As plans for Pathway to Asia have been in development, a key point of discussion was parking options. Taking into account input from the community, including Zoo guests, Patrons of the Adaptive Recreation Center (PARC), and other comments, accessibility arose as a key point of consideration. Several designs were reviewed by the design team, PARC, FriendZ of Reid Park Zoo, and others. The architect also toured the Edith Ball Adaptive Recreation Center (ARC) to understand flow for their guests in this state-of-the-art therapeutic aquatic facility.
Through these discussions, a consensus was reached with the option below preferred by all parties.
It is important to note that these designs are preliminary concepts and are not final. Discussion is taking place with the University of Arizona to fully understand the needs of Hi Corbett Field. Review is still needed for various code requirements including the Fire Marshall to ensure that fire vehicles will have appropriate access. These could affect the design, but preliminary results indicate this plan can be a viable option.
Some key notes about this design:
- Primary access to the parking lot would be on the north end of the lot, following the south end of Hi Corbett Field.
- Guests to the Zoo and the ARC would enter their vehicles from the north, park and unload, and enter a walking path to guide them to the Zoo or the ARC.
- A vehicular roadway with broad sidewalks on either side would be created, with sidewalks landscaped and potentially shaded.
- The new design would substantially increase parking by as much as 30%.
- The Therapeutic playground located off of Randolph will not be affected.
- There will be a net increase in total green space to offset heat island effects by 45% over the current use. A preliminary timeline was shown to get feedback from the design team.
- Key points in that preliminary timeline are that design would be complete in November 2022 with permitting to start in August 2022. The parking lot would be an early delivery item with construction to start in February 2023 and completion in July 2023. Pathway to Asia would be complete in April 2025.