Redesign of suburban arterial into boulevard in Bothell, WA
The City of Bothell, Washington, is moving forward with the redesign of a suburban arterial road into a five-block section of mixed-use boulevard, according to Gregory Tung of Freedman Tung & Sasaki (FTS). The boulevard is a key infrastructure component of the Downtown Subarea Plan, and is designed to unite the historic downtown with new development areas.
State Route 527 is a highly traveled five-lane suburban arterial with no on-street parking and lined by parking lots. The boulevard would have four central lanes of through traffic, separate slower side lanes with on-street parking, four rows of trees, and wide sidewalks fronted with mixed use buildings. The first block is planned for construction in 2010-2012, according to Tung.
The city is asking the state DOT to relinquish the section of road so the project can move forward, Tung says. “While the Washington State DOT has been supportive in reviewing the design, its most recent comments have proven to be restrictive of some multiway boulevard operations aspects,” he says.
The street design is matched to form based controls on frontage development. Building heights up to 65 feet and 6 stories are permitted, with upper-story residences and workplaces allowed above ground-floor shops (retail is required for the first 3 blocks). Double-sided parallel parking is provided for the slow-speed side lanes on the retail-priority blocks. On the two residentially oriented blocks, single-sided parallel parking is planned. A double row of trees buffers upper- story occupants from the effects of arterial traffic in the center lanes.
Continuous rain gardens are located in the multiway median islands, and pervious unit pavers are used in the slow-speed side lanes, resulting in capture and ground absorption of nearly all of the street’s runoff (see diagram on previous page). “Together with LED street lighting and recycling containers, the project manifests the community’s commitment to sustainability,” Tung says.
Perteet Inc. teamed PB PlaceMaking on the street design, and FTS (formerly Freedman Tung & Bottomley) consulted on the urban design for the boulevard. Noted boulevard experts Allan Jacobs and Elizabeth Macdonald were also part of the team.