Greenways and Active Transportation Plan

The North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission is soliciting proposals for Regional Greenways and Active Transportation Planning Services. The selected Consultant will provide an integrated Regional Greenways and Active Transportation Plan for North Central’s six-county region. The contract for services is not to exceed $120,000 and will run through May 2022. A copy of the RFP is available by clicking here or visiting www.ncentral.com. Copies are also available by sending a written request to:

North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning & Development Commission
Attn: Rachel Wolfel
49 Ridgmont Drive
Ridgway, Pennsylvania 15853
Email:  rwolfel@ncentral.com

The electronic submission of completed proposals will be accepted through:
Wednesday, July, 7, 2021. 

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Greenways and Active Transportation Plan Q&A:

Kindly define your agency’s expectations for the extent and scope of a schematic designs for the “top five priority projects” in the plan. Please be as specific as possible.

North Central anticipates that the schematic designs will be a rough construction drawing that offers a general overview of a project’s basic features and construction cost estimates. One of the items listed under IV. Scope of the Greenways and Active Transportation Plan, Section 4 states “Create an Implementation Plan and Prioritization Process.” Part of that Implementation Plan and Prioritization Process creation is to “Create a phased implementation plan with priority projects and high-level estimated costs.” The top five Active Transportation priority projects should have a focus on both walking and biking, and emphasize the pedestrian. As stated in the RFP, “This may include making certain streets “pedestrian-first” or “Pedestrian-only.” We anticipate that the top five Greenways projects will include corridors that complete critical gaps in a regional trail network that also focus on planning, acquisition, design, and construction as well as funding sources to implement projects. The final deliverables for both Greenways and Active Transportation`s top five priority projects will include each of the projects` location, infrastructure type, priority level (high/medium/low) with justification, cost estimates, and potential funding sources. Additionally, listing requirements and goals along with visual drawings for each of the priority projects for both Greenways and Active Transportation will be part of the final deliverable.

Who is the selection committee for this assignment?

Under section VII. General Submission Requirements, Section 4 states, “All RFPs received by North Central will be reviewed and evaluated by a Selection Committee (the “Committee”) comprised of representatives from North Central staff.” In addition to the specific North Central staff members, the established Greenways Subcommittee is comprised of Regional Planners and Regional Representatives for each of North Central’s six counties.

What is the anticipated Notice to Proceed date for the selected consultant?

The table listed under section VI. Budget and Consultant Selection Process, states that the Consultant Selection for the Regional Greenways and Active Transportation Plan is Mid July, 2021. We anticipate that A Notice to Proceed would be provided prior to August 1st, 2021 pending any contract negotiations with the selected consulting group.

Has the project committee been formed?

The Project Committee has not yet been formed. At the onset of the project, North Central will assist the selected consultant with identifying key stakeholders and form a 10 to 15 person committee comprised of members from the Greenways Subcommittee, RPO, North Central staff, regional planners and regional representatives to manage the plan development efforts.

Do you have a desired number of committee meetings for the project.

North Central is confident that the consultant and project committee members will be able to adequately determine the necessary frequency of meetings in order to effectively identify and address project needs, discuss progress on the project, and coordinate efforts that are beneficial for the development of the plan. There is not a desired number of meetings, but similar planning efforts typically held monthly committee meetings.

Given the distances between the six counties, do you prefer to have virtual committee meetings or in person meetings?

Due to the distance between the six counties and the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic, North Central prefers that the project committee meetings take place virtually. However, in-person meetings at the North Central office could be arranged with the option to join virtually if requested. 

Same questions for public meetings? In-person or virtual preferred? Also do you have a desired number of public meetings?

Throughout the public participation process North Central envisions that the consultant will follow a hybrid approach to ensure that all individuals have various options for participation. North Central does not have a desired number of public meetings, but would like to reiterate the importance of citizen involvement and public participation during this project. Public participation is a crucial aspect of the plan development and is vital to the projects success.

Are there systems of existing wayfinding signage in the region? If yes, does North Central maintain an inventory of these systems?

North Central does not currently have wayfinding signage in the region. Part of the plan development will be to create a list of needs and gaps to include wayfinding signage for both bicyclists and pedestrians. Moving forward, North Central anticipates using ArcGIS for inventory purposes.

Does North Central have an estimate of the % of households in the region with internet service?

It is estimated that approximately 75% of individuals in the North Central region have internet service. However, this is not stating that 75% of individuals have high speed internet service. North Central has a Broadband Subcommittee that continues to assist the region with broadband needs.

Can we supply a digital (pdf) submission to you?  Is the deadline ‘end of business day’ on July 07, 2021?

Under the heading “Submission of Proposals” listed in the RFP, it states that “Due to the ongoing COVID–19 pandemic, North Central is requiring all proposals to be submitted via email. North Central will accept completed proposals until July 7, 2021 at 11:59pm EDT. All proposals shall be emailed with the following in the subject line: “[Firm Name]’s North Central Regional Greenways and Active Transportation Plan.”  Please e-mail proposals to Ms. Rachel Wolfel at rwolfel@ncentral.com.” Digital (pdf) submissions are recommended due to all proposals being submitted via email.

Have the number of meetings been quantified?  We typically have 2 or 3 public meetings for this type of project; 6-7 Steering meetings; 15-20 Key person interviews; 8-10 Stakeholders Phone/meetings.

North Central is confident that the consultant and project committee members will be able to adequately determine the necessary frequency of meetings in order to effectively identify and address project needs, discuss progress on the project, and coordinate efforts that are beneficial for the development of the plan. The number of meetings have not been quantified for the Project Committee nor the Public Participation meetings. That said, North Central would like to remind applicants that there are six counties in the region that need to be covered by this plan so it’s imperative that public participation efforts cover the full region.

How many RPO/North Board meetings will there be?

RPO meetings are held six (6) times a year and occur during the months of February, April, June, August, October, and December. These meetings are on the second Tuesday of the month. North Central Board meetings are held monthly, but full board meetings are held six times a year. These meetings occur in the months of January, March, May, July, September, and November. All North Central Board meetings are held the fourth Wednesday of the month with exceptions to the holidays.

How many people will represent the Steering Committee?  Has the committee been established, or will the committee be organized at the beginning of the project? Where will the above meeting be held?  In Ridgway, PA?

The Project Committee has not yet been formed. At the onset of the project, North Central will assist the selected consultant with identifying key stakeholders and form a 10 to 15 person committee comprised of members from the Greenways Subcommittee, RPO, North Central staff, regional planners and regional representatives to manage the plan development efforts.

Due to the distance between the six counties and the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic, North Central prefers that the steering committee meetings take place virtually. However, in-person meetings at the North Central office in Ridgway, PA could be arranged with the option to join virtually if requested. 

What level of study/findings are anticipated for the Wildlife Analysis?

North Central anticipates that the Wildlife Analysis conducted for the North Central Region will provide high level information about the potential habitats available to area populations to ensure that developing greenways will not negatively impact wildlife habitats. By completing the Wildlife Analysis, it will demonstrate the effects that changing habitat quality and availability will have on wildlife populations in the areas that potential greenways will be developed.

Can you explain what work product is indented by item 3. f.- “Create a set of ‘standard drawing’ for active transportation infrastructure?”

North Central intended that a set of ‘standard drawing’ for active transportation infrastructure include the elements that make up our transportation system. This includes streets, sidewalks, travel lanes and transit stops, all that vie for space within a limited right-of-way.  We are looking for a rendering to visualize the identified projects integrated with state-of-the-practice solutions that can help create complete streets that are safe and enjoyable for active transportation users.

Question related to the General Submission Requirements and General Terms and Conditions. Do small business enterprise (SBE) businesses qualify for the 5% requirement listed under VII? It is not specifically listed on under VII but it is mentioned under VIII (paragraph 3).

North Central has a project goal of 5%, recognizes DBE certifications by the Pennsylvania Unified Certification Program (www.paucp.com) and adheres to PennDOT’s Small Business Enterprise (SBE) (https://www.penndot.gov/about-us/EqualEmployment/Pages/Small-Business-Enterprise-(SBE).aspx).