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Temple City - Las Tunas Drive Streetscape

Client: City of Temple City

With the half-century decline of Temple City's "mom & pop" downtown along a portion of Las Tunas Drive, major demographic and cultural shifts in the corridor's trade area, and limited retail growth prospects in the small (4 square mile) city, the 75+ year-old arterial format of the 1.4 mile-long street was overdue for reconfiguration. 

Rendering of downtown streetscape with 'road diet,' bike lanes, and tree-shaded back-in flexible angled parking/dining zone.
 

Before

Las Tunas Drive’s fast traffic, multiple lanes and long crosswalks discourage the sharing of downtown customers.

The “Red Car” streetcar on Las Tunas Drive set the stage for the city’s original 4-block downtown in 1924.

Today, though Temple City's largest cluster of shopping centers lies at the Rosemead Blvd/Las Tunas Drive crossroads, the majority of the corridor is lined by small parcels and storefront buildings, many occupied by low-rent paying office and service uses.

Retail "leakage" is resulting from local residents preferring to shop and dine at more attractive offerings in neighboring cities.

The mostly 5 lane street has a short 7 lane segment to the west among shopping centers at its intersection with Rosemead Boulevard.

Though restaurants are starting to make a small comeback in downtown, storefronts cannot market to fast traffic and today's utilitarian Las Tunas streetscape setting does not serve walkable retail or outdoor dining.

City tools for attracting retail investment have been constrained by loss of Redevelopment in 2012.

Assignment

  • Reconfigure Las Tunas Drive to strengthen market identity and retail investment, enhance gathering places, and increase safety and comfort for residents, customers, and visitors.
  • Add bike lanes and optimize traffic management, bus stops, and pedestrian amenities to create an exemplary “Complete Street.”
  • Use streetscape design and added on-street parking to reshape downtown as a thriving retail/dining cluster.
  • Rapidly develop design concepts through educational workshops, achieve City Council consensus, and assist with funding applications.

Outcomes

Phase I design completed

  • Within 2 months, well-attended community meetings led to the City Council’s endorsement of a “road diet” redesign of Las Tunas Drive from 5 lanes to 3 lanes with bike lanes, back-in angled parking, flexible parking/dining zones, tree canopies, and corridor entry landmarks designs.
  • The design team assisted the City's METRO funding application in January 2013 which successfully won $6.9 million in grant funding.
  • The City Council has recently reaffirmed its intent to transform Las Tunas Drive and pursue Phase 2 design refinement, engineering and construction.

In collaboration with:

EFI Inc., Nelson\Nygaard, Withers & Sandgren Ltd., Kahn Design Associates, Horton Lees Brogden Lighting, Design West Engineering