Concepts of what could be for a section of Pocatello’s street will be the focus of conversation this summer.
Over the course of the coming months, Pocatellans will have the opportunity to contribute their ideas for improvements to the East Terry Street and South First Avenue corridor. The City of Pocatello Planning and Development Services Department recently won an award for free technical assistance from Community Builders, a Montana-based non-profit organization, to help with this effort.
The project, dubbed “Terry First,” will work with residents and business owners to create a vision for the Terry Street/South First Avenue corridor that will spur economic development, support redevelopment, increase bicycle and pedestrian mobility, and improve the connection between Idaho State University and Old Town Pocatello.
A Steering Committee composed of citizens from throughout the community has already been formed to help guide the project.
“Our hope is to create a vibrant district that better links Idaho State University and the nearby Whittier neighborhood to the historic Warehouse District and Old Town Pocatello,” said Matthew Lewis, Senior Planner with the City of Pocatello. “The intent is to not only improve the livability of this area, but also create a template for other areas of the city which are ripe for redevelopment.”
“We at Community Builders are strong proponents of community driven solutions,” said John Lavey, a Program Director with Community Builders in Bozeman, MT. “Our hats are off to the City of Pocatello for thinking about the future of Terry Street and First Avenue in a strategic and participatory way.”
Later this summer, a pair of public events will offer Pocatellans the chance to give their input on what they would like to see along Terry Street and First Avenue in the future. The first event, called the Community Walk-and-Talk, will mark the official start of the Terry First project. It will feature presentations explaining the goals of the project, activities that gather input from people who attend, and the chance for participants to walk the corridor and share what they think could be done to make the streets safer and more attractive.
The Community Walk-and-Talk will be held July 10, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. Refreshments will be provided. The location is still being determined.
The second event is focused on creating temporary “placemaking” demonstrations along the corridor. This may include temporary parklets, bike-lanes, straw-bale pedestrian islands, intersection art or other activities to give people a sense of how an updated streetscape could function. Because of the temporary nature of placemaking, these types of activities allow communities to learn by experimentation, homing in on final designs before permanent changes are made, and without committing large sums of funding.
The second event, called Build a Better Block, will take place between August 22 and 25. More information about this event will be made available as details are ironed out.
Project partners developed a website for the project, terryfirst.com, which offers opportunities for Pocatellans to start contributing their thoughts and opinions today. The site hosts a community questionnaire asking people to share their experiences with and vision for Terry Street and First Avenue. In addition, the website contains two mapping activities—"Photo Voice” and “Opportunity Points”—that will help project partners further understand citizen’s challenges with and vision for the corridor.
Residents are encouraged to learn more about Terry First at terryfirst.com.