Landscape Architect & Specifier News

AUG 2014

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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52 Landscape Architect and Specifier News The redesign and construction of West Capitol Ave shows how cities such as West Sacramento can turn existing right-of-ways into vibrant multimodal corridors. It's a prime example of "re:Streets," a National Endowment of the Arts (NEA)-funded initiative that encourages transforming streets into places not just for driving, but for living. re:Streets, such as West Capitol Ave., provide safe and convenient access for all modes of travel—especially pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users—and opportunities for other street functions such as social gathering, commerce, wayfinding, temporary events and green infrastructure. West Sacramento is across the river and across the county line from Sacramento, its better-known neighbor and California's capital. The major east-west corridor of West Sacramento, West Capitol Avenue, is part of historic Lincoln Highway Route 40 that began in New York and ran all the way to San Francisco. But with construction of Interstate 80 in the 1950s, this corridor deteriorated from being the city's main street with a thriving row of motels and travel-related services, to a bypassed commercial strip. With as many as six lanes of fast moving traffic lanes and very long blocks, the road offered only limited connectivity for nonautomobile users and was extremely unfriendly to pedestrians as they tried to access the remaining amenities along the corridor. Driven by the desire of the West Sacramento community to reclaim their main street, the city embarked on a streetscape master plan led by MIG, Inc. The 2-mile corridor was envisioned as a series of five distinct but interconnected districts. Funded with redevelopment tax increments and a $7.2 million Sacramento Area Council of Governments Community design grant, the first phase helped construct two districts, East Gateway and Downtown Civic Center, from Garden Street to Jefferson Avenue. Right The West Capitol Avenue streetscape in West Sacramento, Calif., transformed historic Lincoln Highway 40 into a vibrant pedestrian-friendly main street, a prime example of re:Streets. [re:Streets - www.restreets.org - "accommodates people of all ages and mobility, promotes healthy urban living, social interaction and business, the movement of people and goods and regeneration of the environment."] The re:Street design here repurposed the street by reducing the number of lanes from six to four 11-foot wide lanes, and made way for dedicated bike lanes and as-needed parking lanes and bus stops. Crosswalks are clearly marked with complementary stamped patterns and colors in the asphalt, with generous pedestrian refuges in the 'conflict' zone and protective bollards. Inset The fast moving 4-6 lane roads of West Capitol Ave. between Garden Street and Jefferson were dangerous to pedestrians and bicyclists. Landscape Architecture by MIG, Inc., Long Beach, Calif. ReclaIms West Sacramento Main Street

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