Downtown Pedestrian and Vehicular Access Improvements Project

This project will bring the 2015 Downtown Pedestrian and Vehicular Access and Streetscape Study into design and ultimately create construction plans. The Downtown Pedestrian and Vehicle Improvements Project would implement the improvements identified by the study, ensuring streets are safe and accessible for all users regardless of age, physical ability, or mode of transportation.

Feb. 13, 2023 public presentation

The Transportation Advisory Commission held a special meeting on Feb. 13, 2023, for a public presentation on the project's design elements options.

Mark Debowski, design consultant project manager with Greenman-Pederson, Inc., gave an overview of the project, which can be viewed below. 

His overview discussed current conditions in the Central Business District, the recommendation from the 2015 study to change the traffic flow on Main Street and Central, and why that change would be advantageous to pedestrians, motorists and downtown businesses

Feb. 13, 2023 Preliminary Design Plans

After the public presentation the project team had table stations inside the City Hall Auditorium for the public to view and provide feedback. 

Next steps

The project team is compiling the feedback they received from the public meeting. The team will return in the spring of 2023 to present revised design plans. 

From April to November 2023, the design consultant will produce final design plans. Then the project will be budgeted into the six-year Capital Improvements Program.

History of the project

Based on the recommendations from the Master Plan, the City of Dover budgeted in its a six-year Capital Improvements Plan an in-depth study to investigate options to rebalance the circulation within downtown Dover while preserving and enhancing the neighborhood’s character, businesses, and pedestrian and vehicular experience, and continue the revitalization of Dover’s historic urban core. A top priority for the study was to produce clear, achievable action items.

On Sept. 11, 2013, after a competitive bid process, the City Council authorized contracting with the Cecil Group of Boston (now a part of Harriman Architects) to analyze how vehicular and pedestrian traffic interacts with each other and how the built environment impacts those interactions.

The Planning Department was designated by the city as project manager and facilitator in charge of overall supervision for the study. The City of Dover's Transportation Advisory Commission provided input and hosted public meetings for the duration of the project.

The study is envisioned to result in a revitalization plan with four key goals:

  • Create a more attractive pedestrian-oriented environment;
  • Make vehicle circulation more clear and convenient;
  • Simplify links to parking; and
  • Expand bicycle and transit links to and through the downtown. 

2015 Downtown Pedestrian and Vehicular Access and Streetscape Study

The Cecil Group presented its final report to the Transportation Advisory Commission in March of 2015 after a year of in-depth study and public feedback. 

The study focused on rebalancing the downtown circulation and streetscape network so that future conditions may support a mixed-use environment that is more convenient, pleasant, and economically vibrant.

The study concluded:

"The City of Dover should advance a two-way circulation pattern within the downtown study area. This circulation pattern would consist of reconfigured intersections, adjusted street profiles, and the creation of a complete and safe sidewalk and crosswalk network.

"The overall circulation pattern for the downtown has significant implications with regard to the other elements of this study; as a result, emphasis was
placed on evaluating alternative approaches in order to reach this recommendation.

"Among the alternatives considered, an approach which maximizes two-way circulation within the downtown is recommended because it better meets goals for the downtown. The overall layout of the intersections and sidewalks conforms to this overall approach as well as accomplishing other purposes."

Public participation process

December 2013 through January 2014 – Data Collection and Evaluation of Existing Conditions

Streetscape study kickoff public workshop, Jan. 21, 2014.

Transportation Advisory Commission meeting, Jan. 27, 2014

February 2014 through April 2014 – Development and refinement of alternatives

Transportation Advisory Commission meeting, March 24, 2014

Transportation Advisory Commission meeting, April 21, 2014

May 2014 through June 2014 – Development of preferred alternative

Transportation Advisory Commission meeting, June 23, 2014

July 2014 through September 2014 – Development of final report

Transportation Advisory Commission meeting, July 28, 2014

September 2014 through December 2014 – Draft report and feedback

Transportation Advisory Commission meeting, Sept. 22, 2014

At this meeting, the Cecil Group presented its draft recommendations and preferred plan.

Transportation Advisory Commission meeting, Nov. 20, 2014

The Transportation Advisory Commission held a public hearing on the proposed plan.

January 2015 – March 15 – Final documents released and reviewed by the Transportation Advisory Commission

Preferred Design – Executive Summary, released in January 2015

Transportation Advisory Commission meeting, Jan. 26, 2015

Preferred Design – Final Report released, March 6

Transportation Advisory Commission meeting, March 23, 2015