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Context Sensitive Design

It was no easy task to create a project that meets community needs, provides a safer roadway and reduces impacts to biological, cultural and natural resources, all while respecting its setting within a national park and the surrounding neighborhoods.

The Presidio Parkway was carefully designed to deliver on these goals using Context Sensitive Design (CSD). This technique strives to create public works projects that meet the needs of users, neighboring communities and the environment. It sensitively integrates projects into their context or setting through careful planning, consideration of different perspectives and tailoring of designs to particular project circumstances.

To understand how the Presidio Parkway design evolved, it is helpful to review some of the refinements made to it. Below are a few examples:

  • To address community concerns, the Richardson connection was redesigned to include ramps that connect to an urban street rather than mainline segments. The traffic balance between Richardson Avenue and Marina Boulevard will more closely match existing traffic patterns and street networks.
  • To eliminate potential cut-through traffic on Lyon Street, access between Gorgas Avenue and Lyon Street was eliminated.
  • To reduce disturbances to the existing bluff, the Presidio Parkway’s southbound lanes were raised in order to retain the cultural relationship between the upper and lower portions of the Presidio. The landscaping over the Main Post tunnels will recreate the bluff north of the tunnels.
  • To increase light penetration to the ground, the separation between the northbound and southbound roadways was increased over the future marsh expansion area.
  • To enhance traffic calming, the curvature of the southbound roadway was improved to reduce traffic speeds before vehicles reach city streets.
  • To preserve a large portion of the landscaped area west of the Palace of Fine Arts, the northbound off-ramp was moved and reduced from two lanes to one.
  • To avoid disturbing cultural resources, the overall footprint of the roadway was altered wherever feasible.

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