Download PDF

Phoenix - Downtown Streetscape Improvements

Client: City of Phoenix

All the streets in Downtown Phoenix looked the same. Pedestrian activity was a rarity. FTS redesigned the primary tourist and employment corridors. The designs reorganized traffic flow, parking and sidewalk areas, and provided Downtown with its first comfortable and memorable thoroughfares for walking, sitting or driving through. As a result of the improvements, new investment has been drawn to these corridors and Downtown vitality and identity substantially enhanced.

Dramatic columns line Second Street and create a memorable setting for downtown cultural, civic, and sports venues.


Monroe Street, a one-way traffic corridor that provided nothing to attract shops or pedestrians.

  • Project streets lacked shade trees and other amenities to protect pedestrians from the hot Phoenix sun.
  • Inadequate lighting made sidewalks feel unsafe at night.
  • Second Street was wide and auto-dominated.
  • Monroe and Adams streets were one-way traffic corridors with little shade.


  • Make streets more pedestrian-friendly and supportive of ground floor businesses.
  • Provide more shade and greenery using native Sonoran desert plant species.
  • Improve lighting on streets and sidewalks.
  • Enhance downtown’s cultural and historic identity.


  • The cost-efficient design focused improvement on new vertical elements, including palm trees, Wright-inspired lighting columns, and deco-themed streetlights.
  • Street lighting was upgraded with five-footcandle levels and warm white (3000K) light.
  • Project design and construction was completed in 15 months, on time and on budget.
  • The project received a 1995 “Design for Transportation” Merit Award from the U.S. Department of Transportation and a 1996 American Society of Landscape Architects Merit Award.

In collaboration with:

Cella Barr Associates, Ray Vote Graphics, Herrick Rothwell Schweiger-Nitchals