the Colaborative Inc

Sheridan Downtown Development Plan

Client: City of Sheridan

Site: Sheridan, Wyoming

Sheridan is the antithesis of a typical Wyoming town. It is blessed, with superb Victorian period commercial architecture along a cohesive main street, and serves as a regional center for a population of approximately 40,000 people with a group of motivated public-spirited downtown business owners, and local officials. The Collaborative was hired along with TSP, Inc. of Wyoming, to solve a series of problems, and help provide wise community decision-making policies with goal-oriented direction for the future of the community. Sheridan suffered from inadequate and poorly accessible parking, a downtown one-way street system that did not allow for flexible routing which caused major problems for visiting tourists, no distinctive visual identity other than its architecture, an inadequate park and trails systems in the downtown area, and a general lack of beauty and user-friendliness in the streetscape environment. Our traffic consultant colleagues, BRW, developed a transportation plan which included flexibility in downtown routes, allowed for a much more user-friendly environment for tourists, allowed through traffic to go through downtown with a minimal amount of disturbance yet, provided local traffic with easier access to public parking lots and stores. The keystone of this plan was to continue one of the primary downtown arterials through a block that historically, was closed to through traffic. Our solution included the removal of a number of one-way streets and the installation of a two-way mode. We enhanced the identity of the community through the development of gateway areas including sculpture, which evoked the particular essence of Sheridan. These themes that were established, were carried through in the streetscape designs, and in the street furniture and accessories. A section of one downtown street was capable of being closed off for Sheridan’s famous Fourth of July celebration. Street tree plantings, a pedestrian plan, new urban parks, and arterials were established in the overall Master Plan. The Master Plan examined separate areas of downtown Sheridan for its particular strengths and eliminated weaknesses through individual plans. The number of public parking spaces was substantially increased and their accessibility enhanced. One key attribute, which led to the success of this project were the series of public participatory workshops held in connection with our development of the Master Plan. As a result, of this, the Master Plan truly became one in which everybody had involvement in both its development and outcome. The first phase of this plan has been instituted to a highly positive response. Today, this national historic landmark community bustles with new activities and revenue. Change has occurred, but without the loss of any of Sheridan’s particular identity as the best historic downtown in Wyoming.