What is a “Streetscape”

 Think of the term streetscape as a combination of the words “street” and “landscape”. A streetscape is the visual and physical elements that make up a street, including the roadway, sidewalks, street trees and vegetation, street furniture, adjoining buildings, etc that, combined, form the character and function of streets. The streetscape is comprised of several different elements that perform different functions.

Why Streets?

Streets are more than just “infrastructure”: They are the fundamental building blocks of successful communities. Their design has a significant influence on how a community functions, and whether places are oriented toward people and their needs, or vehicles and theirs. In addition to providing mobility and access, streets are the foundation from which communities grow and develop. They play a tremendous role in shaping the character of a community as well as its physical and economic development.

Great streets not only connect places, they are places. They are our storefronts and sidewalk cafes; they are home to our central business districts, corner stores and farmers markets; they are where we walk our dogs and gather with neighbors; and of course, they are how we move people and goods around and through our communities, whether in vehicles, on bikes or on foot.

Nowhere are the many needs and demands we place on our streets more obvious than in our neighborhoods and downtowns: the beating hearts and centers of most communities. Local leaders understand that a vibrant, walkable downtown well connected to adjacent neighborhoods is essential to a strong local economy, and that great streets are essential to that success. Streets that provide for safe and comfortable use by all modes of travel sets the stage for a healthy, vibrant and economically prosperous community.

These are the principles behind the Terry First project.

What is the origin of this project?

The City of Pocatello’s Comprehensive Plan contains numerous Goals, Objectives and Policies directly related to the “Terry First” project.

Economic Development Objective: Enhance livability, attractiveness and quality of life features of the community.

Land Use Goal: Create and implement development standards that protect and improve connectivity for pedestrian and bicycle-oriented travel throughout the City.

Objective: Promote new pedestrian and bicycle-oriented neighborhood developments within the City.

Policy: Create and implement Neighborhood Plans to guide new development incorporating pedestrian and bicycle-oriented travel.

Transportation Objective: Continue to support and expand upon “comprehensive” street concepts, designs, and standards providing for a safe and efficient transportation network.

Policy: Develop a “comprehensive” street corridor linking Idaho State University with the Warehouse District.

Policy: Work with Idaho Transportation Department officials to incorporate pedestrian “bulb outs” and improve decorative lighting along the 4th and 5th Avenues corridor from Carter to Humbolt Streets.

Policy: Adopt zoning amendments that allow higher density housing, increased heights, shared parking and on-street parking and mixed use development near ISU campus extending west to the Warehouse District. Continue to encourage upper-story housing in Old Town and the Warehouse District.

Arts and Culture Goal: Encourage an environment that enhances arts and cultural experiences.

Policy: Promote artist-designed amenities such as benches, gates, crosswalks, walkways, gardens, tree grates, timepieces, murals and walls

Why Technical Assistance?

In early 2018, a team of local organizations led by staff from the City of Pocatello applied for and were awarded technical assistance from Community Builders to develop a project around these goals. The Terry First project will be the focus of this Technical Assistance.

How is this project funded?

This project is funded principally by funding from Community Builders. The City of Pocatello contributed $5,000 to the project and will assign staff people to help execute project tasks.

Who is Community Builders?

Community Builders is a nonprofit organization with offices in Bozeman, MT and Glenwood Springs, CO who helps build successful, prosperous places by strengthening local leadership, supporting on the ground change, and inspiring local action. Community Builders offers technical assistance at low or no cost to communities within Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico.

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