Niagara Communities Joint Trail Feasibility Study

Background

At the request of multiple municipalities in Niagara County, Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council (GBNRTC) has contracted GObike to conduct a study examining the feasibility of filling in gaps in the trail network between the City of North Tonawanda and the City of Lockport, and connecting through the towns of Pendleton, Wheatfield, and Lockport. The potential trail connection is named as a priority corridor in Bike Buffalo Niagara, the Regional Bike Master Plan (2020). GObike is coordinating this work with the GBNRTC, and each municipality in which the trail would pass through.

Bike Buffalo Niagara, and the priority trail connections identified within it, is the result of a robust community engagement process and an examination of the opportunities and constraints of our existing infrastructure. The Niagara Communities Joint Trail Feasibility Study is a continuation of the foundational work of the Regional Bike Master Plan, to further explore how our region can become more well-connected through safe, accessible, and convenient trails and greenways.

Outcomes

At the end of this process, GObike will produce a public feasibility study that includes the following:

  • Overview of Existing Conditions
    • Demographic analysis of surrounding community
    • Opportunities and constraints of the trail corridor (ROW, easements, environmental impacts and opportunities, traffic, utilities, infrastructure etc.)
  • Summary of Community Vision
    • Resident vision for trail amenities, design, connectivity, uses
    • Resident concerns about trail development
    • Resident transportation preferences, behaviors, and desires
  • Trail Recommendations
    • Conceptual-level plan view of trail and route alternatives
    • Design recommendations for road crossings
    • Concept-level cross section designs of trail
    • Proposed trailhead locations and concept illustrations
  • Implementation Plan
    • Preliminary cost estimates for future final design, engineering, and construction
    • Phasing plan for trail development

Process | Timeline

Trail Existing Conditions Analysis – Spring 2024

Trail Community Engagement – Late Spring/Early Summer 2024

Trail Feasibility Study Completed – Late Summer/Early Fall 2024

What is a Trail Feasibility Study?

A Feasibility Study is an important first step in creating a new greenway or trail. It is a document that helps create a vision for the project, maps important data, opportunities, and barriers to building the trail. It often includes a summary of community input that is necessary to inform the trail design, so that the end result reflects the needs and wants of the community. The feasibility study includes concept-level cross-section designs of what the trail could look like, and map out potential routes for the trail, especially if there are potential barriers to a preferred route. Feasibility studies identify technical constraints as well, like environmental conditions, ownership, easements, privacy, traffic, and utilities. The Feasibility Study, once complete, becomes a tool for securing additional funding to move the project forward into final design, engineering, property access, and construction.

Learn More about the Trail Planning Process

Project Funding:

The trail feasibility study is funded by the Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council.

Trail-Related Research:

Trails, especially those that are part of a well-connected regional network, bring many benefits to residents and visitors alike. Take a look at some of the research below that describes some of the economic, health, social, and recreational benefits of trail systems in the US.

 

Ways to Engage:

Take the Survey:

Your input at this stage is critical to this project’s success. Please share your experience and what you’d like to see.

Attend Events:

  • July 14th, 9A-2P – Pendleton Station Market (9am-2pm)
  • July 14th, 12P-4P – Lockport Community Day @ Lockport Town Hall (6560 Dysinger Rd)

Spread the Word: Tell your neighbors, friends, family, co-workers and others about this project, and encourage them to share their vision for the trail in the survey or at an event. Download a project flier to print or share digitally.

Project Partners