In a continued effort to improve the facilities supporting Ryan Field and provide a greater level of service to patrons, Northwestern University planned to reconstruct the deteriorating 884-stall parking lot located at the northwest corner of Central Street and Ashland Avenue. The reconstructed lot maximizes parking and improved traffic circulation. Additionally, the improvements address major stormwater management issues utilizing a combination of traditional and sustainable methods, such as detention and volume control facilities, permeable pavement, rain gardens, and native landscaping.

GHA provided schematic design concepts in the infancy stages of the design process, incorporating a combination of traditional and sustainable infrastructure improvements. As the parking lot is approximately 1,500’ long, operations for daily and special events, as well as future maintenance and snow removal, were of concern. Working with the University, GHA assessed the level of maintenance required by each sustainable application against the University’s long-term maintenance plan and determine the most cost-effective techniques and layouts yielding the most desirable results.

Northwestern wished to provide a central pedestrian crossing from the parking lot to the athletic campus across Ashland Avenue. GHA worked with the City of Evanston and the University to develop a pedestrian bump out that includes advanced signage and high-visibility stripping at the mid-block crossing, allowing high volumes of pedestrian traffic to move from the lot to events.