West Pearl Street Streetscape
Otak collaborated with local landscape architects to design the update of West Pearl Street, extending from 11th Street to 7th Street. The goal of the project was to enhance the economic viability of West Pearl by making it more inviting for visitors of the Pearl Street Mall to continue their adventures past 11th Street.
The streetscape was updated using sandstone benches, pavers, and planting beds to provide a cohesive identity along the corridor. Trees were removed and replanted as required and allowed through the city’s strict tree removal policy. Pedestrian mobility was improved by constructing bulb-outs at all intersections and adding a raised crossing at 10th. Custom eight-feet-tall illuminated sandstone kiosks were installed at intersections to provide wayfinding. Bike racks were installed at various locations and bus stops were also improved.
Civil engineering challenges included reducing sidewalk cross-slopes and improving drainage facilities throughout the corridor. The area’s sidewalk cross-slopes greatly exceeded ADA maximums, so sidewalks were reconstructed with strict grading details that had to account for existing building access points. Rather than increasing the curb height to accommodate this change, the slope of the parking zone was reversed (to be upward instead of downward), and drainage conveyed in a pan rather than along the curb. Another modification was the elimination of a free-right turn lane at 9th and Pearl to improve pedestrian safety.
The project required careful construction phasing in order to minimize any disruption to businesses. Portions of the sidewalk were infilled in order to maintain access to doorways, and city blocks were constructed sequentially to minimize the amount of parking lost due to construction at any one time.
Client: Boulder County Transportation Department
Date completed: 2016
Project manager: Pete Loris
Otak contract amount/Total project cost: $750,000/$1.8M
Type: Streetscape design and pedestrian improvements