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Hacienda Avenue Revitalization
Landscape Architecture by Callander Associates


Hacienda Avenue in Campbell, Calif., was a 90-foot wide roadway along a residential street. Recognizing the need to welcome multi-modal transportation, city planners enlisted Callander Associates Landscape Architecture to redesign the street. The new roadway includes bike lanes, parking zones, and nearly an acre of new plantings for biolfiltration and stormwater control.
Photos: Billy Hustace

Hacienda Avenue, in Campbell, Calif., was in desperate need of a transformation. Like many suburban residential streets, it had been designed for maximum efficiency in moving cars without much consideration for any other modes of circulation.

Although this one-mile stretch of roadway only had a single lane of traffic in either direction, the right of way was a staggering 90 feet wide. Beyond that the street was littered with potholes, lacked pedestrian and bicycle facilities, provided only minimal access to bus routes, had inconsistent lighting, and storm drainage issues. The city identified Hacienda Avenue as an opportunity to create a new model for residential street design that would equally prioritize all modes of transportation, create a safer pedestrian environment, achieve sustainability goals, and would be beautiful to boot.


In reducing the size of the vehicular travel lanes, the roadway was lowered to improve drainage. Additionally, the pavement was reconstructed using a method called full depth pavement reclamation, in which the original material is repurposed into new substrate for the asphalt surface. By recycling the already in-place material, the process is environmentally friendly and saves cost upfront as well as cost of maintenance. The construction time is also decreased, resulting in less disruption for residents and road users.

Achieving these lofty goals was no easy task, and city planners embarked on multi-phase work with landscape architects Callander Associates. The phases included conceptual design and visioning efforts, grant applications to fund further design and outreach efforts, and construction documentation and implementation. Given the sheer size and ambition of the project, this was going to be high profile from day one. Extensive community outreach was conducted to solicit community input and keep residents informed. Techniques included community meetings, school presentations and traditional mailings as well as Facebook and project updates on the city's website. The resulting project is a testament to the efforts of the community and to the benefits of incorporating sustainabile design goals early in the process.

The final design reduces the width of the travel lanes, provides consistent bike lanes, and retains the existing sidewalks. The roadway was lowered to improve drainage patterns, and the pavement reconstruction used full depth pavement reclamation (FDR). Rather than excavating and replacing the roadbed material, FDR repurposes the original material into substrate for the new asphalt surface by adding add mixture to the original material. Full depth pavement reclamation offers an upfront savings of 30 to 50 percent as well as lower maintenance costs. It also offers shorter construction time and less disruption through recycling in-place materials. The reduction in roadway width resulted in approximately 20 to 30 feet of roadway that was removed and became biofiltration planters running the entire length of the street. Nearly an acre of vegetation was added and as much as 80% of stormwater is now treated through these planters.


The public was asked for input in the design of the streetscape. Ivy colored metal benches were placed strategically at bus stops along the street. LED street lights were installed for light uniformity and energy efficiency. In project planning, the goal of reducing the roadway carbon footprint was laid out, and in completion it was achieved: the CO2 output has been reduced by 33 percent.

New street trees were located within the parking zones to provide shade and canopy to the roadway and parking spaces, while reducing the perceived width of the travel lanes, helping to calm traffic speeds. The landscape was designed incorporating Bay Friendly and Greenroads practices, including the use of native drought tolerant species and automatic subsurface drip irrigation, designs that require less water and maintenance than traditional urban landscapes.

Bay Friendly is a rating system that recognizes excellence in high performance landscape design, construction and maintenance in the San Francisco Bay Area. Greenroads is a rating system that provides a means to measure and manage sustainability on transportation projects. The system encourages applicants to go above and beyond minimum environmental, social and economic practices with an independent, third-party review.


The landscape was rated Bay Friendly, indicating that the use of native drought tolerant species and subsurface drip irrigation is sustainable for the Bay Area. Additionally, the street received a Silver classification from Greenroads, an organization that measures sustainability in transportation projects. It is the first Silver classified site in California.

Lighting was dramatically improved through the installation of new consistently spaced LED streetlights, which vastly improve light uniformity and energy efficiency.

As the old saying goes, "nothing worth doing is ever easy" and construction of Hacienda Avenue was not without its challenges. Since its completion the project has received much attention and recognition.


Below: The space saved from the reduced size of vehicle lanes was transformed into biofiltration planters that run the length of the roadway: over an acre of new vegetation was planted on site. Street trees and native grasses were among the vegetation added. The biofiltration planters treat around 80 percent of stormwater.

Thanks in part to thinking big, a commitment to the environment and betterment of their community, the Greenroads organization awarded the project the first Silver certification in California. It is also the first project to note specifically a desire to "reduce the roadway carbon footprint" as a performance measure, and has currently reduced the CO2 output of the roadway by 33%. The project is inherently "green" simply by the fact that it promotes alternative modes of transportation such as bicycling, walking, and bus trips. In addition to Greenroads certification, the project received Bay Friendly certification and awards from Santa Clara Valley Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program and American Public Works Association.


Design Team
Landscape Architect: Callander Associates Landscape Architecture, Inc.
Civil: City of Campbell Engineering Division
Geotechnical Engineer: Geoforensics
Contractor: Ghilotti Construction Company

As seen in LASN magazine, January 2017.

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October 20, 2019, 8:12 pm PDT

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