Many of the central ideas embodied in the RAISE Manchester project harken back to the city’s 2006 Downtown Strategic Development plan and were also articulated more recently in the 2021 Manchester Master Plan.
In 2017, local civic and business leaders, community groups, residents and nonprofits launched an initiative called Manchester Connects – Multimodal Transportation and Land Use Planning Initiative, which was funded through a public/private partnership supported by the Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission. It studied and recommended a number of ways the city could increase connectivity, whether people are moving on foot, or by bike, car, bus or train.
In 2019, the city convened a day-long public charrette with about 80 participating stakeholders to identify key issues in the project area and set key recommendations. Subsequent to that, the city held its weeklong Planapalooza in September 2019, with 116 individuals participating, which featured six different planning and brainstorming sessions and culminated in a presentation of findings.
On January 2020, The Manchester Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Plan Team hosted a separate but related public charrette, which included presentations from city planning staff and breakout groups for gathering feedback on the conceptual plan. Over 120 people also answered an online survey in the two weeks following the charrette.
The resulting proposal is the result of hundreds of residents and other stakeholders and enjoys broad support.
The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded the $25 million RAISE grant in November 2021. The funds awarded were the highest possible under the grant program.
On Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022, the public was invited to hear a presentation of the RAISE Manchester project from the Manchester Department of Public Works and its consulting partners, led by engineering firm Fuss & O’Neill. Mayor Joyce Craig gave opening remarks, about 100 people attended and several individuals asked questions and provided their input.