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In most cities, streets constitute the largest percentage of public property, and this space must be equitably distributed between the needs of the many different users of urban streets. Designs must accommodate people walking, cycling, taking
transit, enjoying public spaces, providing city services, doing business, or driving. This chapter identifies design elements and strategies to support safe and inviting spaces for the variety of people using urban streets.
Pedestrians include people of all abilities and ages, sitting, walking, pausing, and resting within urban streets. Designing for pedestrians means making streets accessible to the most vulnerable users. Design safe spaces with continuous, unobstructed sidewalks. Include visual variety, engage building frontages, design for human scale, and incorporate protection from extreme weather to ensure an enjoyable street experience.
Cyclists include people on bicycles, cycle-rickshaws, and cargo bikes. Facilities should be safe, direct, intuitive, clearly delineated, and part of a cohesive, connected network to encourage use by people of all ages and confidence levels. Cycle tracks that create an effective division from traffic, are well coordinated with signal timing, and are incorporated in intersection design form the basis of an accessible and connected cycle network.
Transit riders are people using collective transport such as rail, bus, or small collective vehicles. This sustainable mode of transportation dramatically increases the overall capacity and efficiency of the street. Dedicated space for transit supports convenient, reliable, and predictable service for riders. Accessible boarding areas promote safe and equitable use. The space dedicated to a transit network should be aligned with demand, meeting service needs without sacrificing streetscape quality.
Motorists are people driving personal motor vehicles for on-demand, pointto-point transportation. This includes drivers of private cars, for-hire vehicles, and motorized two-and three-wheelers. Streets and intersections must be designed to facilitate safe movement and manage interactions between motor vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists.
Freight operators and service providers are people driving vehicles that move goods or conduct critical city services. These users benefit from dedicated curb access and allocation of space for easy loading and unloading as well as dedicated routes and hours of operation. Emergency responders and cleaning vehicles need adequate space to operate, which must be accommodated while ensuring the safety of all other street users.
People doing business include vendors, street stall operators, and owners or renters of commercial storefronts. These users provide important services that support vibrant, active, and engaging street environments. Adequate space should be allocated to these uses. Provide regular cleaning, maintenance schedules, power, and water to support commercial activity and improve local quality of life.
Adapted by Global Street Design Guide published by Island Press.
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