Williamsburg: Trail Town – Greater Allegheny Passage Case Study Report

ced 475 partner capstone project | 2020
created under direction of Dave McFarland, Planning Director at Blair Planning

This report for the Blair County Planning Commission and Williamsburg Borough details the successes of trail towns along the Greater Allegheny Passage Trail and applies them to projects which could improve Williamsburg’s relationship with the trails that traverse it. View the full report:

Blair Planning asked me to expand on this work as a Comprehensive Planning Intern in their Williamsburg Area Comprehensive Plan.

First, a catalog of trails traversing Williamsburg, most notably the Lower Rail Trail, and existing businesses and services is compiled. Then that catalog is compared with three towns which share similar characteristics along the Greater Allegheny Passage Rail Trail: Confluence, Rockwood, and Mount Savage. These comparisons establish the restaurants, shops, lodging, and other services supported by similar populations and similar proportional ridership on the trail nearby.

Trail Extension Prioritization Map

Based on that comparison, recommendations to develop community in Williamsburg include extending the Lower Trail to encourage longer stays by more visitors, catalyzing creation of businesses and services downtown, improving the downtown built environment and connections to the Lower Trail, and creating programming to encourage community interaction.

Plan for High St at 1st St, connecting the Lower Trail to downtown Williamsburg

View the full report:

The report can also be viewed at the Blair Planning website.

Blair Planning asked me to expand on this work as a Comprehensive Planning Intern in their Williamsburg Area Comprehensive Plan.

This project inspired a proposal for a statewide rail trail network in Pennsylvania and beyond.