Why Terry First?
Old Town Pocatello and Idaho State University are central to the fabric of our community. They serve as both economic and social engines for the City and the greater Pocatello region. But the future of these places is anything but certain. What can we do to strengthen the connection between Old Town and ISU, making it easier to get between the two? How can we support the redeveloping Warehouse District and encourage more active use by citizens and visitors alike? What role do our streets and land uses play in supporting that connection and bolstering our local economy? What is the role of multimodal transportation and community satisfaction?
The Terry First project is focused on working with citizens to dig into these questions. The goal of the project is to create streetscape design concepts for the stretch of Terry Street between 5th and 1st Avenues, and for the stretch of 1st Avenue from Terry Street to Center Street. Thus the name, “Terry First”. The streetscape concepts will take into consideration the current and envisioned use, existing context and character, and the desires and vision of Pocatello residents. This effort is the first step towards informing future zoning amendments and strengthening economic activity in the area.
About the Terry First Project
There is no denying that historic Old Town Pocatello and the campus of Idaho State University are popular local destinations. Old Town is the civic and cultural hub of our community, where we gather to enjoy the company of our neighbors and participate in community life. ISU is a flagship state university, educating over 15,000 students annually.
ISU and Old Town are less than a mile apart but moving between the two is a challenge, especially as a pedestrian or bicyclist. Only two routes connect Old Town to ISU—Benton Street overpass, and Center Street underpass—and the Union Pacific Railroad yard presents a significant barrier limiting access across the community. The Whittier neighborhood and the redeveloping Warehouse District are situated on the eastern side of the rail yard, but there is no convenient, safe or clear route for pedestrians and bicyclists to get from one location to the other, while connecting the neighborhoods in between.
We can do better.
The Terry Street / 1st Avenue corridor is envisioned as becoming the central pedestrian connection between ISU, the Historic Warehouse District and on to Old Town Pocatello. By focusing on the streets between these destinations, the Terry First project will help create a more livable, vibrant corridor that enhances the economy, draws people from ISU into the Warehouse District, and supports adjacent neighborhoods and redevelopment opportunities with increased multimodal opportunities.
Both streetscape design and on-the-ground placemaking will figure prominently into this project.
Placemaking. “Terry First” will incorporate an on-the-ground demonstration of potential physical improvements into the project. Often referred to as “placemaking” or “tactical urbanism”, this aspect of the project may incorporate temporary parklets, bike-lanes, straw-bale pedestrian islands, intersection art or other tactics to give people a sense of how an updated streetscape would function. Applying these types of temporary installations provides a sense of the possible without committing exorbitant sums of funding. Moreover, because of their temporary nature, these types of activities allows communities to learn by experimentation, homing in on final designs before permanent changes are made. This is an opportunity to see what works and what doesn’t in our community.
Streetscape. Learning from the placemaking aspect of the project, Terry First will produce streetscape concepts for Terry Street between 5th and 1st Avenues, and for the stretch of 1st Avenue from Terry Street to Center Street. These concepts will be delivered as visual renderings to demonstrate what improvements to Terry Street and 1st Avenue could look like, and how they would influence the built environment of the area.
Completion of four primary goals will determine project success:
- Working directly with citizens, business owners and project partners, cultivate a vision for the Terry St / 1st Avenue corridor that focuses on streetscape improvements that will foster economic development, support appropriate redevelopment, increase bicycle and pedestrian mobility and safety, and strengthen the connection between ISU and Old Town.
- Engaging the public, conduct a physical, on-the-ground demonstration project incorporating concepts of placemaking and tactical urbanism within the corridor.
- Produce renderings, drawings, or some form of visualization that depict roadway and streetscape treatments for (1) Terry Street between 5th and 1st Avenue, and (2) 1st Avenue between Terry Street and Center Street.
- Learning from the methods and processes employed during this project, create a “plan-process-product” template that can be applied to and used to address other corridors in town.