Clematis Street is an iconic corridor that was redesigned to create a flexible streetscape for pedestrians, vehicles, bicyclists, outdoor dining, and event vendors in West Palm Beach, Florida. Reinforcing a social environment downtown, the Clematis Street renovation has received acclaim for its unique community design, environmental adaptation, and expansive consideration of mobility.
In collaboration with Dover, Kohl, & Partners, Kimley-Horn led this City’s three-phased streetscape transformation project, including the following services:
- Community engagement
- Water/wastewater utilities
- Landscape architecture
- Roadway engineering
- Sustainable design
Kimley-Horn supported input meetings with Clematis Street stakeholders and integrated recommendations into the project plan after City Commission approval. During the first and second phases of the project, our team also met ambitious accelerated schedules to produce design plans quickly and complete construction during off-seasons. When COVID-19 led to temporary business closures in the third phase, we adapted to the City’s accelerated construction start date that prevented unneeded interruptions to the street’s business owners.
Our landscape architects designed an innovative paver-covered curbless street with narrowed travel lanes, permeable pavement parking spaces above suspended pavement systems, custom-designed seating areas, click-and-drop retractable bollards, and large live oaks to provide significant shade for pedestrians.
The flexible streetscape can be adapted to prioritize vehicle traffic or can close completely on weekends or for special events to allow pedestrians and bicyclists to roam freely and enjoy in-street dining and gathering activities. The improvements increase the pedestrian space within the right-of-way, provide shaded outdoor public spaces for residents and visitors to enjoy, and minimize the street’s emphasis on vehicles by reducing speeds and relocating parking.
Innovative Environmental Solutions
The redesigned Clematis Street features the City’s first suspended pavement system, designed to structurally support the pavement above uncompacted soils to allow the roots of the large live oak trees to thrive and prevent sidewalk and road damage over time. This system spans below the surface of the permeable paver parking spaces to provide a subsurface bioswale that draws surface drainage from the street directly into the expansive rootzone of the street trees. The permeable paver bioswales also help the street take in water and prevent flooding.
To accommodate the large trees planned for this street and to invest in the long-term green infrastructure along the streetscape, our water utility engineers relocated water mains and gravity sewer lines and maximized lateral clearances to trees.
Today, the Clematis Street redesign continues to provide social vitality and mobility solutions that support the integration of vehicle and pedestrian priorities within a shared downtown area.