Congratulations to the seven municipalities of Allegheny Township, Arnold, East Vandergrift, Lower Burrell, New Kensington, Upper Burrell Township, and West Leechburg for taking the first step in implementing the actions within the county's first sub-regional plan, Remaking Our Westmoreland - A Plan for the Alle-Kiski District, by adopting the plan.
Not only have your communities committed to seeing the plan's actions through, you've formally committed to working together in an intergovernmental capacity by forming the Alle-Kiski Intergovernmental Council, the first-of-its-kind in Westmoreland County.
Now that a cooperation agreement is in place, the first year's dues have been paid, and delegates and alternates have been appointed, it's time to start meeting as a group!
The Alle-Kiski Intergovernmental Council Meeting 1 (organizational meeting) will be held on Tuesday, August 17th, 2021 @ 5PM - 6PM at the City of Lower Burrell City Hall located at 2800 Bethel St., Lower Burrell, PA 15068 . Please find the Meeting 1 agenda here.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Today we celebrate the release of Remaking Our Westmoreland - A Plan for the Alle-Kiski District - a lean, engaging, and implementable plan focusing on land use, mobility, and intergovernmental cooperation! The plan is the culmination of our year-and-a-half-long effort to capitalize on the Alle-Kiski region's strengths and overcome barriers to community and municipal vibrancy.
But now the work really begins! The plan is just a plan. And like other plans, it requires action. The first step includes adopting the plan and proceeding with the Alle-Kiski Intergovernmental Council through resolution. These resolutions can be adopted at anytime, though a target date has been set to have them acted upon by January 31, 2021. Congrats to West Leechburg who is the first to do so! As others come on board, be sure to email us your resolutions, and feel free to request any assistance needed.
We’re close to wrapping up the mobility planning process for the Alle-Kiski Planning District, but we still need additional input to hear your point of view loud and clear! Getting your views on Transit planning (specifically bus routes) for the Alle-Kiski area at our last virtual transit meeting on Monday, July 20th @ 6 PM is essential.
en Route to Improved Service and Increased Ridership in the Alle-Kiski area
How do we connect people to the places that matter the most to folks in the Alle Kiski Planning District? How do we do it in an efficient and accessible way? It's a shared responsibility among local governments, county government, and transit operators and there are many considerations that go into planning a transit route like ridership, coverage, frequency, density, walkability, linearity, and proximity. Demographics are also a driving piece of mobility planning. If our goal is to connect people with places, we have to know where all people are and where they work. At the upcoming brief and interactive virtual transit meeting these questions will be considered.
At the virtual transit meeting, we will look at population and job density and where car-free, disabled, or minority populations are throughout the Alle-Kiski. We will also look at current service routes to discuss where gaps exist. The map below kicks off the discussion. What do you think?
As residents and leaders of the Alle-Kiski, you are the experts of your communities and now is the time to communicate the needs of your residents. Consistent with our theme of working together, Westmoreland County cannot do it alone! The County planners need to know your consensus and feedback on this proposed route. With your input, we can begin taking the next steps to work together, partnering with the Westmoreland Transit Authority and other transit operators, to improve service and increase ridership in the Alle-Kiski. Municipal officials, get online and share your views - influence the process now! Contact Susan to get your meeting link.
Way back in February when we first started the mobility planning phase of the Planning District process, we discussed the principles and objectives guiding this phase like how planning is essential at the smallest and largest scales and that transportation and land use are inextricably linked. At that meeting, we also had a chance to hear from representatives from PennDOT and SPC about the kinds of transportation planning, programming, and support they offer municipalities. Afterwards, we surveyed at least one representative from each municipality to get a complete picture of priority mobility strategies for the Alle-Kiski region. Those strategies are as follows:
Top 3 Mobility Strategy Priorities
4. 7.3 Increase Walkability & Biking Options
5. 7.1 Enhance Transit, Increase Ridership, & Promote TOD
and 7.7 Focus on Freight (TIE)
At our last in-person meeting at Arnold City's Roosevelt Park in June, we used these strategies along with map data to identify potential projects in the categories of Road, Bridge, Active, Operations/Safety, and Transit. Thanks Arnold for hosting us! And thank you ALL for continuing to represent your municipality in this important process!
Keep your eyes peeled for an email from Susan with a survey link to prioritize those identified mobility related projects. We are asking that just one representative from each municipality complete the survey. Your input will directly impact the kinds of projects we will work on implementing in the coming months!
At the May 19, 2020 Zoom Meeting, we reviewed the Bylaws for which we had consensus from participating municipalities. This set of By-laws are now the Pro Forma Bylaws for the Alle-Kiski Intergovernmental Council. What does that mean? It means that this version of Bylaws will be included in the Alle-Kiski Planning District Report and will be recommended for adoption by participating municipalities. In June, Westmoreland Planning will be conducting check-ins with each municipality to foster understanding of the progress to date, the provisions of the Bylaws, and to go over any other questions that may exist. With the completion of the Report set for the end of June, the Alle-Kiski Planning District will be ready to take formal action in July.
As this review and finalization is taking place, we ask that you do a few things. First, pat yourself on the back! It's not easy to participate in meetings about dues, bylaws, and intergovernmental structure, but these conversations are necessary. Congratulations for having the wherewithal to get it done! Second, let's pivot back to mobility. Several exciting ideas have been floated in the group about connecting people to the places that matter in the Alle-Kiski region. We ask that a representative from each municipality attend the mobility meeting planned for Tuesday, June 16th, 2020 from 5PM to 6PM at Roosevelt Park 705 Drey St. Arnold, PA 15068, so that we are better able to capture these connections in the final mobility plan. At this in-person mobility meeting of no more than 25 participants (please RSVP here), we will be following CDC guidelines for social distancing and ask those attending to please wear a face mask. Third, lets start thinking about how the Alle-Kiski municipalities can being working together on the other side of the adoption process. We ask that you begin thinking about what projects you want to participate in. These projects are what will get people excited about intergovernmental cooperation. The Alle-Kiski region is poised to launch some very efficient shared services.
Here's a handy summary of our progress to date and what remains to be completed in these final months. Spread the word!
When we started meeting online in the form of the Intergovernmental Working Group at the beginning of 2020 to start discussing the details of governance, little did we know how crucial online meetings would become to us in the near future. After taking a brief pause to allow many of us to begin working from home and address the immediate needs of our communities in response to COVID-19, now is the time to pick the Alle-Kiski Planning District process back up.
As the landscape continues to change in response to recent events, the relevance to working together through the Planning Districts process is more important that ever. Lets reconnect online on April 29th, 2020 and renew our commitment to shared solutions that make good sense for the Alle-Kiski region!
Meeting details: April 29, 2020 at 6:30 PM on Zoom (contact Susan Hockenberry for meeting connection instructions).
With the COVID-19 emergency taking precedence in all aspects of daily life right now, we are adjusting the Alle-Kiski Planning District / Reimagining Our Westmoreland meeting schedule as follows:
On Wednesday, March 4th, 2020, the Intergovernmental Working Group met via Zoom to engage in an informative discussion on governance. The group compared existing WEDIG Bylaws with a draft developed for discussion purposes only. It was useful to compare an organizations actual bylaws with prototype bylaws, touching the surface on the types of changes that make sense for the Alle-Kiski Planning District.
We will continue this discussion at the upcoming in-person meeting in Upper Burrell Township. Attend on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 to add to the discussion!
As we continue our way into the mobility planning phase of the Planning District process, we’ve learned that transportation projects take a long time to develop, and often times funding opportunities are passed up due to a lack of planning capacity at the local level.
At our last meeting, we discussed the relationship between local municipalities, County Planning, PennDOT, and SPC in the transportation planning and programming process and the subsequent support offered to our municipalities.
This mobility planning process will be guided by principles and objectives, similar to the land use planning process. Listed below are proposed principles and objectives, for which we will be seeking consensus at our next meeting.
Principle 1: Land Use and Transportation Are Inextricably Linked
Simply put, transportation is the movement of people or goods from one location to another. It is the very location of people and places that determine the mode, route, duration, etc. of travel. Sound land use planning will inform how and where transportation occurs.
Principle 2: Transportation Has Impacts
Transportation has both positive and negative impacts on economies, the environment, and society. Thoughtful planning and focused efforts will support the positive and mitigate the negative effects of transportation.
Principle 3: Transportation Depends on Public Decisions
The public, both in its broadest sense (countywide) and narrowest sense (the individual), has an opportunity to shape transportation in ways that maximize the financial, environmental and social impact of local decisions.
Principle 4: Public Involvement Is Essential
Since transportation depends on public decisions, the public has a right to be a part of the decision-making process.
Principle 5: Impacts of Transportation Extend Beyond Municipal Boundaries
Decisions made regarding transportation in one community can have financial, environmental, and social impacts on neighboring communities.
Principle 6: Transportation Priorities Vary Among Individuals and Among Communities
How a community chooses to grow and develop impacts how people connect to and within it. Individuals themselves may also desire or rely upon certain modes of travel. Balance among priorities to ensure accessibility and mobility for all is essential to highly valued communities.
Principle 7: Planning Is Essential at the Smallest and Largest Scales
A cohesive community that balances the financial, environmental, and social impacts of transportation relies on planning at the site, street, block, neighborhood, village, town, city, county, and regional level.
At the last meeting, we also conducted a survey of mobility priorities among municipalities as they pertain to the strategies of Reimagining Our Westmoreland. Listed below are the mobility strategies.
In order to get a complete picture of the Alle-Kiski region, we ask that if you were not able to attend the last meeting, please prioritize the strategies listed above by identifying the top three (3) for your community and send your results to firstname.lastname@example.org. We also ask that members of the same community discuss and reach a consensus and submit only one (1) response per municipality.
And lastly, as we discuss project development, we’d like for you to begin thinking of projects in terms of the following categories: