Valley In Motion supports “green” infrastructure development that allows more Lackawanna Valley residents to walk, bike, and access recreation. With bountiful and underutilized natural and cultural resources, VIM builds coalitions to provide easy and equitable access to these public assets.
VIM is spearheading an effort to revitalize the area around Scranton’s historic Iron Furnaces. Founded in 1840, this site once held the nation’s largest iron production capacity, creating pig iron, T-rails, and other products that fueled the nation’s industrial growth.
Following a visionary set of planning documents developed by DxDempsey architects, VIM leads the coalition to fund a comprehensive redevelopment around Iron Furnaces. New infrastructure for safe walking and biking would place the Iron Furnaces at the axis connecting downtown Scranton with South Side and the University of Scranton with the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail. These new opportunities for transportation, recreation, business, and education improve both quality of life for city residents and the visitor experience.
The first phase of the project involves upgrading the streetscape along the Cedar Iron District. Working with the City of Scranton and others, VIM seeks funding to improve sidewalks, lighting, signage, plantings, and bike lanes, improving access to and benefit from this important cultural and historical resource.
VIM is working with the city of Carbondale and borough of Forest City on Outdoor Town initiatives. These resident-led initiatives identify opportunities to attract recreational tourists to their trails and other outdoor amenities. VIM will help these communities develop projects in accordance to the Action Plans they develop.
Safe Routes to Parks
VIM is working with the City of Scranton and NeighborWorks NEPA to improve resident access to West Scranton’s parks, recreation, and trail system. The focus area includes pocket parks, a skate park, ballfields, basketball courts, a recreational complex, and the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail.
The work not only includes identifying park access concerns, like unsafe street crossings, sidewalk disrepair, lack of bike lanes, limited signage, and winter maintenance, but gathering resident input to identify top needs and priorities. The project seeks to magnify neighborhood voices by involving residents in the development and implementation of a fully-funded Action Plan brings sufficient resources to address their needs.
With partner NeighborWorks NEPA, VIM completed a 40-block walk audit to identify barriers to park access for vulnerable populations in the neighborhood.
VIM thanks it’s important partners of Sustainable Development projects, including: Lackawanna County Arts & Culture Department, PA Department of Natural Resources, Lackawanna Heritage Valley National and State Heritage Area, NeighborWorks NEPA, City of Scranton, City of Carbondale, Borough of Forest City, Marywood University School of Architecture, Center for the Living City, DxDempsey, Anthracite Heritage Museum, University of Scranton, Scranton Tomorrow, Reilly & Associates, Anthracite Bicycle Coalition, and United Neighborhood Centers of NEPA.