Global Street Design Guide

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Global Street Design Guide

Providing sidewalk extensions reduces pedestrian crossing distances and increases the pedestrian space. Sidewalk extensions physically and visually narrow the roadway while increasing the available waiting space and provide areas for

street furniture and benches, transit stops, trees, and landscaping. They may be implemented throughout the city, may be different sizes, and may combine stormwater management and other public space enhancement.

Corner Alignments

Corner alignment extends the sidewalk by designing sidewalk corners with the tightest radius possible. Corner alignments increase mutual visibility between pedestrians and motorists, increase waiting space, and reduce the crossing distance.

These can be generally applied using temporary pavement materials and be implemented without operational changes. Sidewalk corners with wide corner radii invite vehicles to turn at faster speeds and increase pedestrian exposure.

Aligning sidewalks expand the pedestrian area, allowing a more direct walking path and a better pedestrian ramp alignment, thereby improving accessibility.


Bulb-outs are extensions of the sidewalk into the parking lane. They should be installed whenever on-street parking is present to increase visibility, reduce the crossing distance, provide extra waiting space, and allow for seating or landscaping.

In advance of a full reconstruction, gateways can be designed using striping or signage that communicates the entrance to a slow zone.

The length of a bulb-out should at least be equal to the width of the pedestrian crossing, but should preferably extend to the stop bar.

Bulb-outs are often used as traffic calming measures and are referred to as pinchpoints when applied mid-block, gateways when installed at the entrance to a low-speed street, and chicanes when used to form an S-shaped path of travel to lower vehicle speed. See: Traffic Calming Strategies.

When used to align a bus stop with the parking lane, bulb-outs are called bus bulbs. See: Designing for Transit Riders.

Slip Lane Removal

Slip lane removal extends the sidewalk to include the travel lane and the traffic island. Slip lanes are sometimes provided at intersections of major urban roads to facilitate vehicle turn to the detriment of pedestrian safety. Slip lanes allow vehicles to turn at higher speeds and reduce motorist and pedestrian visibility, creating potentially unsafe conditions for pedestrians.

Removing slip lanes does not necessarily involve operational changes but can drastically reduce the risk of right-turn collision between vehicles and pedestrians attempting to cross.

Slip-lane removals reduce pedestrian exposure and increase the available pedestrian space, making room for street furniture and landscaping.

Adapted by Global Street Design Guide published by Island Press.

Universal Accessibility

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Universal Accessibility