College AvenueHonor Award - General Design
College Avenue has served as a primary transportation connection linking downtown Tempe with the sports and academic districts of Arizona State University. Developed over several decades, the street that once served residential uses was widened to accommodate varying modes of vehicular circulation. With the introduction of Light Rail and Tempe Transit Center, many of the bus routes and stops were redefined. As a result College Avenue suffered from a system of unused asphalt that often impeded pedestrian circulation. Conceived through a unique public–private partnership between ASU and the City of Tempe, the vision for College Avenue was to transform the existing multi-use transportation corridor into vital public realm space focused on walkability and serving as a catalyst for infill development and adaptive reuse of vacant land and buildings. Incorporating strategies from the National Complete Street Coalition the design eliminates unused vehicular pavement by narrowing travel lanes to incorporate dedicated bike lanes and shaded pedestrian walkways that support daily use and a flexible urban plaza for programming events of all sizes. The project was designed as an extension of indoor and outdoor program associated with the adjacent retail spaces as well as College Avenue Commons. This was accomplished through the use of a unified, integral concrete paving design for the street, sidewalks, retail dining and plazas. To support circulation, the use of bollards, lighting, integral concrete paving and street trees delineate traffic creating separation for bicyclists and pedestrians while allowing for flexibility in event staging. This was accomplished in concert with meeting strict city drainage, accessibility, and safety requirements. The “new” College Avenue has transformed this district within the urban core into a vital active space providing a gateway to ASU and the City of Tempe, creating a people focused space that will serve generations to come.