Incorporating Heritage Resources into the Lancaster County Long Range Transportation Plan


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Harriet Parcells, AICP, Lancaster County Planning Commission

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Incorporating Heritage Resources into the Lancaster County Long Range Transportation Plan

  1. 1. Incorporating Heritage Resources into theLancaster County Long Range Transportation Plan A Presentation by Harriet Parcells, Lancaster County Planning Commission 2012 Statewide Preservation Conference July 17, 2012
  2. 2. Connections 2040 Transportation Element June 2012Connections 2040 is the long range transportation planfor Lancaster County. It contains a vision of where theregion would like its transportation system to be in 28years and presents the actions, strategies and fundingneeded to get there.To read the plan : The Comprehensive Plan for Lancaster County
  3. 3. The LRTP is an element of the Lancaster County Comprehensive Plan and it complements andsupports the other elements such as the Growth Management element, cultural heritageelement, green infrastructure element and others.
  4. 4. The LRTP Update Task ForceThe LRTP update process was guided by a 38-member LRTP Update Task ForceFor Connections 2040, Lancaster County’s MPO entered into a new partnershipwith the PHMC to bring consideration of the potential impacts oftransportation projects on historic and cultural resources into the planningprocess early on and throughout the process. Representatives of the PHMC,PennDOT District 8 Environmental Review Staffand Lancaster County Planning Commission (LCPC)heritage and cultural planning staff were partof the task force for the first time.A Historic and Cultural Resources Task Force wasformed that met throughout the process anddid most of the work on this issue which wasthen brought to the larger Task Force for approval.
  5. 5. Historic Preservation in Connections 2040 A new section on historic and cultural resources was added to the LRTPHistoric and Cultural ResourcesBackgroundLancaster County is known for its scenic The county has played a significant role inagricultural landscapes, small towns and villages, transportation history. The Conestoga wagonvibrant urban neighborhoods, and diverse was invented here, and the steamboat was invented by a Lancaster County native, Robert cultures that include Fulton. One of the nation’s first turnpikes, the large Amish and Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike, passed Mennonite comm- through Lancaster County. Later known as U.S. unities. Native 30, the Lincoln Highway extended from NewYork peoples have lived in to San Francisco. The railroad came to Lancaster this area for thou- County in the 1830s. sands of years, and the legacy of that settlement is evident in the county’s archeological heritage. European settlers began arriving in the early18th century.
  6. 6. Types of Historic and Cultural Resources Lancaster County’s most significant historic and cultural resources can be categorized into several broad areas: 1. Agricultural Landscapes- an essential part of Lancaster County’s identity 2. Historic Villages-importance of preserving these villages with their traditional pedestrian-friendly design 3. Urban Neighborhoods-historic architecture, pedestrian-friendly design 4. Historic Bridges, including covered bridges- 29 covered bridges 5. Heritage Byways-LCPC has identified several; working on plans for them 6. Tourism Destination Areas-LCPC has designated/mapped these locations 7. High Priority Resource Types that exist countywide-forges, other
  7. 7. Goals and Strategies of the LRTPThe Task Force reviewed the goals and strategies of the LRTP, especially GOAL E, andadded new language on protection of historic and cultural resources.A. Target transportation investments to support the Envision Lancaster County Vision, Goals, and Strategies and the county’s Smart Growth Program.B. Maintain and improve the County’s multimodal infrastructure and services to provide an acceptable level of service.C. Improve safety and security for all users of the transportation system.D. Manage and operate the transportation system to reduce congestion.E. Ensure that transportation investments address protection of the County’s agricultural, natural, historic, and cultural resources and environmental quality.
  8. 8. Implementation Partner Timing NotesActions to Carry out Goal E MPO Penn DOT RRTA Amtrak Muni OtherStrategy E-1: Apply transportation designstandards that consider community andenvironmental impacts through incorporationof context sensitive solutions into projects.Actions:A. Develop Lancaster County specific context- ● ○ Short-term Include minimum safetysensitive design guidelines. Apply these to any and other standards astransportation project undertaken within heritage necessary to comply withconservation and tourism investment areas PennDOT criteriahighlighted in the Lancaster CountyComprehensive Plan and to any projects thataffect high-priority types of heritage resources thatoccur countywide. Outside these areas, applythese guidelines wherever prudent and feasible.B. Use the new Linking Planning and NEPA forms ● ○ Short-termto develop a “checklist” of questions to be asked /issues to be addressed to ensure thattransportation project planning and design issensitive to the local context and resources.C. “Streamline” the decision making process for ● ● Short-termprojects that incorporate context sensitivesolutions to ensure that time and funding are notlostD In all transportation projects, consider the ● ○ ○ Ongoingpotential impact on archeological resources andavoid, minimize or mitigate potential negativeimpacts to these resources.
  9. 9. Strategy E-3: Further integrate the Implementation Partner Timing Notesplanning and NEPA processes for early MPO Penn DOT RRTA Amtrak Munic Otherawareness and understanding of potentialproject issues among resource agencies.Actions:A. Implement the use of the Linking Planning and ● ○ Short-termNEPA Forms for solicitation and evaluation ofprojects for the TIP and LRTP.B. Expand the partners involved in the ● ○ Ongoing Partners include PHMC,environmental review process of LRTP projects the Historic Preservationto evaluate impact on heritage resources (natural, Trust of Lancasterhistoric, cultural). County, Lancaster Farmland Trust, Main Street org.C. Use the Linking Planning and NEPA Forms ● ○ ○ Ongoingand Agency Coordination Meetings (ACM) toreview issues in the early stages of projectdevelopment.D. Right-size projects early in the process to ● ● ○ Ongoingcontrol costs and potential impacts.E. Use the County’s GIS- capability to update ● ○ Short-termmaps of heritage resources (natural, cultural andhistoric)F. Develop and implement a process for review ● ○ ○ ○ Mid-term Partners include PHMCof transportation projects that are expected tohave an effect on critical resources, particularlycultural heritage resources. Working withappropriate consulting parties, the process wouldinvolve Actions A-D, define potential alternativesfor avoiding and mitigating the impacts ofthese projects and seek to meet county and localplanning goals.
  10. 10. Strategy E-4: Coordinate transportation Implementation Partner Timing Notesplanning and investment with the preservation, MPO Penn DOT RRTA Amtrak Muni Otherconservation, and promotion of heritageresources highlighted in the Lancaster CountyComprehensive Plan.Actions:A. Designate roads with exceptional and distinctiveintrinsic qualities to the Lancaster County Heritage ○ ○ 2009+ The Lancaster County Heritage Byways Program is a tool that givesByways Program and , as appropriate, to state or ● ○ municipalities an opportunity protect the character of roads that highlightnational byways programs. the county’s natural, cultural and heritage and share that heritage with visitors.B. Create a bridge protection program for historicbridges including covered bridges. designed to retain ● ○ ○ ○ 2010+ The Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster is a potential partnerthese bridges, maintain them in a manner consistentwith the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards forRehabilitation and provide appropriate interpretation.C. Avoid, minimize, or mitigate potential negativeimpacts of transportation projects undertaken in the ● ○ ● Ongoingheritage conservation and tourism investment areashighlighted in the Lancaster County ComprehensivePlan.D. Direct transportation investments such asstreetscape, transit, sidewalk and parking ● ○ ○ ● ● Ongoing The Cultural Heritage Element suggests the Lancaster County Housing and Redevelopmentimprovements to facilitate private sector investment Authority as a potential historic rehabilitation and reinvestment withinheritage conservation and tourism investment areashighlighted in the Lancaster County ComprehensivePlan.E. Expand the countywide greenway trail system aspart of Lancaster County’s transportation system. ● ○ Proposed trails are identified in the Green Infrastructure Element of the Lancaster County Comprehensive Plan.F. Support the development of vehicular andpedestrian wayfinding systems to facilitate ● ○ ● 2008+transportation between heritage conservation andtourism investment areas highlighted in theLancaster County Comprehensive Plan and withineach of these areas. .