The Kennett Greenways
Read how we can begin to invest today in a low cost network tailored to diverse interests, abilities, and needs of Kennett's many residents and visitors.
Our work to help people with disabilities begin to enjoy hiking and biking has revealed a problem in many organizations: planners can become so focused on solutions intended to ensure accessibility to all that they overlook the broader spectrum of needs and opportunities.
We believe that every park and preserve, and every city and county must develop a plan to ensure that fully accessible paths are available. But we also understand that it is physically - and fiscally - impossible for every new path, trail, and route to meet these standards. And indeed this is unnecessary, if we can direct people to options that gradually build their capacity for paths, trails, and routes that are more effortful and stressful!
By recognizing that there are many different types of users with many different goals for becoming healthy outdoors, we can develop other kinds of paths, routes, and trails. And because these alternatives can be built at a fraction of the cost and in a fraction of the time of traditional shared use paths, we can help everyone reach their goals of becoming healthy outdoors everyday in months or years, rather than decades. Read more about these alternatives below.
Read or watch how a Yield roadway design makes low-volume local roads comfortable for walkers and cyclists. We worked with an expert in shared roadways to propose the Fair Mills Loop connecting hundreds of houses to the 160 acre Spar Hill property. Scan a summary or read a detailed proposal for Chandler Mill Rd that illustrates how having 12 people shaving 5 mph off of their speed could save $5M and 400 trees.
Traditional 10' wide shared-use paths are touted for their universal access, but the 15-20' swath cut to accommodate them leaves wheelchair users and others disconnected from nature. Read more about design options for beautiful, natural, and affordable natural trails, and our blog post about the potential in our region.
Using a bicycle or just your feet instead of a car to get around is good for you and the planet, and sometimes the only option for those who cannot drive or afford a car. Signage, cross-walks, lighting, and other simple improvements can transform Kennett's charming alleys and small streets into a functioning network for residents who need to get somewhere, and tourists just out for a stroll through our town. Check back later!
We doubt that many would ever walk a 14 mile loop around Kennett, but we are sure that many would want to bike one! So we are mapping out a range of routes that experienced cyclists can ride today. And with signage, traffic calming, improved intersections, and the occasional sidepath, we can gradually make these even more comfortable for even more people over time. Check back later!
We believe that most people interested in a 5 or 10 mile hike would prefer natural trails through fields and woods to a paved path beside a road. We are developing options for natural trails connecting parks and preserves to create the kinds of long-distance trails we currently lack, at a fraction of the cost per mile of the Kennett Greenway. Check back later!