Reflections and Progress

The end of the year is a time for reflection on progress, as well as a time for looking toward the future and the accomplishments yet to come. We will ring in our 20th anniversary in this new year with the joy of witnessing how activating communities can lead to physical, social, and environmental health of communities.

2015 leaves us thankful for our clients whose visions fuel our passions and whose partnerships give us the opportunity to contribute to and lead progressive plans, designs, and construction projects. The beginning of 2016 stirs excitement as we expand our planning, landscape architecture, engineering, and construction services so that we can continue to help create safer, healthier, happier, and more active communities around the globe.

A special thank you to all our clients and partners, following are just a few of the many highlights we had this year.


El Paso Bicycle Plan, TX

Alta kicked off the El Paso Bike Plan by attending the City’s Chalk the Block event where artists create chalk art on the street. We chalked out a demonstration bike box as pop-up educational art and provided information about the upcoming plan and workshops.


Bike St. Louis Phase III

Alta worked in partnership with Great Rivers Greenway, City of St. Louis, and Missouri Department of Transportation to develop 100 miles of bikeway in the City. The bikeways range from bicycle boulevards to the first parking protected bike lane in downtown St. Louis. The protected bike lane was developed by Alta’s St. Louis office staff using a road diet and roadway reconfiguration.

protected bike lane talk

Knight Foundation Tow Path Trail Charrette, Akron, OH

Alta’s charrettes are a cost effective way to develop community supported plans and concepts. We worked with the Knight Foundation in Akron, OH, to develop a vision for enhancing the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail throughout the city by highlighting community destinations and access to the trail and then identifying better connections to the trail and ways to activate key locations along the trail.

Towpath image- Akron OH 1

Lincoln, Nebraska N Street Cycle Track

Featured as one of America’s Best New Bike Lanes of 2015, the N Street Cycle Track in Lincoln, Nebraska was completed and opened at the end of 2015. Check out this video from the city of Lincoln, Nebraska, showing off the city’s new curb-protected bike lane.


Downtown Denton Placemaking Charrette, MD

Alta’s Placemaking team worked with the City of Denton, using a cost-effective charrette format, to develop a blueprint for community enhancements. Our designers spent three days in Denton re-imagining the town. The products of the charrette provided Denton with with realistic option that can be built over time to enhance livability, economic growth, and environmental and physical health. This charrette was made possible by the generosity of Victor Stanley. (

Denton, MD Art Walk Photo Sim

Brewster and Grovers Pocket Park Design, Bridgeport, CT

The Alta team was selected for the redesign of Brewster and Fairfield intersection, the gateway to Blackrock at Ash Creek, and the Fairfield and Clinton intersections. Our team has completed the design drawings for the pocket park intersection at Brewster and Grovers. Improvements include a nautical-themed park with a plaza with a flag pole, plaza with pavers that replicate wood slate, and a biofiltration swale to clean and reduce stormwater runoff entering the combined sewer system. We are wrapping up construction for completion in the first quarter of 2016.

Broad Street Protected Bike Lanes, Chattanooga, TN

Alta is designing seven miles of separated bike lanes in Chattanooga. On the heels of the Center City charrette that Alta participated in, we provided construction documents for the proposed separated bike lane concept that we developed as part of that charrette for a half-mile section of Broad Street, as well as separated bike lane plans for 6.5 miles at various locations. The cycle track along Broad St. and Virginia Ave. opened in October this year.

Chattanooga Broad St cycle track 1 (2)

Wolf River Greenway, Memphis, TN

The Wolf River Conservancy hired Alta to lead the efforts in planning, design, and implementation of a 22-mile trail along the Wolf River Corridor in Memphis. It will connect the eastern suburbs of Memphis westward to where the Wolf River joins the Mississippi River. A portion of the trail has been built on the eastern edge near Shelby Farms Park (one of the nation’s largest urban parks at over 4,500 acres) and the project will begin at the confluence of the Wolf and Mississippi Rivers at Mud Island and head eastward to join the existing trail segments. This project will be a monumental project for the City of Memphis as it celebrates its recent designation as a Bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community. In addition to the miles of multi-use trails this project will create, it will also generate several cycle tracks for the on-street connections. An additional two to four cycle tracks will be implemented in Memphis on top of Alta’s Hampline cycle track, which is currently under construction.

Raleigh Bicycle Planning and Engineering Projects, NC

Alta is currently leading the 2015 Raleigh Bike Plan Update, following our 2009 Bike Plan for the City. As part of this planning process, Alta is working to move the City of Raleigh from Bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) to a Silver-level BFC. The plan recommends an expansion of the bicycle network to address a wider majority of bicyclists, which includes a network of neighborhood bikeways and protected bikeways.


Alta also worked on the Raleigh Bicycle Pavement Marking Project, funded by CMAQ, which included roadway re-striping to add nearly 30 miles of bike lanes through the City.

In addition, we are designing the Gorman Street Protected Bike Lanes, the first in the Triangle and one of the first in NC, and the design for pedestrian improvements for the Leesville Road Safe Routes to School project.


200 West Cycle Track Design and Planning, Salt Lake City, UT

Alta was part of a project team that was responsible for developing, preparing, reviewing, and guiding the design and engineering of the Salt Lake City 200 West cycle track between 900 South and North Temple. The project team took Salt Lake City Transportation Division’s goals and vision and created 100% design and construction documents for the entire corridor, including the first protected intersection in the United States. The project team, including Alta’s in-house protected intersection designer, provided specific and expert guidance for the city in the decision-making process, viable and safe alternatives, design guidance, and brought the project from concept to completion. The protected intersection opened in October this year!

Arapahoe Street and Lawrence Street Protected Bicycle Lane Design, Denver, CO

Alta worked with the City and County of Denver to update its Denver Moves: Bicycle Plan. The planning process focused on identifying a network of protected bikeway corridors in downtown, to the surrounding neighborhoods, and commercial corridors. We developed a state of the art set of technical and graphic design guidelines that will propel Denver to one of the best bicycling cities in North America.

A second phase of the project was to develop construction drawings for protected bicycle lanes on Arapahoe and Lawrence Street, two of Denver’s downtown corridors. This protected bicycle lane opened in late November of this year. The city now has three miles of protected bike lanes and 124 miles of bike lanes citywide, supporting Denver’s 2020 Sustainability Goals for improving air quality, health and mobility.



Central Okanagan, Regional Wayfinding Strategy, BC

The Okanagan is a popular site for cycling sport and recreation events like Iron Man, and each regional municipality has a local wine trail as it is BC’s premier wine region. The Central Okanagan includes five municipal govern-ments and one First Nation. The final Regional Wayfinding Strategy will provide the communities with a series of pedestrian and bicycle oriented signage to be implemented along the Active Transportation Network.

Okanagan Wayfinding


The City of Victoria has developed a bold vision for the future of bicycling in their city. The #BIKETORIA network will include up to eight all ages and abilities bicycle corridors throughout the city. Alta is working on the plan with 8 80 Cities, Urban Systems, and Gehl Architects.



Google Bike Vision Plan, North Santa Clara County, CA

Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition and Alta Planning + Design partnered with Google to create the Google Bike Vision Plan, a new look at what it’s like for people riding bikes in northern Santa Clara County today and what the region could look like with 8-to-80 bike networks. Alta completed a wide range of investigative, policy,programs, planning, design, and engineering services related to the Bike Vision Plan, with the ultimate goal of increasing the number of employees who choose to walk or bike to work. The plan was released in Spring 2015.


CV Link Master Plan and Design, Coachella Valley, CA

Alta is continuing to work with Coachella Valley on Phase II of the CV Link Master Plan. The draft plan was released in March 2015. The now completed conceptual design focuses on a theme of contrast while emphasizing the valley as a national leader in innovative technologies. Contrasting the desert context and site character, design elements put a twist in the pathway experience. Solar panel mounted shade structures with undulating forms emphasize fluidity and motion, while an elevated pathway is a gently twisted articulation of the nearby trapezoidal storm channel form.

In addition to these project highlights, we are excited to have started the California Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. We also are proud to have helped our clients achieve over $9.8 million in recommended Caltrans Active Transportation Program Cycle 2 funding in 2015.


Seattle Office

Seattle experienced some office growth and accolades in 2015 that really solidified their already amazing team. Steve Durrant was named a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects, and there were several promotions within the office, including elevating Fred Young to Principal. Seattle staff really emerged as community and thought leaders in 2015 through their involvement with really cool innovations like DataCycle, which helped the team navigate conditions for the Seattle Trails Upgrade (which Alta is serving as prime consultant). The team is also helping make improvements to Skyway Park as part of a bigger plan to build community, honor diversity, and improve health and equity in the Skyway/West Hill community of Seattle.

Portland Office

The Portland office has also experienced strategic growth with a number of promotions, including adding Katie Mangle and Mike Rose to the Principal team. Alta Programs Manager, Jessica Roberts, was elected to APBP’s Board of Director’s in November. In 2015, Portland staff focused on strengthening collaboration and communication within the team— the team is stronger and more effective than ever. While they continue to support offices throughout the US and serve as Alta’s headquarters, they really wanted to do more work in Oregon. Hard work toward this goal paid off in December when they found out Alta was selected for the ODOT on-call for Transportation Analysis and Planning. This is a significant foot-in-the-door for the Portland team to do more work in their home state!