by the students of HISP 469: Laboratory in Preservation Planning
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Andrea Smith
The students of HISP 469: Laboratory in Preservation Planning worked under Dr. Smith to develop new bike and pedestrian paths for historic downtown Fredericksburg in order to improve the wayfinding and connectivity of existing trails. Students researched successful trails in urban settings comparable to Fredericksburg to gain an understanding of the positive and negative qualities of those trails, and how they could be applied or avoided in the new trails created by this project. Research into local and state ordinances regarding signage, bike paths, and similar details was also completed. Using GIS, Survey123, and Google Maps, students conducted extensive surveying of the existing trails and downtown area. The class selected the most ideal pedestrian and bike trails based on the data collected. After these trail paths were tentatively established, the class carried out two interviews with Fredericksburg locals to gain a better understanding of how users interact with the existing infrastructure and how to effectively integrate our plan in a way that benefits the city. For the plan proposed by the students to effectively connect to the existing network of trails, designs for signage that will aid in wayfinding while creating a unified aesthetic for each path were included. With these trails, the class hopes to further improve the walkability of downtown Fredericksburg and increase accessibility to local resources both historic and natural.