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Placemaking doesn’t stop with recreational spaces. At Gates + Associates we turn everyday spaces into enjoyable environments, built for multi-transport access.

As a portion of the Central Healdsburg Streetscape Improvement Project, this 5-Way Intersection introduces the 5th roundabout in the United States to cross over active Rail Road Tracks.  The streetscape plan and planting plan at Healdsburg Avenue, Mill Street, and Vine Street, in conjunction with complete streets improvements along the Healdsburg Avenue corridor to the south provides a warm welcome to the many visitors and eases traffic flow through the already congested intersection.

Our highest priorities during the design were focused on pedestrian safety and access, vehicular capacity (largely afternoon traffic turning west onto Mill Street) and resolving complicated signalization requirements of the future SMART train.

Downtown Palo Alto was looking to create a vibrant pedestrian and bike-oriented, mixed use district, all the while preserving the local art scene already in place. The corridor at the heart of town included El Camino Real to Alma Street, and included the Caltrain Station at Park Avenue.

When Gates and Associates joined this project, we held community workshops and merchant meetings where various design alternatives were analyzed. When all feedback was taken and approved by the City, this $7.2-million project included reduction of lanes from four to two, new crosswalks, new street furniture all along the business district, two new plazas, bike lanes, widened sidewalks and new lights.

In an effort to directly improve local water quality, and promote public awareness of stormwater pollution, this green infrastructure included the installation of 19 individual treatment cells (rain gardens). The rain gardens collect urban runoff from the streets and sidewalks, and filter it before it enters the stormdrain system connected to our creeks and San Francisco Bay. To help promote awareness, Gates and Associates created signage in three languages, which explain the water filtration process.

These rain garden installations were part of a larger streetscape revitalization project which now reinforces the community identity, transit access and neighborhood revival with improved pedestrian and bicycle connections. In order to create a cohesive design along the multi-jurisdictional corridor, Gates and Associates facilitated public workshops, and used this insight for design guidelines for current and future use.

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