Systems-Level Approach to Sustainable Urban Arterial Revitalization: Case Study of San Pablo Avenue, San Francisco Bay Area, California

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - traffic, land use - planning, policy - fares, policy - sustainable, organisation - management, place - urban, mode - mass transit


Vehicular traffic control, Urban renewal, Transportation planning, Transit, Traffic management (Traffic control), Traffic corridors, Through highways, Thoroughfares, Thorofares, Systems approach, Systems analysis, System planning, System analysis, Sustainable development, Sustainability, Street traffic control, San Francisco Bay Area, Road design, Revitalization (Neighborhoods), Redevelopment, Public transit, Public participation, Public involvement, Mass transit, Main roads, Local transit, Local participation, Land use planning, Land use, Highway traffic control, Highway design, Highway corridors, Citizen participation, Case studies, Boulevards, Arterial streets, Arterial highways


Many cities in the United States are facing challenges associated with antiquated urban arterials, whose purpose has changed greatly since their development. Once considered the main streets of the city, with thriving businesses and attractive residential development, many have deteriorated over the decades for a number of reasons, including shifting demand for housing and retail development and the construction of parallel high-speed urban expressways. Because of the complexity of the problems associated with these arterials, a great challenge of transportation and land use planners is to develop a systems-level approach to revitalize and reinvent these arterials in a manner that encourages environmental, economic, and social sustainability. Presented is a methodology to revitalize multimodal urban arterials that includes land use planning, traffic and transit operations management, street redesign, and community participation to improve the conditions of such arterials. Analysis is carried out by using these principles on San Pablo Avenue, a major arterial in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. By using these analysis techniques, land use and transportation recommendations are made that will facilitate sustainable development along this corridor.