Global Street Design Guide

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Table of Contents

Global Street Design Guide

Existing Conditions

The large city street illustrated above carries fast-moving through-traffic in the central travel lanes and local traffic mixed with double parking in the side running service lanes. A fenced median limits pedestrian cross-street access.

Collective transport operates in mixed traffic in the center through-lanes. Congestion reduces transit service quality and reliability. Transit riders wait on the side medians with no shelter or protection.

Irregular parking encroaches upon the sidewalk, constraining the already limited pedestrian space and reducing capacity for social and economic activities. Pedestrians are exposed to unsafe and harsh walking environments due to inaccessible and disconnected sidewalks, fast-turning traffic, lack of pedestrian crossings, and absence of landscaping and trees.

Fences on the central median, intended to restrict pedestrian behavior, often result in pedestrians crossing unsafely by jumping  over or cutting through the fence.

Crossings are grade separated by overhead foot bridges or underpasses that significantly add to pedestrian travel time and are not universally accessible.

Poor drainage infrastructure causes flooding during heavy rains, and open culverts create a safety hazard for vulnerable users.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Medellín, Colombia

Design Guidance

Convert one travel lane in each direction into a dedicated transit lane, and widen the medians to introduce multiple refuge islands.  This creates a safer street with a more efficient transit system.

 Provide a fully separated bus lane in a dedicated transitway with curb separation. At moderate to frequent headways, the transitway  vastly improves average transit speed and reduces travel time variation.

Design transit stops as accessible boarding islands for increased efficiency and comfort. Install covered structures to provide a sheltered and comfortable waiting space for passengers. See: Transit Stops.

 Add ground markings and low dividers to distinguish and separate transit lanes from other traffic. When occasional vehicle access into the transit lane is needed, use low vertical separation elements such as mountable curbs. To permanently prevent access into the transit lanes, use prominent vertical elements like bollards, which require added width. Provide additional enforcement while traffic behavior adjusts to new configurations.

Widen sidewalks and medians to provide universal access and increase space for pedestrian and commercial activity.

 Install refuge islands to shorten the crossing distance for pedestrians and provide frequent at-grade signalized crossings to allow pedestrians to safely and conveniently cross the street. See: Pedestrian Refuges.

Manage cross-traffic turns to improve the safety and reliability of the through lanes by removing conflicts and speed differentials.

 Convert service lanes to slower, pedestrian and cycle-friendly streets at 20 km/h with a cycle lane in each direction. See: Design Speed.

 Raise crossings for service lanes at the intersections to allow safe access from the sidewalk to the transit stop.

Add trees and landscaping to provide shade, reduce the urban heat island effect, capture stormwater, and improve the air quality.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Adapted by Global Street Design Guide published by Island Press.

Example 3: 76 m

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Example 3: 76 m