Going Green and Complete on 21st Street


November 2011 marks a significant point in the Final Design of 21st Street Improvements for the City of Paso Robles.  After months of hard work, the design phase for this project has reached 60% completion.  Cannon team members, along with the design firm SvR, arborists A&T Arborists, and Geotechnical engineers for Earth Systems Pacific celebrated the achievement of assisting the City in designing the first “Green/Complete Street” on the Central Coast.

21st Street is known for frequent flooding, poor pavement, and inadequate facilities for bicycles and pedestrian traffic.  These conditions are the result of historic runoff from the Mountain Springs Creek watershed along with subsequent development of the urban areas over the course of several decades.  To improve the situation, the City of Paso Robles in partnership with the Central Coast Low Impact Development (LID) Initiative and SvR Design Company (SvR) developed a conceptual design for a green/complete street and stormwater enhancement project along 21st Street between Vine Street and Riverside Avenue.  Cannon was selected to continue the design and implementation of the project.  Goals for the project are to reduce the frequency and severity of street flooding, increase groundwater recharge, improve the quality of stormwater runoff reaching the Salinas River, sediment removal, reduction of traffic speeds with traffic calming devices, shade the street with trees, re-map the 100-year corridor, and promote infill and redevelopment.

Implementation of the “green street” stormwater management and “complete street” traffic calming goals are critical.  Anticipated stormwater, sewer, and street improvements include: stormwater bio-retention and bio-filtration areas; daylighted creek channel; storm drain pipes/culverts; an artistic energy dissipation structure; replacement of an aging sewer line; traffic calming for pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements, coordination and installation of a new pedestrian crossing within the railroad right-of-way; intersection bulb-outs for reduced pedestrian crossing widths; flashing LED crosswalks; street furnishings; ornamental street lighting; pervious pavers; engineered soil mixes and open channel plantings; and street trees.

Deemed as the future of street design, Complete Streets integrate spaces to simultaneously and safely accommodate cyclists, pedestrians, public transport, and motorists in an aesthetically pleasing manner.  The City of Paso Robles decided to adopt a Complete Street design for 21st Street to increase pedestrian and bike use, promote safety, and increase traffic calming.

Cannon is excited to be part of this project which is certain to be model for other municipalities as they work to create roadway systems that adhere to the Complete Street parameters.  California Legislation was signed in 2008 which requires cities to integrate Complete Street policies into their general plans (AB 1358).

Cannon’s scope of work includes preliminary and final design; railroad right-of-way coordination; subconsultant coordination; preparation of plans, specifications, and construction estimate; and preparation of exhibits for public outreach.  Cannon also collaborates with the City, Arborist, Landscape Architect, and Geotechnical Engineer in completing the final design for this green/complete street project.

Groundbreaking for this momentous project should begin in Spring of 2012.