Urban trails around the country inform Northside trail planning Posted on April 13, 2016 by Grounded Strategies Share this post Here at GTECH, we spend a lot of time thinking about how people relate to the places they live. That’s why we’re so excited to be working with One Northside to plan for a trail system that would connect all 18 neighborhoods in Pittsburgh’s Northside. This project stemmed out of our work last year mapping and cataloguing over 1800 assets in the Northside and responds directly to One Northside’s goal of improving the quality of spaces and places in the Northside. Part of our role in planning this trail system is in researching urban trail systems throughout the country. What works? What doesn’t work? What are the costs? How is a trail branded? How do the private and public sectors collaborate? What even is a trail? Is it a path through the woods? Is it a separate lane for bikes? Is it a map? One thing that became very clear in our research is that urban trails fit into different tiers. The box at the right explains the difference between those tiers. Because we are in the planning stage of this project, Northsiders have the freedom to let their imaginations run wild. The Northside trail could be something as simple as a map showing the best routes to assets throughout the Northside. Or it could be as extensive as a separated trail built into the street and running through the hillsides, marked with artsy signage. So let’s take a look at examples of what other cities have done, and see what you think… Tier 1 Example Learn more at http://indyculturaltrail.org/ Tier 2 Example Learn more at http://www.thefreedomtrail.org/ Tier 3 Example Learn more at http://www.culturaltourismdc.org/portal/african-american-heritage-trail These are just a few examples of types of urban trail projects that you can find around the country. While the Northside trail will be branded as one unified trail, the type of trail could vary throughout the route. If you’d like to learn more about the project and sign up to participate in its planning, you can read more and sign up here.