EPA Greening America’s Capitals: Last Chance Gulch
Greening America’s Capitals is an EPA program to help state capitals develop an implementable vision of distinctive, environmentally friendly neighborhoods that incorporate innovative green infrastructure strategies. In collaboration with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, EPA provides design assistance to help support sustainable communities that protect the environment, economy, and public health and to inspire state leaders to expand this work elsewhere. As part of the Greening America’s Capitals program, Community Design + Architecture, Urban Rain|Design, and Beth McFawn Landscape Design were selected by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to development a bold concept plan to introduce multi-modal and green infrastructure streetscape strategies within the historical downtown of Helena, Montana. As redevelopment continues toward downtown Helena, the Greening America’s Capitals program will help the City and community stakeholders create a common vision that makes the street and intersections friendlier to walking and biking while maintaining the neighborhood’s functionality for all users. The project will also help the City solve the challenges of a five-point intersection along Last Chance Gulch. Intersection improvements would be designed to improve traffic flow, create safer crossings for pedestrians and bicyclists, improve the connection to downtown, and integrate sustainable stormwater management throughout these improvements. The design team underwent an intensive multi-day design charrette with the City of Helena and various stakeholders in February 2013. The final concept plan was completed in June 2013 and showcases street design alternatives for five different locations within the Helena’s downtown core.