Design controls determine the physical design of the street. Far from neutral inputs, they are tools that planners can use to ensure that streets are safe and accessible to all users. They shape the street in fundamental ways and influence user behavior, including speed and choice of modes.
Use design controls to proactively manage multimodal operations, creating safe and inviting streets that reflect community priorities.
Design controls commonly used in engineering include design speed, design vehicle, design hour, and design year. This chapter outlines how to set these attributes, often used as an input in formulas or models in the design process, in a way that produces safe urban streets.
By intentionally setting these controls to produce a pleasant street environment, practitioners can counteract the tendency to create faster and larger streets. Planning and design controls should be based on larger policy goals and contextual considerations. Once planning and design controls are established, uphold them throughout the design process, allowing only a minimal exceptions.