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UCSD Mesa Housing Pedestrian and Bike Bridge

To enhance mobility and improve travel times between Mesa Housing, East Campus Medical Center, and Main Campus at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), Kimley-Horn provided design services for a new bicycle and pedestrian bridge. This bridge gives a more direct route for pedestrians and cyclists, giving students improved access to campus.

Project Background

The UCSD Mesa Housing Pedestrian and Bike Bridge, a bridge dedicated to bicycle and pedestrian travel, was constructed on UCSD East Campus linking Medical Center Drive South and Miramar Street. This bridge spans the natural canyon that separated the campus and made travel times long and inconvenient for pedestrians and cyclists.

The Bridge is a vital, active transportation connection intended to improve the mobility of those walking and biking between the Mesa Housing Neighborhood and the rest of campus. The bridge serves an essential role for multimodal travel, as the main pedestrian and bike pathway for the entire Mesa Housing Neighborhood to directly access the Medical Center on East Campus and the Gilman Drive Bridge, which connects people to both main campus and the Mid-Coast Trolley.

Increasing Cyclist and Pedestrian Safety

The Kimley-Horn project team focused their efforts on creating an ADA-compliant bike and pedestrian bridge to reduce the need for vehicular travel. Our project team oversaw notable developments to the bridge including the design and development of a bike path that leads to Medical Center Drive South. This bike path was repaved and restriped with green painted Class II Bike Lanes, promoting the multimodal nature of the corridor, increasing bicyclist’s visibility, discouraging illegal parking in the bike lane, and raising motorist and bicyclist awareness to potential areas of conflict with special striping in the conflict areas.

A new signalized intersection was added at the west end of Medical Center Drive South with a traffic signal design that prioritizes pedestrians and bicycles, providing them time to cross. The corridor is now equipped with four bus pullouts that will allow UCSD shuttles to pull out of vehicular and bicycle traffic, and reduce queuing.

Getting Around Campus More Efficiently

The Mesa Housing neighborhood is separated from the rest of UCSD’s campus by an existing natural canyon. Prior to the construction of this bridge, residents of the Mesa Housing neighborhood had to travel indirect routes on roadways not as suited for pedestrians and bicyclists to access the UCSD East and West Campuses. This time-consuming travel encouraged people to drive instead of walk or bike, adding additional cars to local roads and increasing congestion in the San Diego region.

Sustainable and Accessible Design

With pedestrian-focused design and engineering by Kimley-Horn, students are now provided a safer and more convenient active transportation facility that serves those walking and biking. UCSD Mesa Housing Pedestrian and Bike Bridge is an exciting new addition that enhances the campus experience, promotes a healthy lifestyle, and establishes UCSD as an easily accessible destination that people of all abilities and ages can walk or bike to, reducing the number of cars on the road and ultimately, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Project Recognition