Global Street Design Guide

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Global Street Design Guide

Existing Conditions

The large street depicted in the illustration above carries high-speed traffic in the center, separated by medians from slower service lanes on both sides. This type of street is prone to collisions where turning vehicles cross service lanes.

Such streets form a dangerous barrier between adjacent neighborhoods and limit access for many residents.

Long distances between pedestrian crossings and limited cross-street access increase traffic speed and funnel more vehicles onto the service lanes.

Local buses use congested service lanes or dangerous center lanes, with passengers waiting on medians without protection or shade.

Extremely long crossing distances require extended signal-cycle lengths, which create delays for all users. Pedestrians are exposed to dangerous traffic conditions while waiting mid-crossing.

In the absence of dedicated facilities for loading and parking, cycles share mixed travel lanes and compete for space with cars, trucks, and buses, leading to an unsafe cycling environment.

Turns from the central lanes block through-traffic and can result in right angle crashes.

Bangkok, Thailand

Design Guidance

Extremely wide streets should not be built in new developments. Existing conditions can be improved by the introduction of a  transit spine, better management of the central lanes, and added cycle facilities.

 Introduce a center-running Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) or light rail to increase the capacity of the street and to improve regional  transportation. Passing lanes at stations allow more frequent and tiered transit service, with capacity for multiple routes. See: Transit Facilities.

 Widen sidewalks to provide increased space for pedestrians, street furniture, and commercial activities.

 Provide curb extensions and refuge islands to shorten crossing distances and create a safer environment for pedestrians.

 Add raised mid-block pedestrian crossings to provide convenient access to and from transit stops. See: Pedestrian Crossings.

Manage vehicle turns by signalizing turns across traffic. Change traffic signal timing to create a reliable and reasonable speed throughout the corridor. By reducing speed differentials, injury risk is significantly reduced.

 Convert service lanes to slower speeds of 20 km/h, raised at intersections to encourage yielding. Use distinctive paving and shade trees to help calm these lanes.

 Add bidirectional parking-protected cycle tracks on both sides of the street to provide high-comfort mobility and safe access for cyclists. See: Cycle Facilities.

 Designate loading zones in the  service lanes.

Adding trees, plants, and landscape elements to sidewalks and medians provides shade, reduces the urban heat island effect,  improves local air quality, and helps reduce the burden on stormwater infrastructure.

Guangzhou, China

Adapted by Global Street Design Guide published by Island Press.

Case Study: Av. 9 de Julio; Buenos Aires, Argentina

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Case Study: Av. 9 de Julio; Buenos Aires, Argentina