May is National Bike Month. Bike month is a way to celebrate the beauty of the bicycle. It’s a great way to promote and educate on “riding a bike as a viable, environmentally friendly, cost-saving commute choice”. Friday, May 15th is Bike to Work Day and San Diego County will have 100 plus Pit Stops for the thousands of people biking to work to stop, take a break, get a t-shirt, grab a snack, and in our case have some fun!
The Bike to Work Day Pit Stop at KTU+A has a garnered a reputation and we don’t plan on that stopping any time soon. This year we pick up where we left off. We are cooking up something special and are going to be giving back to a great cause! As you can see from the infographic from last year (see below); we have had a steady growth of commuters that have stopped by and we’ve enjoyed their company.
This year we will have bagels from Big City Bagels, fresh coffee, t-shirts, as well as some interactive activities we are calling the “Bike Games.” All we can say is there will be free chuckles and raffle prizes. Hope to see you there!
KTU+A Planning and Landscape Architecture is pleased to announce the recent hire of Chris Langdon to join their landscape architecture team as an Associate of the firm.
“Chris’ experience meshes perfectly with our design pursuits across multiple business sectors,” said KTU+A Principal, Kurt Carlson. “He has a tremendous resumé that includes management of civic, education, military, corporate, parks, and transportation projects from initial concept design through construction.”
Chris has over 15 years of landscape architecture experience with an additional 6 years of landscape construction and horticultural field experience. His experience includes managing projects of all sizes ranging from 1-acre park sites up to a 26-mile transportation corridor. In addition to his diverse portfolio, Chris is also equipped to oversee projects of varying delivery methods including traditional design-bid-build, design-build, and CM at risk.
He has been involved in several noteworthy projects throughout his design career, including the NCTD Sprinter in North San Diego County; Alga Norte Community Park in Carlsbad, California; the MBTA Green Line Extension (GLX) in Boston, Massachusetts; the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Laboratory Replacement in La Jolla, California; 41 Area RECON Headquarters and BEQ Complex at MCB Camp Pendleton, California; and multiple Proposition S and N projects at San Diego Mesa College. Chris is a licensed landscape architect in California and a LEED Accredited Professional in the Building Design and Construction track. He served as the President of the San Diego Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects in 2006.
“If these were built, I’d frequent Hillcrest more.”
“Thank you for blocking all the cars so we all can bike.”
These are some of the comments we heard at the pop-up cycle track the KTU+A Tactical Urbanism (TU) team built for the most recent CicloSDias on November 9, 2014.
Cycle tracks have demonstrated not only safety for bicyclists, but have also shown to increase ridership and improve economic vitality wherever they’ve been built. Protecting bicyclists and pedestrians from vehicular traffic and providing space for alternative modes has been a key focus for many cities throughout the U.S. California cities such as Long Beach and San Francisco have already constructed cycle tracks, while San Diego is slowly picking up steam.
The Uptown Corridor Plan identifies University Avenue as a potential corridor for bicycle facilities such as a cycle track. We demonstrated a short cycle track version during the Park(ing) Day event in September and received great feedback from the public. The success of that event, plus our annual Bike To Work Day pit stop, encouraged the KTU+A tactical urbanism team to develop bigger and better ideas.
When it was announced that the CicloSDias route would travel right in front of our Hillcrest office the team decided it was“game on.”
The TU team strategized on ways to contribute to such a great event. Why not take the cycle track from Normal Street to Richmond Street? It would be a full block length that participants can experience while riding the CicloSDias route. We met with the CicloSDias coordinators, CirculateSanDiego and the San Diego Bicycle Coalition to reserve the north side of University Avenue for our cycle track. It wasn’t difficult to convince all the organizers since we all promote the same cause.
We once again coordinated with Village Nurseries for plant materials (they were a huge contributor to our Park(ing) Day pop-up park.Car2Go not only showcased their cars and program, but also acted as our protected barrier. The Hillcrest Business Improvement District generously donated all of the rubber bumpers and plastic bollards for our cycle track. We reused our brightly painted Park(ing) Day pallets and cycle track curb to build a full scale cycle track. The team worked after hours to construct the additional curbs and signs.
It took the team less than one hour to construct the cycle track. A feat even we were amazed by. But what it showcased was the simplicity of these sometimes complex bike facilities. Throughout the day, we had many cyclists, pedestrians and skateboarders of all ages telling us how much they enjoyed the experience and wished it would be permanent. We provided writing material on all our curbs so participants could comment on the cycle track and their experience with it.
At the end of the day, the feedback was positive. Everyone who tried the cycle track felt a sense of safety, a sense of place, and most of all, it was just a lot of fun.
- What: A Cycle Track exhibit! Tasty breakfast treats: Churros & rolled tacos from Mama Testa’s; coffee & water; other breakfast treats.
- Why: Fun!
- When: 8-10am
- Where: Normal St and Harvey Milk St (just one block north of University Ave)
Every year, ESRI hosts its annual user conference at the San Diego Convention Center. Fortunately for our staff, it’s a short bike or trolley ride to the week-long event. It’s great seeing the work our peers are doing both in the region and worldwide. With over 15,000 attendees this year, it was a lot of fun.KTU+A staff submit project entries into both the ESRI Map Gallery and the San Diego Showcase every year. The San Diego Showcase highlights projects within the region and resides just outside the Map Gallery. This year, KTU+A entered six exhibits into the ESRI Map Gallery and four into the San Diego Showcase. Joe Punsalan, Tasha Davis, Kristin Bleile, Jacob Leon and Mike Limburg either submitted individual exhibits or collaborated between them. Three out of our four San Diego Showcase exhibits won an award. All the winners are listed below.
Grand Showcase: National City SMART Foundation: Public Outreach and Safety Analysis for Project Development
Joe Punsalan (KTU+A)
Tasha Davis (KTU+A)
Most Educational About GIS: Understanding Different Softwares to Successfully Communicate Ideas: City Heights Urban Greening Plan
Jacob Leon (KTU+A)
Most technologically integrated: How Sea Level Change Affects Wetland Habitat
Kristin Bleile (KTU+A)
Danny Veeh (SANDAG)
Louise Wedley (SanGIS)
Best Web Mapping Application:
Koman Diabate (SANDAG)
Best Story Map:
Lorenda Lee (Chula Vista)
Great job geogeeks, see you next year!
We are now a half way through 2014, and it is the first day of summer. Back in January, there were several people out there trying to get a jump start on their resolutions to be more active and healthy in 2014. We at KTU+A had many fitness successes in 2013 and wanted to share with you our favorite spots to get outside and exercise! Now that the sun is shining and we are hitting the longest days of the year, here are some spaces designed by KTU+A and some of our suggestions to enjoy the outdoors and continue your resolutions!
1. Mission Bay Park
Sharon Singleton started using her “fitbit” pedometer on July 1, 2012. Since that time, she has logged 3,348 miles walking and running; 7,422,908 steps; and climbed 17,765 floors. Her best day was August 28, 2013 when she climbed Mt. Whitney. That day she walked 68,567 steps over 28.76 miles and climbed the equivalent of 842 floors. During 2103, Sharon took an average of 13,546 steps per day. While there are unlimited outdoor activities to do in Mission Bay, it is one of Sharon’s favorite places to run – through Old Town to Mission Bay Park, past SeaWorld to Belmont Park and then north along the boardwalk to the park at Law Street in PB.
2. Alga Norte Park, Carlsbad, CA
While training for the Oceanside Half Ironman, the Wildflower Long Course, and finally the Lake Placid Ironman in 2013, Brooke Whalen logged 25 miles of swimming, 1,997 miles of biking and 491 miles of running. Always looking for new places to train, she’s excited to try out the Aquatic Facility at Alga Norte, which includes a competition pool, a 25-yard pool, and a spray ground for kids. KTU+A was part of the design build team with TB Penick and Sons, Inc. who completed this 32- acre community park in January of this year. In addition to the state of the art aquatic facility, this park features baseball and softball fields, basket ball courts, picnic areas a children’s play area, a skate park and even a place for Fido to stretch his legs in the new dog park! This park is located at the corner of Poinsettia Lane and Alicante Road.
3. Balboa Park Trails, San Diego, CA
What started out as physical therapy, after two months in hospital beds, turned into regular recreational exercise. For the calendar year of 2013, Michael Johnston walked over 750 miles. His walks were concentrated in Mission Hills area where he lives and he sometimes walks to work, but lately, every Friday involves going to Balboa Park and exploring the trails. Visit the website for more information on the trails.
4. Shelter and Harbor Island
Cheri Blatner Pifer’s walks take her all over San Diego County including Fiesta Island, Mission Bay, Coast Blvd, La Jolla, Shelter and Harbor Islands, and the Downtown Gaslamp area. “My resolution each year is to continue eating healthy and exercising (which I prefer to do outside). For the past five years I’ve continued to do 2-4 half marathons a year. One year, I accomplished a full marathon and one year I did the 3-Day Breast Cancer walk. In 2013 I did the Carlsbad and Long Beach half marathons, as well as the Del Mar Red Nose Run!!! This coming year I plan to do the Huntington Beach half, the Coronado 10K, Carlsbad 5K and hopefully the OC half marathon. If I do the latter one I’ll receive my second triple crown for doing three Orange County half marathons within a year. In between these races I walk every weekend with my friends. In the spring and summer, when the days are longer, we walk in the early evenings also. We walk anywhere from 7-12 miles each time we walk. Nothing better than being with good friends, catching up on life and experiencing the outdoors while getting exercise! I belong to a group called “Motion Starved” where everyone logs in their steps on Twitter. Our goal is to accumulate enough steps to reach the moon. We try and log in 20,000 steps each time we walk, which is equivalent to 10 miles. Join our group and help us reach our goal!!!”
5. Ocean Front Walk, Pacific Beach and Mission Beach
The Ocean Front Walk Safety Study by KTU+A included the evaluation of the Ocean Front Walk from Thomas Street in Pacific Beach to the South Mission Beach Lifeguard Tower. KTU+A was tasked with determining if safety or congestion problems exist on this high volume mixed use trail system, determining how to minimize safety problems, and was asked to study the impact of all options that would reduce congestion and improve safety. The result was a widened, mixed-use trail.
On the second day that Jacob Leon moved down to San Diego, he told himself to take advantage of this beautiful and active city so he headed down to the beach to try to pickup a volleyball game in Mission Bay. Luck was on his side and he happened to stumble upon a beach volleyball meetup that had the friendliest people he could have met. Since then, they have become his new SD Family as well as his health/sports related crew. They play beach volleyball every Saturday and Sunday at Ocean Beach or South Mission Beach as well as indoor volleyball every Monday and Thursday.
“I’m also excited to say that I started training with my roommate who’s a personal trainer.” Since November of last year, he’s been training twice a week and can see the difference in his energy, mood, and health. “Lastly, I set a goal of completing a 5k run every quarter for 2014. I am lucky to be living in a city that has a health-related event happening every weekend so that shouldn’t be a problem!”
“I plan on spearheading a “KTU+A Health Group” for 2014. With this group, I’ll be able to communicate to the office of upcoming events with the intent of getting a team/group to participate.”
6. The Coast Highway
You cannot drive along the coast without sharing the road with several bikers speeding along side you. The Coast Highway just may be the most connected and scenic system in San Diego, or at least the busiest. KTU+A has had a major influence on the way the bike facilities have developed throughout San Diego over the years because of their bike master plans. KTU+A has worked with cities such as Encinitas, Oceanside, Carlsbad, San Clemente gathering community input and developing plans that encourage more people to bike. Joe Punslan who works on these types of plans says his riding has dwindled dramatically the past year or so so he’d like to try and get up to 1,500 miles this year. He’d also like to run a half-marathon for the first time. Oh yes, and hike Mt Whitney for the first time.
For more ideas on places to get outside and explore, visit our website. Here’s to continuing a healthy and happy 2014!
City Councilmember Scott Sherman hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new model of City park, one that improves recreation opportunities while also improving water quality. The Councilmember joined community leaders and local residents to unveil upgrades to Cabrillo Heights Neighborhood Park that will expand picnic, shade and play areas and add new “rain gardens” designed to protect local water quality.
The $1.7 million project includes a children’s play area, new trees, a shade shelter with four picnic tables and a barbeque, parking, fencing and accessibility upgrades. In addition, the two new rain gardens will collect and filter rain and irrigation water from 6 acres of the park.
“The improved Cabrillo Heights park is a beautiful community asset for everyone in Serra Mesa,” said Councilmember Sherman. “The new recreation facilities are wonderful and the new storm water pollution prevention features make this a model for our future park development efforts,” he said. “I appreciate the hard work of the Serra Mesa Recreation Council and City staff for making this new improved park a reality,” said Sherman.
Joining Councilmember Sherman were City Park and Recreation Director Herman Parker, Transportation and Storm Water Deputy Director Andrew Kleis, Public Works – Architectural Engineering and Parks Division Deputy Director Mark Nassar, and local residents.
KTU+A worked closely with Burkett and Wong to complete the design for the garden and park improvements. We are looking forward to an El Nino this winter with lots of rain! Check out the rain gardens during a storm this spring.
Bike to Work Day was a great success for us at KTU+A and for all that visited our Pit Stop. For the previous four years we have rallied at the Crack-o-Dawn to serve coffee, snacks, smiles and other freebies to commuters on two wheels. This year we rose even earlier and incorporated an element of Tactical Urbanism.
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. How about an INFOGRAPHIC and VIDEO?
If you did not get the chance to enjoy our Pit Stop, we hope you enjoy our graphic and video. Come see us in Bike Month 2015 and, in the meantime, happy riding!
It’s National Bike Month!
Several KTU+A employees rode together on Thursday, May 1st to celebrate National Bike Month. The ride started near KTU+A and ended at SANDAG’s office to listen to mayor Kevin Foulkner’s speech. Matt Gelbman mentioned, “It was a fun ride down to SANDAG’s office. It was great to see friends and colleges joining together to support Bike Month.” KTU+A is looking forward to a month full of activities!