Initiative #2 - Cheyenne Greenway Transformation
These action steps are outlined in the Community and Economic Development strategy.
Transform the Cheyenne Greenway into a unique and differentiating amenity along the Front Range.
Action 2.1: Develop a "Greater Greenway" vision for the transformation of the Cheyenne Greenway.
Throughout the input process, residents and stakeholders lamented that Greater Cheyenne lacks some of the recreational amenities, cultural attractions, and concentration of nightlife that is present or more accessible in some other nearby communities. Furthermore, Greater Cheyenne appears to be missing a truly differentiating amenity along the Front Range; one that can help define Greater Cheyenne's identity and its niche with respect to quality of life along the Front Range. With continued investment, an intentional focus on activation, and the enablement of new developments, the Cheyenne Greenway provides an opportunity.
At present, the Greenway system includes roughly 37 miles of separated, paved trails that was initially envisioned as a continuous loop around the City of Cheyenne. According to the City, nearly 96 percent of residents live within one mile of the Greenway. This is an amenity that, at present, would be envied by many communities nationwide. It is an immense asset but one that has yet to reach its full potential. The Cheyenne Greenway can and should be a game-changing, defining feature of Greater Cheyenne.
The community will need to be able to envision this potential. Residents must be able to imagine a Greenway that is activated with a variety of interactive experiences for children and adults: environments for play, fitness, and gathering. Imagine a Greenway that is surrounded by public art. Imagine a Greenway that anchors West Edge revitalization and invites waterfront activity along a restored Crow Creek. Imagine segments of the Greenway where developments - restaurants, bars, and retailers - are oriented towards the Greenway (patios, entrances, etc.) in addition to or in lieu of the parking lot, inviting Greenway patrons to come and go. This is a Greenway that can serve as a catalyst for economic development, a canvas for the cultural arts community, and a magnetic amenity in the battle to attract and retain talent along the Front Range. The community needs a vision and a plan for implementation - the Greater Greenway Vision - associated with this transformation.
Action 2.2: Effectively position and promote the Cheyenne Greenway as a defining attribute of Greater Cheyenne.
Once a vision has been developed and a plan to implement it, the community will need to begin aggressively promoting this vision. This will not only be critical to secure buy-in within the community but it will also be critical to help elevate the visibility of the project and its potential to serve as a magnetic amenity in the battle to attract and retain talent along the Front Range. Accordingly, the community will need to implement an aggressive marketing and promotional effort. This should include a public and media relations campaign, and the development and installation of new signage and wayfinding in and around Greater Cheyenne to enhance the Greenway's visibility. Partners throughout the community will need to effectively position the Greenway and its transformation in their marketing materials.
Action 2.3: Continue to invest in the expansion and connectivity of the Cheyenne Greenway.
As part of the Greenway's transformation and activation, continued extension and connectivity improvements will be needed. Segments providing enhanced connectivity to and through Downtown Cheyenne, the West Edge district, and critical redevelopment sites in the areas should be prioritized. Enhanced connectivity to other relatively high-density areas of the community (residential, employment, and activity centers) should also be prioritized.
Action 2.4: Develop a network of experiences along the Greenway that encourage interaction, play, and recreation.
As part of the vision for Greenway transformation, the community will need to invest in a series of experiences along the Greenway that promote its activation and encourage interaction. This could include:
A series of public art installations (murals, sculptures, etc.) along the Greenway
A series of fitness or exercise stations along the Greenway
A series of interactive, outdoor installations that promote learning and fun for children
Collaborative educational "exhibits" with community institutions that highlight the area's flora and fauna
A network of games and activities (i.e. bocce court, volleyball court, etc.) located along the Greenway
A network of Little Free Libraries along the Greenway
A network of community gardens along the Greenway
One or more "food truck parks" providing a location along the Greenway for food trucks to park
New bicycle racks and bike share facilities at key access points to promote multi-modal connectivity
New amphitheaters and gathering places to support performances and events
New events (festivals, parades, concerts, etc.) that engage irregular or infrequent Greenway patrons
Artistic lighting that promotes public safety and quality of place
These are just a few examples of the ways in which the Greenway vision can promote activation through a network of experiences. Potential exists to decentralize these kinds of experiences or alternatively, to concentrate certain amenities in certain segments. This could results in the development and branding of various Greenway segments: the Fitness Trail, the Education Trail, the Sculpture Trail, etc. A variety of opportunities exist to develop these experiences in partnership with community institutions (i.e. school districts, the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens, Arts Cheyenne, etc.). Similar, opportunities exist to enable and empower residents to be active participants in the transformation and installation of such experiences. For example, elementary, middle, and/or high schools could be provided with "blank canvases" for murals around the Greenway; this could be an effective way to generate low-cost public art that engages residents, promotes pride, and facilitates neighborhood attachment and identity.
Action 2.5: Identify sites for development and redevelopment that is oriented towards the Greenway.
In addition to the aforementioned experiences that can help activate the Greenway, its transformation should also be supported by the way the community orients development and the manner in which developments interact with the Greenway. The City should evaluate sites along the Greenway, and their existing and planned land uses, to identify a set of sites that can be prioritized for development and/or redevelopment along the Greenway with a particular eye towards mixed-use developments that are oriented towards the Greenway and not simply a roadway or parking lot. For example, restaurants, bars, retailers, apartments, and a variety of other uses can orient developments such that there are entryways (i.e. sidewalks and doors) that connect to the Greenway, and attributes (i.e. patios, signage) that invite Greenway patrons inside. This kind of development reorientation can change perception of the Greenway and how residents utilize it.
Action 2.6: Identify sites for public art and promote opportunities for residents to influence the Greenway aesthetic.
One of the first initiatives that can begin prior to the development and adoption of a new vision for the Cheyenne Greenway is the installation of public art. This will support other objectives and initiatives contained within Forward Greater Cheyenne, notably community beautification. While a vision and implementation plan for Greenway transformation should more clearly specify guidelines for public art, the community can begin in a few key ways:
Identify publicly-owned properties and sites along the Greenway that could incorporate new murals
Issue a request for interest to private property owners along the Greenway to identify additional sites
Develop a fund to support a set of demonstration projects that can help illustrate the potential
Issue requests for proposals for artists