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East Pleasanton Specific Plan

Pleasanton, California
Firm Role
Street design, bicycle and pedestrian planning, parking and transportation demand management planning, traffic impact analysis
2014 – 2015
320 acres

The East Pleasanton Specific Plan re-envisions a defunct gravel mine as a pair of compact, walkable neighborhoods. Each is a five-minute walk from center to edge, and each will offer within its boundaries a range of housing types, offices, shops, dining, civic buildings, and public spaces. To craft the plan, SteelWave engaged a consultant team led by Torti Gallas. Patrick Siegman directed the transportation planning effort, while a Principal at Nelson\Nygaard Consulting.

The plan departs from the conventional suburban development patterns that have characterized Pleasanton since the 1950s. Drawing on the precedents provided by the Bay Area’s most successful historic neighborhoods, the plan re-envisions major streets as centerpieces, instead of bleak high-speed arterials. Reviving the tradition of America’s grand boulevards, the major north-south street is designed as a stately, tree-lined, multi-way boulevard. Through traffic is carried on center lanes designed for moderate speeds. Slow-moving side drives provide a dignified address for grand homes and apartment buildings. Doors, windows, porches, stoops, and gardens front the street, replacing the berms and soundwalls that characterize lonely suburban arterials. The design puts “eyes on the street”, increasing safety and inviting walking. Similarly, the plan’s major east-west street is an inviting space: its wide median, lined with benches, art, and a double allée of trees, encourages neighborly interaction, while simultaneously conveying the regional Iron Horse trail through the site.

The trail forms the spine of the plan’s extensive network of bicycle boulevards, lakefront trails, and greenways. A highly-connected, fine-grained grid of slender local streets minimizes congestion by dispersing local traffic, and provides safe, quiet alternatives to walking on major roads. Wherever feasible, parking is shared, minimizing costs, asphalt, stormwater runoff, and pollution. Supporting this, a transportation demand management program reduces vehicle trips and parking demand, while improving employee transportation choices.

Images courtesy of Torti Gallas