Downtown Connector & Pinellas Trail Extension, St. Petersburg

Landis Evans + Partners, formerly Sprinkle Consulting, helped the City of St. Petersburg transform a busy four-lane one way urban arterial into a more complete street by introducing an innovative two-way urban multi-use path (a hybrid cycle track), enhancing the pedestrian environment, removing a vehicle lane and re-envisioning the streetscape as a true multimodal corridor anticipating bus rapid transit. This project first started with a comprehensive master corridor plan and preliminary designs for the extension of the regionally-significant Pinellas Trail into downtown St. Petersburg. The project team first conducted a feasibility study to ensure the safety of all of this urban corridor’s users motor vehicle and transit traffic, pedestrians and bicyclists, shoppers and transit users harmony with adjoining land uses, and enhancement of the varied natural, cultural and economic surroundings of this urban transportation corridor. The analysis included careful consideration of the corridor’s historic and scenic features. The project corridor passes through a variety of land uses and intersects with roadways ranging from low-volume local streets to primary urban arterials. Various options were presented for the intersection alignments, as well for two bridges along the corridor. The team created innovative approaches to safely control the flow of trail traffic in the urban setting and minimize the challenges presented by conflict points at roadway intersections, crosswalks and driveways. These design innovations involve the use of real-time detection, activated warning and blank-out signs, and alignment modifications to slow trail users at conflict points, thereby increasing their visibility to motorists. Landis Evans staff led the fast-paced design and construction phases, helping the City develop, implement and test innovative urban trail-street mid-block crossing treatments including trail approach chicanes and hybrid pedestrian signals. This pioneering work furthered the nationwide use of the now recently MUTCD-approved traffic control devices to better link neighborhoods with the trail sections and also improves the safety of street crossings. Construction was completed in record time and this pioneering new Innovative Facilities is considered the focal point of the City’s multimodal transportation system.