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While residential streets require less capacity than bustling urban centers, sidewalks must always maintain a comfortable and accessible clear path. The frontage zone may vary depending upon whether buildings are set back from the street edge and how fences, front yards, stoops, or planting strips are designed. Residential sidewalks are used for walking, playing, and socializing and should include street trees and planting where possible. The furniture zone should be designed to accommodate additional play facilities or green infrastructure where possible. Curb cuts for vehicle access should be minimized.
Neighborhood main streets include mixed-use street frontage alternating between residential and commercial uses. Main street sidewalks should accommodate moderate pedestrian volumes with large numbers of people stopping, sitting, and pausing as well as the extensions of ground floor uses. Sidewalks should be appropriate to the local climate and well lit, with frequent pedestrian seating. Curbside parking or transit facilities may require shelters or parking meters in the curb zone. The curb zone can be designed to accommodate green infrastructure.
Commercial streets are characterized by large pedestrian volumes, active ground floors, street-facing entrances, commercial activity spilling onto the sidewalk, and loading activities. Commercial streets range from large streets to small alleys and laneways. The sidewalks on wider commercial corridors should have clearly defined frontage zones and street furniture zones to accommodate restaurant seating, commercial goods, benches, street planting, signs, street lights, and other necessary infrastructure. The curb zone may also include transit facilities and may have curb cuts or loading ramps for freight services.
Adapted by Global Street Design Guide published by Island Press.
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