West Pearl Streetscape and Pedestrian Improvements, Boulder, CO

LORIS and Mundus Bishop Design collaborated, as City of Boulder On-call Consultants, to design the update of West Pearl Street from 11th Street to 7th Street. West Pearl consists of an eclectic blend of shops, restaurants and office space. The purpose of the project was to enhance economic viability of West Pearl by making it more inviting for visitors of the Pearl Street Mall to continue their adventures past 11th Street.
The streetscape was updated using sandstone benches, pavers and planting beds to provide a cohesive identity along the corridor. Trees were removed and replanted as required and allowed through the city’s strict tree removal policy. Pedestrian mobility was improved by constructing bulb-outs at all intersections and a raised crossing at 10th Street. Custom, eight-foot-tall, illuminated, sandstone kiosks were installed at intersections to provide wayfinding and lead the eye down the corridor from the Pearl Street Mall. Bike racks were installed at various locations and bus stops were improved.
Civil engineering challenges included reducing sidewalk cross-slopes and improving drainage. On the north side of the 1000 Block, side slopes greatly exceeded ADA maximums, so the sidewalk was reconstructed. Rather than increasing the curb height to accommodate this change, the slope of the parking zone was reversed (to be upward instead of downward), and drainage conveyed in a pan rather than along the curb. Another modification included the elimination of a free-right turn lane at 9th Street and Pearl Street to improve pedestrian safety.
The project required careful consideration of construction phasing in order to minimize disruption to businesses. LORIS and Mundus Bishop Design thoughtfully considered how portions of the sidewalk could be infilled in order to maintain access to doorways. The city blocks were constructed sequentially to minimize disruption to the business corridor and minimize the amount of parking lost due to construction at any one time.


City of Boulder Transportation
Brian Wiltshire, P.E.
(303) 441-4142


$1.8 M Est.