Palm Drive Construction will Create a New Gateway to Santa Clara University
SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 5, 2013 — After commencement weekend 2013 draws to a close, Santa Clara University will begin making a historic change to its beautiful campus: Converting Palm Drive and Alviso Street into a pedestrian mall that will highlight the Mission Church as the centerpiece of the campus.
Artistic renderings of the changes can be viewed here.
Palm Drive is the road leading up to the Mission Church from the main University entrance; Alviso Street runs perpendicular to Palm, spanning from Santa Clara Street near Donohoe Alumni House to Franklin Street near Alumni Science Hall.
When the project is eventually completed later next year, both streets will be permanently closed to vehicle traffic and parking.
The change, which has been in the planning stages for several years, will make the campus safer for pedestrians and encourage people to walk. It will also allow visitors to focus on the beauty of the Mission Church instead of on traffic and parked cars.
Here are answers to frequently asked questions about the changes:
When will Palm Drive close and the pedestrian mall open?
Palm Drive will close on June 17, 2013. The area will reopen as a pedestrian mall after Labor Day 2013.
What else will change when Palm Drive closes?
When construction starts on Palm Drive, Alviso Street will change into a one-way street, with traffic entering the campus from Franklin Street in the north and exiting onto Santa Clara Street at the south end.
When will Alviso Street close and the pedestrian mall open?
Alviso Street will close after commencement in 2014. The area will reopen as a pedestrian mall after Labor Day 2014.
If I used to park on Palm Drive, where will I be able to park?
The new parking garage currently under construction in the block north of Franklin Street, between Alviso and The Alameda, will more than replace the parking spaces lost on Palm Drive. The structure is scheduled to open in September 2013.
If I used to park on Alviso Street, where will I be able to park?
The new parking garage currently under construction near the proposed new art building on the block north of Franklin Street will more than replace the parking spaces lost on Alviso Street. The structure is scheduled to open in September 2013.
How will this affect visitors to campus?
Visitors to Santa Clara University will enter through the main campus entrance off El Camino Real. At the entrance kiosk, they will be directed to park in the main parking garage or one of the available parking lots, as they do today. During the open parking periods when the kiosk is closed, visitors may park in any of the available parking lots or the parking structure.
How will the changes affect parking for faculty and staff?
Faculty and staff members will need to park in alternate parking lots until the new parking structure is completed in September 2013.
Will I have to walk a lot further to the Mission?
For most visitors, the walk will be about the same length as it is now.
Where will handicapped drivers be able to park, with the loss of the spaces on Alviso Street?
The handicapped-accessible parking spaces that will be lost on Alviso Street will be replaced and expanded in several different locations around campus. The total number of handicapped-accessible parking spots on campus will increase.
Will emergency vehicles have access to the buildings on the new pedestrian mall?
All of the pedestrian malls will be accessible to fire trucks and other emergency vehicles.
How will weddings, funerals, and other ceremonial events be handled?
Palm Drive will still be available for some ceremonial events such as funerals and weddings. This will be handled on a case-by-case basis with the organizers of the events.