Downtown Access Plan

The City’s Downtown Pedestrian and Vehicular Access and Streetscape Study is intended to continue the revitalization of Dover’s historic urban core. The study focuses 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 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. 

The City of Dover’s Planning Department guided this study. The Cecil Group, a professional planning and design firm, has been retained to help carry out the planning study, along with firms RSG and Gibbs Planning Group. Concerned about pedestrian safety on Chestnut Street, the City Council approved the study’s funding in December of 2012 as part of the FY14-FY20 Capital Improvement Program.

The report and design plans are expected to be complete by the end of August 2014. The following schedule provides the expected time frames for key milestones in the planning process:

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

View the presentation from the first Public Workshop in January, here

Watch the meeting, online.

View the Existing Conditions report here.

·         February 2014 thru April 2014 – Development and Refinement of Alternatives

View the presentation from the March TAC meeting here.

View the presentation from the second Public Workshop in April Part 1 | Part 2

Watch the meeting, online.

·         May 2014 thru June 2014 – Development of Preferred Design

·         June 2014 thru September 2014 – Development of Final Report

With a final report in hand, staff will review implementation items for insertion into upcoming Capital Improvement’s Programming requests. 

To help gather this input, a survey was created and posted to solicit broader public feedback on the different traffic circulation and access options being evaluated for downtown Dover. 

The survey solicited opinions on three design and circulation alternatives that have different approaches to traffic circulation and pedestrian and bicycle facilities for downtown. A major issue to be resolved is whether downtown's major streets—Chestnut Street, Main Street, Central Avenue, and Washington Street—should remain one-way in some fashion, or be changed to two-way traffic flow. These same alternatives were discussed at a public workshop on April 21, 2014 (View Part 1 | Part 2) as part of the City's ongoing Downtown Pedestrian and Vehicular Access and Streetscape Study.

A follow-up workshop on Thursday, May 15 provided an additional opportunity for the public to review and refine these same alternatives, particularly for those who could not attend the April 21 workshop. 

On September 22, the Cecil Group presented its Draft Recommendations and Preferred Plan to the TAC. A pared down version of the presentation can be found here

View the proposed circulation plan.

A public hearing on the recommendations was held on November 20, 2014. Review the video, here. The notes from the meeting are here.

The Cecil Group provided the City with an executive summary in January and a final report in March 2015. 

On March 23, 2015 the TAC approved the recommended plan, regarding infrastructure improvements to Chestnut Street, and the Upper and Lower Squares. No position was taken on the direction of traffic flow. A summary of the TAC decision is here