UW Tacoma 19th & Grand Stair Safety Improvements

Tacoma, WA


Higher Education


Civil Engineering

Land Surveying

Landscape Architecture

Structural Engineering


Project in Downtown Tacoma's Core

Preparation of 4 Design Concepts

ADA-Compliant Sidewalk Replacement

Close Coordination with City of Tacoma for Permitting

New University Identifier and sidewalk improvements increase safety.

The University of Washington Tacoma sought to improve the safety of pedestrians along the University’s stairs at the bottom of South 19th Street, east of Jefferson Street. AHBL worked collaboratively with the University and City of Tacoma to develop four potential solutions. The selected option involves the design of a row of bollards installed along the east side of Jefferson at the bottom of South 19th Street. These bollards, as well as a second row of bollards at the top of the stairs, will be able to stop a 15,000 lb. vehicle traveling at 50 mph from getting to the stairs. The rated bollards required a footing to tie the bollards together and to provide kinetic energy resistance.

The bollards consist of 10-inch diameter steel pipes filled with concrete. The bollards have a galvanized finish to match the materials of similar objects on the campus, such as railings and other miscellaneous posts/signs. AHBL’s landscape architects created a planting palette consisting of low shrubs and trees, providing visibility from the intersection down the stairs. The concrete sidewalk was restored with new cement concrete sidewalk. At the top of the stairs AHBL designed a University Identifier, a large "W", to provide added safety from debris during an incident.