Playa de Ponce – Borinquen Trail
Ponce, PR

Project Type: Mobility, Historic preservation,
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Playa de Ponce Segment – Borinquen Trail

Project Type: Mobility Plan
Project Status: Completed
Dates: February 2023
Site Area: 6 miles
Team: Plusurbia Design

This rails-to-trails study proposes a network of paths and first-phase interventions in Playa de Ponce, Puerto Rico. This vision report was developed in conjunction with community leaders, non-profits, and government stakeholders in Playa de Ponce, a historically underserved urban center on the South coast of Puerto Rico. Plusurbia Design proposed to carry out a study for Borinquen Trail for Para la Naturaleza’s cultural projects grant. Plusurbia Design carried out this study of Borinquen Trail for Para la Naturaleza’s cultural projects grant.

The study mapped the existing conditions of Playa de Ponce’s mobility and public spaces, proposed a multi-modal implementation plan for walking, biking, and transit, and developed creative placemaking strategies. The results from this study will help guide the growth of Playa de Ponce by connecting its neighborhoods with cultural heritage sites and the rest of Ponce.

The plan proposed to build a continuous ‘complete street approach’ along the route with bicycle routes and amenities, such as street trees, cultural centers, parks, bioswales, wayfinding signage, and historic property markers. The development of this new trail would create better streets and public spaces in Playa de Ponce while also improving access to jobs and opportunities. Furthermore, the plan included recommendations for implementing climate resilience, stormwater management, microgrids, storm surge defense, and historic preservation strategies.

The city council is currently considering measures to implement the recommendations in the study. If approved, residents can look forward to a continuous bicycle route between Playa and the city center and a continuous path along the Southern coast connecting with communities along the former railroad. Ultimately, these proposed changes will lead to a more livable and sustainable Playa de Ponce. By providing residents with reliable and accessible transit options, the city can move towards achieving its goal of a greener future.

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