Duct Tape and Planters inspire a City!

By Tracy Stevens, Director, Development & Engineering Services, City of Avondale

On Saturday, October 11, 2014, the City of Avondale Development and Engineering Services Department transformed 5th Street using temporary measures within historic Avondale, Arizona. The project corridor consisted of a 40-foot wide asphalt pavement with 4-foot wide attached sidewalks along both sides within the Western Avenue Arts District. With the use of duct tape, donated trees, and spray chalk the street was transformed into a multi-modal street which promotes walking and biking, while still serving vehicles and providing on-street parking. Vertically buffered bike lanes were installed using a row of parked vehicles in one direction and planters in the other direction. A Parklet was created using outdoor carpet, planters, tables and chairs to demonstrate pedestrian activation of the street within a parking stall. That evening, during the City’s annual Resident Appreciation Night, residents of all ages enjoyed riding bicycles along the protected bike lane or walking along sidewalks dually buffered by parked vehicles and bike lane improvements. As they were able to actually “feel” the improvements, City leadership were inspired to better utilize our public space to create more multi-modal streets.

The street before the temporary changes.

The street following the changes, as a multimodal, pedestrian and cyclist friendly area.