Bike to Work Day is May 15, and we plan on having another great Pit Stop!

BTWD_BlogMay 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!



BTW Infographic_2014_SmallFile


Chris Langdon Joins KTU+A Team

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.

KTU+A’s Tactical Urbanism Team Strikes Again!


“If these were built, I’d frequent Hillcrest more.”

“Bikes rule.”

“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.”

CLICK HERE for the KTU+A Cycle Track experience (YouTube Video)…


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.

CLICK HERE for the KTU+A Cycle Track experience (YouTube Video)…

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“Behind the Curtain” – KTU+A’s PARKing Day Exhibit & Pop-up Pit Stop
PARKing Day: September 19, 2014 is a global event titled “Park(ing) Day” in which a variety of artists and activists collaborate to temporarily transform parking and non-programmed open spaces into “PARK(ing)” spaces: temporary public places. The Tactical Urbanism team at KTU+A has designed a temporary urban open space intended to showcase the untapped possibilities in the existing infrastructure. The project is entitled “Behind the Curtain” and, through the use of repurposed materials and an actual curtain, will show the contrast between expanses of unused asphalt (current conditions) and a vibrant and functional human space. This temporary installation will be located at the cross streets of Normal St & Harvey Milk St, in the heart of Hillcrest. In addition to the “Behind the Curtain” project, the KTU+A Tactical Urbanism team will also temporarily transform a bay of parking spots into a section of Cycle Track. The community is invited to come enjoy these installations on Friday, September 19th.
In conjunction with the installations described above, the KTU+A Tactical Urbanism team will be hosting a Pop-up Pit Stop. Think of it as an off-season Bike to Work Day event. We all love the encouragement and festive atmosphere of Bike to Work Day; why can’t it happen more than once a year? It is!! Details:
  • 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)
Bike to Work Day! / Bike to Fun Day!

IMG_5734_smallBike 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? BTW Infographic_2014_SmallFile

IMG_5733_ForBlogAs landscape architects and planners we can’t resist the urge to dream about spaces.  And what better space to dream about than the massive swath of unused asphalt right outside of our front door.


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!

Better Accommodation for Pedestrians and Cyclists (Where it Matters Most!)

The KTU+A Mobility Division is busier than ever with bicycle and pedestrian planning projects. We’re working all over Southern California, a region world-renowned for active living and an ideal climate, to make cycling and walking safe and comfortable transportation options. With active transportation gaining unprecedented popularity in car-crazed Southern California, we are working in an exciting time and place. Our work is full of challenges and opportunities.