- 2010 Neighborhood Planning Award of Excellence from the California Chapter of the American Planning Association
The Coast Highway once served as the major north-south route from San Diego to Los Angeles. Construction of a parallel freeway left the road lined with aging motels, strip malls, used car dealers, and gas stations. The road had high-speed traffic, narrow sidewalks, no bicycle lanes, and not much shade. It did little to invite people to stop, stroll, shop, and dine.
The Vision and Strategic Plan fundamentally rethinks the street’s design and the rules for building along it. Patrick Siegman led the street design, parking, and transportation planning effort for the plan while a Principal at Nelson\Nygaard Consulting, as part of a team led by Torti Gallas.
The Plan removes excess vehicle lanes along the 3.1-mile-long corridor, allowing it to become a civilized boulevard. Wide sidewalks, shade trees, protected bicycle lanes, landscaped medians, and frequent safe crossings will make it a place to enjoy, rather than merely a strip to hurry through. Low-speed modern roundabouts at key intersections act as gateways to retail districts, while slowing and calming traffic.
New design guidelines encourage human-scale, mixed-use buildings. The old minimum parking regulations, which hampered redevelopment, are replaced by a shared parking plan and traffic reduction requirements.
The parking and transportation demand management strategy also capitalizes on the corridor’s two rail stations by defining a coherent set of steps for maximizing transit ridership.
The Vision and Strategic Plan was adopted by the City in 2009, the first phase of the road diet has been completed, and design of subsequent phases is underway. The Plan was awarded the 2010 Neighborhood Planning Award of Excellence by the California Chapter of the American Planning Association.
Images courtesy of Torti Gallas