The Town of Blacksburg has sustainability at the forefront of its projects and, as an example of their commitment, has become a partner with the Institute of Sustainable Infrastructure. The Draper Road Streetscape project, currently in the conceptual phase, seeks to incorporate the Envision rating system due to it’s robust stakeholder involvement in efforts to create a streetscape space that meets the community’s needs.
This sustainable streetscaping effort is a good example of how Envision can be used from the onset of a project. The Town partnered with RK&K for the project, knowing that we could supplement their Envision knowledge for ultimate verification for the project. As this was a large priority for the Town, RK&K has ensured that the Envision credits are considered during project decisions and are included in the project outreach. To aid with community understanding, our team produced a project concept report showing the street and one of the chosen concepts, with a callout narrative listing the historical and cultural resources, local character, and public space of the project. These items were applicable to 6 of the 64 Envision credits and this narrative provided a quick snapshot of the application for those who might be unfamiliar with the rating system.
The scope includes widened sidewalks and streetscape improvements. Outdoor dining plans for existing restaurants along Draper Road will be included. A traffic study to develop plans to route traffic along Draper Road will be performed. When complete, the project will improve the streetscape and significantly enhance the pedestrian experience and the vibrancy of downtown Blacksburg. Sustainable transportation measures, enhanced safety lighting, and a construction program designed with sustainability in mind are all included in the project.