Iowa’s Living Roadways Community Visioning
a Transportation Enhancement Program
Community Visioning is a process that encourages visionary and strategic thinking about transportation improvements in smaller Iowa communities. The centerpiece of this process is the development of conceptual plans that graphically illustrate the vision of the community for an improved transportation system. Participants in the program will:
- Identify and prioritize community needs based on participatory community assessments
- Develop community vision concept plans for transportation projects
- Identify potential funding sources for implementing concept plans
- Initiate the first phase of project development
What support is provided?
Trees Forever field coordinators provide structured facilitation of the visioning process. Landscape architecture consultants collaborate with design interns to provide design assistance under the direction of ISU. ISU also provides research-based community assessments and directs transportation plan development by consultants. Iowa DOT provides review and technical assistance for transportation enhancement concept planning.
What products does the community receive?
A webpage is created for each community and linked to existing community websites and social media. During the visioning process, program reports, meeting announcements, and pictures are posted to keep everyone informed and involved. At the end of the visioning process, the community will receive a series of display boards that include conceptual drawings and images illustrating the transportation plan. Implementation strategies will be developed and communicated in an 8½ by 11-inch feasibility study. All products will be available electronically after the process is completed on the program website in order to facilitate grant writing and community development needs.
What contribution is expected from the community?
Communities selected for Community Visioning agree in writing to commit $2,000 toward implementation of a project proposed through the visioning process. A steering committee that represents the community, including a
local government partner, is required to attend a day-long workshop at the
beginning of the process and an annual meeting at the end. The steering
committee works closely with the Trees Forever field coordinator to plan and advertise meetings and workshops during the process. The committee maintains an active role in fostering meaningful community participation by involving others in the community assessments and goal setting and by keeping the media informed of program developments, committee activities and other information regarding the process.
How do we engage community residents?
Public participation is the key to identifying the needs and desires of a community. Community visioning program staff engage client community residents using a variety of methods such as surveys, community installations, community webpages, focus groups and social media to ensure a more inclusive public process.
Who should participate?
Iowa communities eligible for the Iowa’s Living Roadways Community Visioning Program must have populations under 10,000 residents. Priority is given to communities that lack planning resources within the city government. Volunteers, government representatives and interest groups of all kinds are strongly encouraged to work in cooperation with one another for successful completion of the visioning process.
Communities that are interested in making enhancements connected to surface transportation may benefit from the Community Visioning Program. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) defines surface transportation as all elements of the intermodal transportation system excluding aviation and including water. To qualify for federal funding, enhancements must meet one of the following needs:
- Provide facilities for pedestrians and bicycles
- Provide safety and educational activities for pedestrians and bicyclists
- Acquire scenic easements and scenic or historic sites
- Beautify routes
- Preserve historic sites and routes
- Rehabilitate and operate historic transportation buildings, structures or facilities
- Convert unused rail corridors to trails
- Address other transportation enhancement needs as defined by FHWA
Application Step 1: Gather All Information
You can’t save your progress in the application so it’s important to have everything ready to go. Go ahead and click the green Apply button below and get familiar with the questions and prepare your materials. Then when you’re ready, it will be fast and easy to upload and copy/paste your responses.
What you need:
- Information about your community and the names of any firms who have completed comprehensive planning to date.
- Contact information for a primary contact person, a local media contact, and eight committee members.
- A project proposal, not to exceed 7,000 characters.
- A description of desired outcomes for transportation enhancements, not to exceed 3,500 characters.
- Goals for your community that Community Visioning can help solve or enhance, not to exceed 3,500 characters.
- Separate file uploads, not to exceed 5 MB, of the following:
- Letter from the entity committing to the $2,000 cash match.
- Letter of support from the city goverment.
- Letter(s) of support from other local businesses and/or organizations.
- Photos of any areas of concern that Community Visioning may address.