Download PDF

Pleasanton - Main Street Design

Client: City of Pleasanton

Lined with attractive historic buildings, Main Street has long been the focal point of downtown Pleasanton. However, the street’s excessive width and an irregular tree canopy detracted from the quality of the streetscape. FTS’ redesigned a half-mile segment of Main Street to include a new continuous canopy of "purple robe" locust trees, corner bulb-outs to shorten pedestrian crossing distances, new sidewalk paving, and selective installation of street furnishings custom-designed to complement downtown's architecture. The resulting streetscape has injected new life into the downtown shopping district.

Custom furnishings were designed to complement Pleasanton’s mix of historic architecture to provide shade.
 

Before

View of Main Street before redesign.

  • Main Street lacked a consistent tree canopy in a hot downtown that is frequently hot and sunny.
  • The street felt wide and auto-oriented, especially for pedestrians trying to cross.
  • Existing street furniture was sparse and visually uncoordinated.
  • Sidewalks were made of ordinary concrete and detracted from the distinctiveness of downtown.

Assignment

  • Make crossing the street feel safer and easier.
  • Add street trees that provide shade but maintain shopfront visibility.
  • Incorporate the existing streetlights into a new street furnishing scheme that strengthens downtown’s distinctiveness.
  • Provide a cost-effective paving scheme to enhance Main Street’s small town, human-scale feel.
  • Accomplish all improvements with a modest budget.

Outcomes

Built

  • Construction was completed on time and on budget in 1993.
  • The streetscape improvement was substantial and attractive enough to stimulate new private investment, but subtle enough to not upstage downtown Pleasanton’s historic character.

In collaboration with:

City of Pleasanton Engineering Department