November 14, 2021

Planning Studio Receives APA-Ohio Award

City and regional planning students were awarded the 2021 Planning Student Showcase Award for their work on the Village of Byesville Multi-Modal Mobility Plan.

City and regional planning students were awarded the 2021 Planning Student Showcase Award from the American Planning Association—Ohio Chapter for their work on the Village of Byesville Multi-Modal Mobility Plan. Developed by the Knowlton transportation studio, the plan is comprised of short-, medium-, and long-term goals centered around roadways, the rail system, pedestrians, bike facilities, green infrastructure, public transit, and other amenities centered around improving transportation in the community.

“Many times as planners we are looking at how to improve existing communities and/or infrastructure,” said Riane Federman (MCRP ’21)the student manager for the project. “Due to the nature of the transit-oriented focus of the plan, our team was able to take creative initiative in starting nearly from the ground up as Byesville is primarily a car-centered community.”

“There are so many good ways to navigate the world that we live in, so I appreciate the holistic approach that we analyzed to address as many feasible options as possible for the residents of Byesville to utilize and enjoy,” added Zack Hadley (MCRP ’21), the project’s assistant student manager.

The plan for the small rural community in eastern Ohio incorporated on-street “Complete Streets” typologies and place-making, off-street trail connections and amenities, and equity and accessibility considerations. The context-sensitive plan also included renderings and an implementation matrix to help guide the Village in pursuing future transportation projects. An element that enhanced the work of the studio were aerial images and videos taken from a drone that was flown over the Byesville community by a Knowlton undergraduate student. The regional planning organization OMEGA provided guidance and oversight for the plan development.

“The studio occurred during COVID when all classes were remote, so it was a challenge to not only collaborate together in a virtual environment but to also conduct public engagement activities remotely,” said Associate Professor of Practice Kimberly Burton, who led the studio. “However, during the final (virtual) presentation to the Mayor and Village Council, they were very excited about the plan and the recommendations!”

Federman, who is now a planner with the City of Solon in Cuyahoga County, addressed how the transportation studio experience is benefiting her current project of updating Solon’s master plan as well as executing a connectivity plan: “Producing the Byesville Community Mobility Plan helped to lay out my foundational knowledge of preparing a plan as well as giving me insight on community mobility and how I can apply that experience to these projects.”

Currently the data analyst at SHARE Mobility in Columbus, Hadley agreed that the research and reporting necessary in the studio parallels the work of his current position. “The things that I got to work on in the studio are all transportation-related, which is right up SHARE Mobility’s alley! It has helped me to be able to work as an inter- and intra-departmental liaison and bridge within the company to disseminate and discuss what the data being analyzed means for ourselves, our customers, and the bigger picture as a whole,” Hadley reflected.

Key 2021 City of Byesville Multi-Modal Mobility Plan recommendations:

  1. Expand roadway maintenance.
  2. Increase bicycle amenities including paths, sharrows, bike lanes, and other conveniences such as benches, lighting, and signage.
  3. Build regional and local trail connections.
  4. Install sidewalks and street lighting where needed.
  5. Create branding and placemaking that reflect in the wayfinding tools throughout the Village.
  6. Bolster streetscape design through street trees, planter, rain gardens, and other green infrastructure tools.
  7. Update existing signage, install lighting and sound equipment, pavement markings, and other intersection and signage adjustments to enhance the safety and accessibility for all users.
  8. Improve access to transit stops, upgrade bus stops with shelter amenities and information signage to encourage ridership.

Studio Students

  • Riane Federman
  • Zack Hadley
  • Kenneth Ganter
  • Joseph Grove
  • Megan Esselbum
  • Kristian Sims
  • Andrew Niccum
  • Wesley Lloyd
  • Erik Engartner
  • George Perkins Anene
    student who performed the drone aerial imagery collection as part of a STEP project/independent study

Client

Village of Byesville, Ohio
Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association

Faculty