners and Stakeholders:

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation PennDOT U. S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration National Park Service U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Steamtown National Historic Site PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) PA Department of Economic and Community Development County of Lackawanna Transportation System (COLTS) Lackawanna County City of Scranton City of Carbondale Dickson City Olyphant Mayfield Carbondale Township Fell Township Scranton Police Department Carbondale Industrial Development Authority (CIDA) D & L Realty Company Linde Corporation

Disciplinary Partners:

PennDOT COLTS Lackawanna-Luzerne MPO Federal Highway Administration (FHA) PA DCNR PA DCED Lackawanna-Monroe BiCounty Rail Authority

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VI. Project Readiness

TIGER VIII grant funds for this project will be obligated by September 30, 2019. a. Technical Feasibility

The capital expenditures associated with Opportunity Link are design and construction. LHVA and Lackawanna County have site control for every component of the project. Feasibility, engineering and design are complete for Scranton Safety Crossings, the Lackawanna Avenue Connector and the Carbondale Riverwalk. Fell Township is currently under design. Once funding is obtained, each component of Opportunity Link is or can be shovel-ready by 2019. The projects utilize conventional design and construction techniques. All components have been designed in conformance with federal, state and local standards and comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Additionally, all of the projects have been designed to conform to all requirements of the utility providers, transit agencies and railroads associated with the project. b. Financial Feasibility

Opportunity Link has financial support from a broad range of funding partners. Grants have been secured for certain components, such as Scranton Safety Crossings and Fell Township. LHVA has been awarded significant grants, but has been unable to obtain required matches for these projects due to limited and decreasing availability of public funds. This TIGER award would assure completion of these projects prior to the expiration of the secured grant awards. (Exhibit XI) c. Project Schedule

With TIGER VIII funding, Opportunity Link can obligate funds to complete the projects by 2019. Opportunity Link funds can begin to be used immediately upon notification of the award of the TIGER grant. (Exhibit XV) d.

e.

Required Approvals

Trails and bicycle paths are FTA categorically excluded from the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), therefore this evaluation is not required. Risks and Mitigations Strategy

LHVA and Lackawanna County have extensive experience managing various grants. LHVA has or will have appropriate liability insurance for every plan component. Also, LHVA has retained an attorney who specializes in trails to assure compliance with all federal, state and local regulations.

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VII. Federal Wage Certificate

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APPENDIX A: BENEFIT/COST ANALYSIS


Bicycle demand is calculated using the methods and standard values given in: National Academy of Sciences Transportation Research Board, National Cooperative Highway Research Program NCHRP Report 552: Guidelines for the Analysis of Investments in Bicycle Facilities. Table 1: Annual Population Growth Rate

Table 3: Bicycle Commuters Category

Totals

Population

214,057

Percentage of Adults

79.50%

Total Commuters

95,629

Total Commuters (%)

44.67%

NOTE:

Category

Table 2A Table 2B Table 13 Table 14

Population 2010

214,437

Population 2015

211,917

Lackawanna

Decrease

-2,520

Annual Population Growth Rate:

Bicycle Commuters: High Estimate 1 Best Estimate Low Estimate1 Bicycle Commuters: % of Commuters High Estimate Best Estimate Low Estimate Bicycle Commuters: % of Population High Estimate Best Estimate Low Estimate

on BCA Results TAB

421 383 344 0.44% 0.40% 0.36% 0.20% 0.18% 0.16%

1 High and low estimates for number of bicycle commuters are the 2008-2012 American Community Survey estimates plus or minus the stated statistical uncertainties. Uncertainties in total population and total commuters are less than 1% and are not considered in the present analysis.

10%

20%

40%

Table 4: Populations Within Various Distances of Project Locations Opportunity Links

Population within 800 Meters 15,218

Population within 1600 Meters 30,436

76089

Nearest Station or Destination

Distance (miles)

County

Intermodal Center

0

Lackawanna

Population within 400 Meters 7,609

Dickson City

0.5

Lackawanna

607

1,214

2,428

6070 1807

Downtown Scranton Dickson City - Project 1 & 2 Mayfield Borough

Mayfield

1

Lackawanna

181

361

723

Carbondale Township

Carbondale Township

1

Lackawanna

112

223

446

1115

City of Carbondale

Carbondale

1

Lackawanna

889

1,778

3,556

8891

Fell Township

0

Fell Township

Population Estimates from Census Tract Data and GIS Mapping

Lackawanna Totals:

218

436

871

2178

9,615

19,230

38,460

96150

Table 5: Commuting Cyclists and Total Daily Adult Cyclists Distance to Project: Population Percentage of Commuters Percentage of Adults Commuting Cyclists 1 High Estimate Best Estimate Low Estimate Daily Adult Cycling Percentages 2 High Estimate Best Estimate Low Estimate Daily Adult Cyclists 3 High Estimate Best Estimate Low Estimate

400 Meters

800 Meters

1600 Meters

Totals

0.445953823

9,615 44.67% 79.50%

19,230 44.67% 79.50%

38,460 44.67% 79.50%

67,305 44.67% 79.50%

39 38 35

78 77 69

155 154 138

272 269 242

0.60% 0.40% 0.16%

0.60% 0.40% 0.16%

0.60% 0.40% 0.16%

0.60% 0.40% 0.16%

46 31 12

92 61 25

183 122 49

321 214 86

1

Calculated as the product of population and the commuting cyclist's percentage of population in Table 3.

2

Calculated using the NCHRP Report 552 equations on Page 38: High estimate is 0.6% plus 3 times the high estimate bicycle commute percentage. Best estimate is 0.4% plus 1.2 times the best estimate bicycle commute percentage. Low Estimate is the low estimate bicycle commute rate.

3 Daily Adult Cyclists are calculated as the product of the population, percentage of adults and daily adult cycling percentages.

Table 6: NEW Daily Bicycle Commuters and Daily Adult Cyclists: Attributed to the Project Distance to Project New Bicycle Commuters1 High Estimate Best Estimate Low Estimate New Daily Adult Cyclists 1 High Estimate Best Estimate Low Estimate 1

400 Meters

800 Meters

1600 Meters

Totals

75 74 67

86 85 77

61 60 54

222 220 198

89 34 5

177 68 10

354 136 19

620 238 34

Per the NCHRP Report 522, Page 39, the numbers of new bicycle commuters and new daily adult cyclists are estimated to be 1.93, 1.11 and 0.39 times the current values (See Table 5 above) for distances of 400 meters, 800 meters, and 1600 meters, respectively. These values are in addition to the new bicycle commuters.

-1.18%


Table 7: Annual Mobility Benefits for Bicycle Commuters Bicycle Commuters Existing Bicycle Commuters High Estimate Best Estimate Low Estimate New Bicycle Commuters High Estimate Best Estimate Low Estimate Total Bicycle Commuters High Estimate Best Estimate Low Estimate

Number

Annual Mobility Benefit1

421 383 344

$858,840 $781,320 $701,760

222 220 198

$452,477 $447,997 $403,198

643 603 542

$1,311,317 $1,229,317 $1,104,958

1 Per the NCHRP Report 552, page 39, the mobility benefit for riding on an off-street bicycle trail, compared to riding on a street with parked cars is $4.08/trip, with 2 trips per day 5 days per week 50 weeks per year.

Numbers of existing and new bicycle commuters are from Tables 5 and 6 above.

Table 8: Annual Health Benefits for Total New Adult Cyclists New Adult Cyclists High Estimate Best Estimate Low Estimate

Number 841 457 207

Annual Health Benefit1 $107,702 $58,519 $26,440

1

Per the NCHRP Report 552, page 39, the annual heath benefit per new cyclist is $128. The total estimated numbers of new adult cyclists are shown above in Table 6.

Table 9: Annual Recreation Benefits for New Adult Cyclists (Excluding New Bicycle Commuters) New Adult Cyclists (Excluding New Bicycle Commuters) High Estimate Best Estimate Low Estimate

Number2 620 238 34

Annual Recreation Benefits1 $2,261,600 $867,142 $122,500

1

Per the NCHRP Report 552, page 39, the annual recreation benefit for new adult cyclists, excluding new bicycle commuters, is calculated at $10/day times 365 days.

2

Number of new adult cyclists from Table 6 above.

Table 10: Reduced Auto Use Benefits New Bicycle Commuters High Estimate Best Estimate Low Estimate 1 From Table 6 Above.

Number1 222 220 198

Annual Recreation Benefits2 $43,252 $42,823 $38,541

2

Based on an average 6 mile roundtrip commute distance and $0.13/per mile - the NCHRP Report 552 value for urban areas.

2010 to 2015 Population growth factor at 0.57% per year

Table 12: Total Annual Benefits 2015 Population Estimates

Table 11: Total Annual Benefits 2010 Population Data Category Mobility Benefits Health Benefits Recreation Benefits Reduced Auto Use Benefits Total Annual Benefits

High Best Estimate Low Estimate Estimate $1,311,317 $1,229,317 $1,104,958 $107,702 $58,519 $26,440 $2,261,600 $867,142 $122,500 $43,252 $42,823 $38,541 $3,723,871 $2,197,802 $1,292,438

1.01143249

Category Mobility Benefits Health Benefits Recreation Benefits Reduced Auto Use Benefits Total Annual Benefits Ratios to Best

High Estimate $1,326,309 $108,933 $2,287,456 $43,746 $3,766,444 1.694361561

Best Estimate $1,243,372 $59,188 $877,056 $43,313 $2,222,928 0.58805943

Low Estimate $1,117,590 $26,742 $123,900 $38,982 $1,307,214


The City of Carbondale and Carbondale Township projects contain an access point where the trail crosses a heavily used traffic intersection. The five‐year accident reports were obtained from PennDOT for the calendar years 2010 through 2014 for the following: Cost/Benefit Category ‐ Fatalities/Value of Injuries Lackawanna County, City of Carbondale/Township Intersection: Gordon Avenue

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

TOTALS

Fatalities 0 0 0 0 0

Major Injuries 1 0 0 0 0

Moderate Injuries 0 2 0 0 0

Minor Injuries 0 4 0 0 0

0

1

2

4

Unknown Unknown Severity Injury 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2

0

Lackawanna County, City of Carbondale and Carbondale Township Cost/Benefit Category ‐ Fatalities/Value of Injuries‐ Monetized Values Fraction of Unit Major Moderate Minor Unknown Unknown Level Value of Statistical Life Value Fatalities Injuries Injuries Injuries Severity* Injury* Total AIS 0 No injury 0.0000 $ ‐ 1.8506 0.0000 1.8506 AIS 1 Minor 0.0030 $ 28,200 4 0.1451 0.0000 4.1451 AIS 2 Moderate 0.0470 $ 441,800 2 0.0040 0.0000 2.0040 AIS 3 Serious 0.1050 $ 987,000 0.0002 0.0000 0.0002 AIS 4 Severe 0.2660 $ 2,500,400 1 0.0000 0.0000 1.0000 AIS 5 Critical 0.5930 $ 5,574,200 0.0001 0.0000 0.0001 AIS 6 Not Survivable 1.0000 $ 9,400,000 0 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0 1 2 4 2 0 9 TOTAL MONETIZED VALUE OF FATALITIES & INJURIES *Unknown Severity or Injury KABCO‐AIS Data Conversion Conversion Factor AIS 1 AIS 1 AIS 2 AIS 3 AIS 4 AIS 5 AIS 6

No Injury Minor Moderate Serious Severe Critical Not Survivable

Severity* Based‐2 0.92534 0.07257 0.00198 0.00008 0.00000 0.00003 0.00000 1.00000

1.8506 0.1451 0.0040 0.0002 0.0000 0.0001 0.0000 1.9999

Injury* Based‐0 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000

Monetized Values $ ‐ $ 116,892 $ 885,367 $ 197 $ 2,500,400 $ 557 $ ‐ $ 3,503,414

``


The City of Scranton Safety Crossings Improvements project contains eight access points where the trail crosses heavily used traffic intersections. The five‐year accident reports were obtained from PennDOT for the calendar years 2010 through 2014 for the following: Cost/Benefit Category ‐ Fatalities/Value of Injuries Lackawanna County, City of Scranton Intersection: Elm Street

Broadway Street

Olive Street

Green Ridge Street

East Market Street

Boulevard Avenue

TOTALS

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

Fatalities 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Major Injuries 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3

Moderate Injuries 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 14

Minor Injuries 2 3 7 5 4 0 3 2 0 2 8 4 6 7 5 1 0 1 6 3 0 0 0 1 2 2 1 0 3 2 80

Unknown Unknown Severity Injury 5 1 7 2 4 1 3 7 4 2 2 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 7 1 8 0 1 0 2 1 3 1 6 0 1 0 5 0 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 68 19

Lackawanna County, City of Scranton, Safety Crossings Improvements Cost/Benefit Category ‐ Fatalities/Value of Injuries‐ Monetized Values Fraction of Unit Major Moderate Minor Unknown Unknown Level Value of Statistical Life Value Fatalities Injuries Injuries Injuries Severity* Injury* Total AIS 0 No injury 0.0000 $ ‐ 62.9231 17.5815 80.5046 AIS 1 Minor 0.0030 $ 28,200 80 4.9348 1.3788 86.3136 AIS 2 Moderate 0.0470 $ 441,800 14 0.1346 0.0376 14.1722 AIS 3 Serious 0.1050 $ 987,000 0.0054 0.0015 0.0069 AIS 4 Severe 0.2660 $ 2,500,400 3 0.0000 0.0000 3.0000 AIS 5 Critical 0.5930 $ 5,574,200 0.0020 0.0006 0.0026 AIS 6 Not Survivable 1.0000 $ 9,400,000 0 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 TOTAL VALUE OF FATALITIES & INJURIES *Unknown Severity or Injury KABCO‐AIS Data Conversion Conversion Factor Based‐68 Based‐19 AIS 1 No Injury 0.92534 62.9231 17.5815 AIS 1 Minor 0.07257 4.9348 1.3788 AIS 2 Moderate 0.00198 0.1346 0.0376 AIS 3 Serious 0.00008 0.0054 0.0015 AIS 4 Severe 0.00000 0.0000 0.0000 AIS 5 Critical 0.00003 0.0020 0.0006 AIS 6 Not Survivable 0.00000 0.0000 0.0000 1.00000 68.0000 19.0000

Monetized Values $ ‐ $ 2,434,044 $ 6,261,278 $ 6,810 $ 7,501,200 $ 14,493 $ ‐ $ 16,217,825

``


APPENDIX B: LETTERS OF SUPPORT


-

-

THOMAS

_

OFFICERS

WASCURA

CHRIS PAONE

President

As sist a n t Bmoug h Man ag er

PAI ZWANCH We Presifunt

BLAKELY BOROUGH

COUNCIL MEMBERS

OFFICE BOROUGH BUILDING

MICHAEL HENZES

J.

_

Seretary / Tl'easurer Boroujh Monager

IOSEPHQUINN

-

OFFICERS

-

KEVIN S}IIIFT IOSEPH ERCOIANI

JEFFREY CRUCIANI LOUIS R. PARRI

Street .

P.O. Box 146 1439 Main Peckville, Pennsylvania 18452-0146

Phone: (570) 383-3340 . Fax: (570) 383-3353 blaklybo2@comcast. net

April26,2016

Assistant Zonling

fficer

BERKHEMER ASSOCIATES Wage Tiac Collectw

IEANETTE ACCIARE-MARIANI Mayor

EDWINA. ABRA}IAMSEN Solicitm

EDWARD ALCq IR. Controller

JOHN I. CASTELI-A,NI Technical Ad.visor

DEBBIE ROTELL Titx Collector

Ms. Natalie Gelb Executive Director Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority 213 South Seventh Avenue Scranton, PA 18505

Re: Transportation lnvestment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER2) Fund Application Dear Ms. Gelb:

Blakely Borough has reviewed the information submitted by the Authority relative to the TIGER grant for our residents. TIGER is focused on transformative, Multi-Jurisdictional, MultiCollaborate projects that impact safety and economic development. The City of Scranton and its adjacent communities are positioned to transform the local economy with an improved transportation infrastructure utilizing a variety of traditional and nontraditional corridors and modes.

TIGER would allow LHVA to complete the trail connections to the newly constructed (Fall 2015) InterModal Center in Scranton, planned bike lanes through the City of Scranton, access to Steamtown National Historic Site (trains), safety improvements at street crossings, and other features to enhance alternative transportation through the region. The Lackawanna River Heritage Trail ultimately will connect 30 communities. It will make our communities move livable and sustainable by providing complete connections throughout the county and beyond. LHVA has a successful history of collaborative partnering with government, corporate, nonprofit, and area residents. LHVA has carefully chosen its co-applicants on this project to ensure project completion and secured significant matching funds. The project specifically creates for our community of Blakely Borough the ability for residents and non-residents the ability to safely walk through our town on a family friendly trail. The trail currently passes along the Lackawanna River and directly through Blakely Borough Recreational Complex on its way to connecting with our neighboring municipality of Olyphant.


_

OFFICERS

_

THOMAS

-

OFFICERS

J. \.VASCURA / Tieasurer Bmough Manager

Secretary

-

JOSEPH QUINN Presid.ent A

PAI ZWANCH We Presidant

BLAKELY BOROUGH

COIINCIL MEMBERS

BOROUGH BUITDING OFFICE

_

MICHAEL HENZES KEVIN SWIFT

-

IOSEPH ERCOIANI

JEFFREY CRUCIANI

1439 Main Street . P.O. Box 146 Peckville, Pennsylvani a 18452-0146 Phone: (570) 383-3340

LOUIS R. PARRI

. Fax: (570) 383-3353

blaklybo2@comcast.net

ss

CHRIS PAONE ix ant Boroug h Man

Assistant Zoning

ag er

fficn

BERKHEIIVTER ASSOCIAIES Wage Thx

Colle*m

IEANETTE ACCIARE-MARIANI Maym

EDWIN A. ABRAHAMSEN Solicitm

EDWARD ALCq IR. Controller

IOHN

J.

CASTELI,{NI

Tbchnical Ad.eism

DEBBIE ROTELL Tiw Ailzctor

Blakely Borough strongly endorses this vital transportation project for our region that will transform and position positively our regional economy for future growth. Very truly yours,

-f/*

l-)

aaz*,*

Thomas Wascura Blakely Borough Manager

Chris Paone Blakely Borough Assistant Manager







April 27, 2016 Ms. Natalie Gelb Executive Director Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority 213 South Seventh Avenue Scranton, PA 18505 Re: Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER2) Fund Application Dear Ms. Gelb: The TOWNSHIP OF FELL has reviewed the information submitted by the Authodty relative to the TIGER grant for our residents. TIGER is focused on transformative, Multi-Judsdictional, Multi-Collaborate projects that impact safety and economic development. The City of Scranton and its adjacent communities are positioned to transform the local economy with an improved transportation infrastructure utilizing a variety of traditional and nontraditional corridors and modes. TIGER would allow LHVA to complete the trail connections to the newly constructed (Fall 2015) lnterModal Center in Scranton, planned bike lanes through the City of Scranton, access to Steamtown National Historic Site (trains), safety improvements at street crossings, and other features to enhance alternative transportation through the region. The Lackawanna River Heritage Trail ultimately will connect 30 communities. It will make our communities move liveable and sustainable by providing complete connections throughout the county and beyond. LHVA has a successful history of collaborative partnering with government, corporate, nonprofit, and area residents. LHVA has carefully chosen its co-applicants on this project to ensure project completion and secured significant matching funds. The project specifically creates for FELL TOWNSHIP a great opportunity and greatly supports our policy of developing a people friendly community. The TOWNSHIP OF FELL strongly endorses this vital transportation project for our region that will transform and position positively our regional economy for future growth.
















April 26, 2016 Ms. Natalie Gelb Executive Director Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority 213 South Seventh Avenue Scranton, PA 18505 Re: Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER2) Fund Application Dear Ms. Gelb: Scranton Tomorrow is pleased to provide this letter of support for LHVA’s TIGER Fund Application. We are excited by LHVA’s leadership to bring transformative, Multi-Jurisdictional, Multi-Collaborate projects that impact safety and economic development to our region. In particular, the City of Scranton and its adjacent communities are positioned to transform the local economy with an improved transportation infrastructure utilizing a variety of traditional and nontraditional corridors and modes. We understand that TIGER would allow LHVA to complete the trail connections to the newly constructed (Fall 2015) InterModal Center in Scranton, planned bike lanes through the City of Scranton, access to Steamtown National Historic Site (trains), safety improvements at street crossings, and other features to enhance alternative transportation through the region. The Lackawanna River Heritage Trail ultimately will connect 30 communities. It will make our communities move liveable and sustainable by providing complete connections throughout the county and beyond. LHVA has a successful history of collaborative partnering with government, corporate, nonprofit, and area residents. LHVA has carefully chosen its coapplicants on this project to ensure project completion and secured significant matching funds. Scranton Tomorrow is a community support and economic development organization working to sustain and enhance a vibrant and thriving environment for Scranton’s residents, businesses and visitors. LHVA’s project will have a significant impact on downtown Scranton, our primary area of focus. Scranton Tomorrow strongly endorses this vital transportation project for our region. Sincerely,

Andrea Mulrine President

1011 N. Main Ave., Scranton, PA 18508 | www.scrantontomorrow.org




$SULO Ms. Natalie Gelb Executive Director Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority 213 South Seventh Avenue Scranton, PA 18505

Re: Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER2) Fund Application Dear Ms. Gelb:

Thank you for the opportunity to review the information submitted by the Authority relative to the TIGER grant for our residents. We understand that TIGER 201͸ discretionary grants will fund capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure and will be awarded to projects that will have a significant impact.

Approval of a TIGER grant would allow LHVA to complete the trail connections to the newly constructed (Fall 2015) InterModal Center in Scranton, planned bike lanes through the City of Scranton, access to Steamtown National Historic Site (trains), safety improvements at street crossings, and other features to enhance alternative transportation through the region. The Lackawanna River Heritage Trail ultimately will connect 30 communities. It will make our communities more liveable and sustainable by providing complete connections throughout the county and beyond. LHVA has a successful history of collaborative partnering with government, corporate, nonprofit, and area residents. LHVA has carefully chosen its co-applicants on this project to ensure project completion and secured significant matching funds.

The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC) attracts students from all areas of the nation. As a new medical school, we compete with well established schools for the best students. Quality of life is definitely part of an applicant’s decision making process, and LHVA’s improvements make our region more attractive to potential students. In addition, our rigorous admissions process includes personal interviews which require applicants to travel to Scranton. Scranton’s new InterModal Center and connections via Amtrak and Martz are important to accessibility.

TCMC strongly endorses this vital transportation project for our region that will transform and position positively our regional economy for future growth. Sincerely,

Marise Garofalo Vice President for Institutional Advancement 525 Pine Street, Scranton, PA 18509 | www.tcmc.edu




APPENDIX C: LACKAWANNA COUNTY STATISTICS


MUNICIPALITIESÂ LIST

ackawanna River Heritage Trail Communities - Lackawanna County Statistics Median Household % Persons Below Municipality

Zip Code

Population -2010

Income

Poverty Level

% High School

% College

Graduates

Graduates

LACKAWANNA COUNTY: 1 Archbald Borough

18403

6,984

50,197

12.8%

86.8%

20.9%

2 Blakely Borough

18447

6,564

38,153

12.4%

86.7%

17.4%

3 Carbondale City

18407

8,891

33,000

19.9%

88.2%

12.6%

4 Carbondale Township

18407

1,115

50,909

3.1%

89.8%

19.3% 24.7%

5 Dickson City Borough

18447

6,070

44,279

11.6%

90.5%

6 Fell Township

18407

2,178

37,727

11.0%

86.4%

3.4%

7 Jermyn Borough

18433

2,169

40,167

14.9%

93.1%

15.0%

8 Jessup Borough

18434

4,676

42,434

14.9%

92.5%

21.7%

9 Mayfield Borough

18433

1,807

39,786

11.0%

90.6%

23.5%

10 Moosic Borough

18507

5,719

57,826

10.6%

92.5%

29.3%

11 Old Forge Borough

18518

8,313

49,688

8.7%

88.8%

24.3%

12 Olyphant Borough

18447

5,151

48,361

15.4%

85.8%

16.1%

13 Scranton City

18447

76,089

35,606

18.8%

83.1%

18.6%

14 Taylor Borough

18517

6,263

36,903

16.8%

86.4%

14.8%

15 Throop Borough

18512

4,088

40,081

15.9%

87.0%

17.6%

16 Vandling Borough

18421

751

40,208

13.0%

86.8%

16.2%

45,185

9.5%

89.6%

25.0%

TOTAL IN LACKAWANNA COUNTY

146,828

LACKAWANNA COUNTY STATISTICS

209,330

TIGER GRANT APPLICATION PROJECTS

Source: 2010 Census