About the Project

Project Background

Our streets are important for transportation, but they also play a major role in shaping the economic, civic, and social fabric of our city. The Poughkeepsie City Center Connectivity Project is a transportation planning initiative focused on developing scenarios for street designs that will improve mobility and support the city's broader efforts to revitalize its downtown and promote economic development.

In coordination with New York State Department of Transportation and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the City of Poughkeepsie is partnering with consulting firms Sam Schwartz and The Street Plans Collaborative to study and test the options for transforming streets in Poughkeepsie's city center to better connect our community and catalyze downtown improvements. The project is focused on Market Street between Mill and Church Streets, but will also identify opportunities for improvements to the surrounding city center street network.

The project is guided by input from a Stakeholder Advisory Committee and members of the general public. The project also involves temporary demonstration projects, which use low-cost materials to test and evaluate design ideas. 

Why Use Temporary Materials to Test Design Alternatives?

It's not every day that cities have the opportunity to transform the heart of their community through one catalytic project. But today Poughkeepsie does, thanks to the groundwork the City has laid through its prior planning efforts and a generous grant from The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) that is making this study possible. The Poughkeepsie City Center Connectivity Project is a multi-phase effort that will examine options for transforming Market Street in downtown Poughkeepsie into a Complete Street - a street designed for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities.

As part of the project, the city will use temporary materials to test design ideas and alternatives. On Friday, October 7th, the City of Poughkeepsie worked with residents, businesses, and partner agencies to create an initial demonstration project that temporarily transformed Market Street into a better place to walk and bike.

Dubbed Market Street Connect, the demonstration project narrowed the street from three lanes to two (between Church and Mill Street) and created enhanced public spaces using temporary materials, such as hay bales, chalk paint, plants, artificial turf, and movable furniture. The demonstration project allowed the community to experiment with traffic calming strategies, and reclaim space for public gathering. The demonstration also provided an opportunity for the city to collect input to inform the long-term vision for Market Street.

This phase of the project has been funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency under the New York State Consolidated Funding Application process. The City received authorization for preliminary engineering and demonstration for this project in 2014.

Meet the Project Team

Founded in 1995, Sam Schwartz is a 100-person transportation consulting firm with a talented team of professional engineers, planners and designers in six offices throughout the country: 

  • Chicago
  • Jersey City
  • Los Angeles
  • New York City
  • Tampa
  • Washington, D.C.

The Firm's services span Transportation Planning and Engineering, Transit Planning and Design, Environmental Planning and Fiscal Analysis, Civil Design and Construction Supervision. Sam Schwartz is internationally recognized for developing context sensitive transportation solutions for government, private-sector, not-for-profit, and community clients. Through technical expertise, creative visioning, and consensus-building, Sam Schwartz strives to consider the needs and improve quality of life for all people using the street, including drivers, pedestrians, transit riders, and bicyclists.

Founded in Miami Beach in 2009, The Street Plans Collaborative (Street Plans) is an award-winning urban planning, design, and research/advocacy firm with offices in New York City, Miami, and San Francisco. Street Plans is known for advancing innovative practices to test and implement projects for a range of public, private, and nonprofit clients. The firm has a strong track record of working collaboratively to integrate Tactical Urbanism demonstration and pilot projects with transportation, land use, urban design, and comprehensive planning projects. Street Plans is known internationally as the creator of The Open Streets Project and the leading practitioner of Tactical Urbanism. The firm's thought-leading publications include:

  • Tactical Urbanism: Short-term Action for Long-term Change
  • Tactical Urbanism Volume 1-4
  • The Open Streets Project
  • Mercado: Lesson from 20 Markets in South America
  • Public Space Stewardship Guide: A Toolkit for Funding, Programming, and Maintenance, developed for the City of San Francisco Planning Department
  • Tactical Urbanism Guide to Materials and Design, funded by the Knight Foundation