REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS
RFP Issued: October 29, 2021
Proposals Due: November 17, 2021, 5:00 p.m. EST
NOTE: In-person activities described below are subject to change in response to official guidance regarding slowing the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Changes might include shifting to virtual on-line meetings, outreach and engagement platforms and formats.
GObike Buffalo is seeking a consultant (or team of consultants) with expertise in multimodal transportation, trails and greenways planning, traffic and civil engineering, landscape architecture and urban design to prepare a community-driven plan for the Northeast Greenway Initiative and Scajaquada Creek Trail Extension.
This project is funded through a private grant awarded to GObike Buffalo to support community engagement, planning, design and implementation for the Northeast Greenway and Scajaquada Creek Trail Extension in the City of Buffalo. GObike Buffalo will manage project planning and implementation, as well as outreach to residents and stakeholders to ensure robust community engagement and input.
During this RFP process, interested parties shall direct all questions in writing to Ashley Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org
If there is any revision to this RFP, an addendum will be issued and made available to all consultants receiving RFP documents.
GObike has been funded to complete a robust public engagement process and develop a plan for the development of the highest priority corridors from the Buffalo Niagara Regional Bike Master Plan—the Northeast Greenway Initiative (NGI) and Scajaquada Creek Trail Extension (SCTE)—to ensure that the community’s needs are understood and prioritized in these projects.
The NGI begins at the LaSalle Metro Station on Main Street and runs east through the University and Masten districts. Once developed, it would connect the North Buffalo Rail Trail and William Gaiter Cycle Track by converting the DL&W/Erie Rail corridor into a multi-use path. The NGI from Main Street to Walden Park is approximately 3.15 mi; the existing portion of the path on William Gaiter Parkway is approximately 0.8 mi.
The SCTE follows the buried Scajaquada Creek and would provide a connection between the intersection of West Delavan Ave. and Main Street—including a two-way cycle track planned for West Delavan Ave.—with a future trail in the adjacent Town of Cheektowaga. The SCTE from Main Street to Bailey Avenue is approximately 3 mi; the existing portion of the off-road path along the buried Scajaquada Creek is approximately .8 mi. A map of the study areas and existing facilities is included on the last page.
GObike will focus plan engagement and community vision development in Hamlin Park, Leroy, LaSalle, Grider and Kenfield neighborhoods, with a focus on building capacity for community groups within these neighborhoods to lead the process and develop ownership and support for the project among residents and stakeholders.
While this project will focus specifically on the NGI and SCTE corridors, it will generate data and information that will be helpful in future neighborhood and trail planning processes.
We will measure success based upon our ability to leverage the completed plan, and the support from local government and stakeholders to procure resources for capital project implementation.
REVIEW AND AWARD SCHEDULE
The anticipated schedule related to this Request for Proposals is as follows:
RFP Available: October 29, 2021
Deadline for Submittal of Questions: November 5. 2021
Response to Questions: November 10, 2021
Deadline for Submittal of Proposal: November 17, 2021
Consultant Selection (Week of): November 29, 2021
GObike Buffalo (GB)
GB is the project manager responsible for the coordination of the project team, stakeholder engagement, and overall execution of the project. GB will conduct a competitive bid process to select the project planning consultant.
Heart of the City Neighborhoods, Inc. (HOCN)
HOCN has been contracted to provide staffing support for the project including participation in community engagement activities, attending meetings, developing policy documents, and reviewing consultant products. Staff will also coordinate with partners to help publicize the project and ensure public participation in all aspects of the community planning process.
The selected consultant (or team of consultants) will be responsible for technical analysis, documentation mapping, and evaluation for the project. The consultant will analyze and document baseline conditions for trail and street connectivity, will actively engage in the public process, will develop design concepts and recommendations to improve safety that derive from community vision and respond to input from the community, and will prepare the plan, cost estimates, design and maintenance documents. The consultant will subcontract with GB.
SCOPE OF WORK
The tasks below reflect the full scope of work included in the “Northeast Greenway Initiative and Scajaquada Creek Trail Extension: A community vision for trails and greenways in Buffalo’s east side neighborhoods” grant which includes tasks managed by GObike Buffalo, Heart of City Neighborhoods, Inc. and the consultant. The consultant will be responsible for the delivery of Tasks 2, 3, 5, and 6. The proposer is advised to add any critical tasks or elements which may have been overlooked, or that can enhance engagement opportunities.
Task 1: Project Management (GObike Buffalo)
- GObike will facilitate all project coordination and management tasks including: General coordination of the schedule, budget, and tasks; developing a process for selecting and managing outside professional services (consultants)
- Identifying and contracting with community-based organizations to support community outreach
- Three (3) steering committee meetings including the project kick-off meeting; monthly project status update conference calls; coordination of external meetings and public input; preparation of materials for stakeholder and public meeting; document production and quality control reviews; and grant administration
Task 1 Deliverables: Implement process to hire professional services, up to (12) monthly status meetings with written summaries, up to (3) executive level presentations, (2) on-site corridor tours with key stakeholders, ongoing project management.
Task 2: Existing Conditions Analysis (Consultant)
- Consultant team will be hired to work with the project team to collect and review existing data for the corridor, including but not limited to: utility information, rights-of-way, property ownership, bridge inspection reports, if available, AADT data for roadway crossings and on-street segments, as available, and previous studies completed for communities the proposed trails traverse.
- Up to five (5) typical existing sections will be developed, illustrated, and applied to a map of the corridor. The existing conditions analysis will document crossings, bridges, and culverts; physical impediments to trail construction such as highway crossings, washouts, drainage structures, and major modifications or encroachments to the right-of-way; right-of-way width; and roadway crossings.
Task 2 Deliverables: A technical memo outlining the existing conditions, including opportunities and challenges along the corridors, will be produced.
Task 3: Case Studies and Best Practices (Consultant)
- The project team will develop a technical memo describing up to four similar case studies. It will summarize methods for implementation, elements for success, and lessons learned. The memo will also describe best practices for community involvement pre and post construction, design, and maintenance of similar trail corridors from across the country.
Task 3 Deliverables: A technical memo will be produced with case studies and describing best practices.
Task 4: Public Engagement (GObike Buffalo, Heart of City Neighborhoods, Inc.)
- A community-based organization in the neighborhood will be hired to support GObike’s community engagement team and lead neighborhood based outreach to develop ownership and support for the project.
- Community stakeholders will be identified and paid stipends to participate on a committee that meets monthly to guide the project’s deliverables.
- Direct mailings will be sent to all adjacent neighbors so they are aware of the process and can participate in the plan’s development.
- Signage, markings and other tactics will be utilized to encourage people to participate in the process.
- Ads will be purchased in local media outlets, neighborhood publications and social media to reach local residents.
- A project brand, website, public comment form, public meeting flyer, robust educational and informational collateral will be developed for dissemination at stakeholder and public outreach meetings, GObike and partner outreach events, social media, and other opportunities as presented over the course of the project timeline.
- A videographer will be utilized to capture stories at stakeholder and public outreach meetings for use on social media, the project website and other outlets to demonstrate support.
Task 4 Deliverables: A minimum of one (1) community based organization will be hired to support outreach. Up to twelve (12) community stakeholders will participate in monthly meetings. Send a direct mailing to 20,000 households to encourage participation in the process. Up to five (5) different on the ground tactics will be deployed to boost neighborhood participation. Up to two (2) advertisements in local publications. Graphic material development, project website, up to six (6) video stories will be produced. Up to two (2) in-person or virtual public listening sessions will be held, two (2) meetings to present and gather feedback on the Draft Plan and two (2) meetings to present the Final Plan.
Task 5: Trail Plan, Design and Cost Estimates (Consultant)
- The project team will develop a conceptual plan for the proposed trail using maps, graphics and written descriptions. The conceptual plan will describe the following: Description of the proposed trail width, and surface type for each trail segment (paved, stone dust, or natural surface); typical trail cross sections and a map and written description to where each apply (up to 10 typical sections); on-road typical sections for areas where alternatives should be considered due to constrained conditions, costly obstacles, or other challenges to trail construction; roadway crossings: conceptual trail crossing improvements for each type of roadway will be developed and illustrated; and trailhead locations, amenities and way-finding concepts.
- The conceptual plan will also include a conceptual level cost estimate for the proposed trail and greenway projects.
- The project team will prepare preliminary 20% design documents for both the Northeast Greenway and Scajaquada Corridor Trail. These design plans will include horizontal alignment for the trail and preliminary plans for crossings, trailheads, and other amenities located within the selected portion of the corridor.
- A review will be provided of the implementation process for the proposed projects, including required permits, bidding processes and procurement procedures.
Task 5 Deliverables: A technical memo outlining the conceptual trail plan, cost estimates, permitting processes, 20% design plans for both corridors and a guide for implementation.
Task 6: Sustainable Maintenance Plan (Consultant, GObike)
- Maintenance Structure: A review will be conducted of any current maintenance structures, including working relationships with adjacent neighborhood organizations, programming efforts to promote and encourage use of the trail, safety and maintenance operations.
- Business Development Strategy: The project team will prepare a Business Development Strategy to identify ways to produce revenue. This revenue can be used for trail maintenance, decreasing, or possibly eliminating, maintenance costs for communities along the trail.
Task 6 Deliverables: A technical memo that will include an outline for the organizational structure, process and costs for management and maintenance of the corridors, as well as potential business development strategies to generate trail maintenance revenue.
Task 7: Equitable Development Plan (Heart of City Neighborhoods, Inc.)
- Will provide guidance on how proactive steps can be taken before, during, and after implementation of the corridors to prevent displacement and promote the community’s vision for its future, rooted in equity.
Task 7 Deliverables: A technical memo will be produced to provide tangible actions to guide Equitable Development.
PROJECT BUDGET AND TIMELINE
The project budget shall not exceed $55,000.
The anticipated project timeline with major milestones is as follows, but subject to change in timing and format for stakeholder and community engagement due to COVID-19 public health guidance and requirements or other needs:
Project Kickoff December 2021
Existing Conditions Analysis & Case Studies January 2022
Initial Public Engagement Period February 2022
Community Vision & Conceptual Plan Development March 2022
Draft Plan Public Meeting April 2022
Public Engagement Period May 2022
Trail Plan, Design & Cost Estimates July 2022
20% Design Development August 2022
Equitable Development Plan September 2022
Sustainable Maintenance Plan October 2022
Project Completion November 2021
Proposals must include:
- Cover Letter (no more than two pages) that provides the name, address, phone, and e- mail addresses of the consultant, the primary contact name, and any sub-consultants. An authorized principal of the consulting firm should sign the letter.
- A summary of the firm’s qualifications and experience to successfully perform the project tasks, including key personnel and support staff to be assigned to the project and their core responsibilities.
- At least three relevant reference projects completed in the last five years, including a description of services, key personnel involved, core project outcomes, client name, and a reference with current contact information.
- Elaboration on the scope of work outlined above with additional detail on the approach that will be used to conduct the project. Proposers are invited to submit enhancements to the work scope that they feel will enhance project outcomes.
- A list and description of all deliverables.
- A breakdown of costs by task and by assigned staff that includes hourly rates and itemized direct expenses. Tasks should utilize the enumeration included in the scope of work.
SELECTION PROCEDURE AND CRITERIA
An evaluation committee will review each response to the RFP and may request interviews with some or all of the proposers. Proposers may be asked to clarify, supplement or modify some of the information submitted. Submittals will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
- Demonstrated professional skills and credentials of the firm and staff to be assigned to the project, especially with respect to planning and design for all modes and active transportation.
- Demonstrated ability to work across racial, ethnic, gender, class and ability differences.
- Staff assigned to the project have expertise with planning and design of neighborhood streets, transportation corridors, and trails in communities similar to East Buffalo.
- Track record of successful plan implementation.
- A clearly defined approach to performing the scope of work.
- Ability to deliver a well-written, straightforward and concise document with high-quality illustrative graphics.
Please direct any questions regarding this RFP to Ashley Smith, GObike deputy director, via e-mail at Ashley@gobikebuffalo.org. Questions must be received by 5:00 p.m. EST on November 5th. All questions received before the deadline will be collected and responses will be emailed by no later than November 10th to the RFP distribution list.
All submissions must be completed in 12-point font, 8.5” x 11” page size, with 1” margins and should not exceed forty pages total. Responses must be submitted via email by 5:00 p.m. EST on November 17, 2021, to Ashley Smith, GObike deputy director, via e-mail at Ashley@gobikebuffalo.org. Please include “RFP NORTHEAST GREENWAY INITIATIVE AND SCAJAQUADA CREEK TRAIL EXTENSION” in the subject line. The file size must not exceed 25 MB.
An email message will be sent confirming receipt of the proposal. If you do not receive confirmation, you may contact Ashley Smith via e-mail at Ashley@gobikebuffalo.org.
Questions & Responses
Do 20% design documents need to be stamped by an engineer/landscape architect?
The preliminary 20% design documents for both the Northeast Greenway and Scajaquada Corridor Trail should be stamped by an engineer or landscape architect.
Is the goal to include developed preliminary design documents with future funding applications for implementation?
Preliminary design documents developed within this scope are intended to support next steps toward implementation, including use for funding applications, environmental reviews, and permitting.
Is there a preferred file format for submission?
Preferred file format for submission is PDF.
Is the budget provided for the consultant or inclusive of GObike and Heart of City Neighborhoods?
The project budget of $55,000 is provided for the consultant and not inclusive of GObike or Heart of the City Neighborhoods.
Will the consultant be expected to attend any of the committee meetings, on-site tours, or public meetings? Outreach is noted in the description, but the consultant is not noted on those tasks.
The consultant is expected to be represented at up to 3 steering committee meetings over the project year and the draft plan public meeting, anticipated in the spring.
Can you clarify the level of effort expected between the proposed sections of trail vs. the area shaded To Be Determined?
Recommendations have been developed through a UB graduate studio for the northern proposed portion of the Northeast Greenway Initiative between Main St and Kensington Ave. Our project team intends to utilize those recommendations and incorporate them into this broader plan. The southern proposed portion of the Northeast Greenway Initiative from Delavan Ave to Walden Park needs to be studied for feasibility and recommendations. The To Be Determined area also needs to be studied including the review of alternatives and identification of a preferred on-road connection between the Northeast Greenway and Scajaquada Corridor trails.