Situated along the beautiful Mississippi River, featuring stunning bluffs and rolling hills, is the City of La Crosse, Wisconsin. Recognized for its outdoor activities, the City sought to enhance multimodal connections by extending their neighborhood greenway, which stretches from 22nd Street to 7th Street, west to the Mississippi River.
What is a Greenway? Neighborhood Greenways, also known as slow streets, are streets with low motorized traffic volumes and speeds, designated and designed to prioritize bicycle and pedestrian travel. Greenways use signs, pavement markings, green infrastructure, and speed and volume management measures to create safe places for people to bicycle and walk.
La Crosse officials turned to SEH to work with the community to envision a continuation of the City’s first neighborhood greenway – the King Street Greenway – from 7th Street west through the downtown, and connect it to Riverside Park, Cameron Park, and a multi-use trail along the Mississippi River.
The project corridor, primarily zoned commercial, incorporates a park, a transit station, a bank, multifamily housing, light industrial land uses, two hotels, a bar, three restaurants, a Regional Arts Center, and a Performing Arts Center.
To facilitate this transformation, the SEH team coordinated a series of community engagement initiatives, including creative sidewalk stickers and yard signs, a workshop tailored for downtown business owners, local pop-up meetings, two interactive public-design workshops, inclusive online- and visual-preference surveys, and a stakeholder walking tour. These efforts culminated in the development of four distinct corridor design alternatives, each tailored to balance the needs of businesses and residents, along with vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian users.
These community engagement efforts ultimately led to a consensus-based design featuring innovative green infrastructure. The SEH team prepared detailed engineering plans and comprehensive cost estimates to bring this vision to life.
The project required coordination with multiple city departments as well as the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), to review traffic, safety, stormwater and urban landscaping needs, sustainability, and more. It incorporates several noteworthy features, including the strategic planting of new trees, the integration of street bump-outs for traffic calming, and stormwater capture and infiltration.
Overall, this ambitious project, spanning 2,869 ft. and intersecting six streets (three of which are state highways) and five alleys, represents the successful collaboration between La Crosse officials, SEH, and the community – ultimately benefiting residents and visitors alike.
King Street Greenway
La Crosse, Wisconsin
City of La Crosse
- Community engagement
- Landscape architecture
- Traffic engineering
- Transportation engineering
- Urban design
- Enhanced bicycle and pedestrian connectivity
- Strategic urban landscaping and traffic calming measures
- Project spans 2,869 ft., intersecting six streets and five alleys
- Extensive public engagement helped shape the project