Colton Avenue runs straight through the campus of the University of Redlands and was ideally suited to become a “Main Street”, as it gives access to virtually all facilities at the campus and the University Center. However, at the time of the Master Planning Process for the campus (also completed by M&AA), it had been designated as a “major highway” and was a significant traffic route through Redlands. It served as a barrier, not a connector, at the center of the campus. Following completion of the Master Plan, M&AA was retained to “tame” this street and turn it into “Main Street”.
The key to the streetscape design was to reduce the scale of Colton to one lane of traffic in each direction with a central median. The concept introduced double alleys of palm trees to the central median for recognition from a distance, while maintaining the existing oak tree planting at each side of the street.
To affect this design required a careful analysis by a traffic engineer to find alternate routes for traffic (ones that did not pass through the campus) in order to revise the City’s General Plan to downgrade Colton from a major arterial to a two-lane street.
Critical to the Master Plan was the definition of the campus edges and entry points. With Colton Avenue as the “Main Street”, Gateways were a must at its intersection with University Street and Grove Street, which formed the west and east boundaries of the campus respectively. These gateways were implemented as part of the streetscape design.