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The two-way street condition shown in the illustration above prioritizes through movement. Three wide travel lanes in each direction accommodate mixed traffic and encourage speeds that are inappropriate for urban conditions. Transit routes suffer frequent delays caused by traffic congestion and slow curbside boarding.
Narrow and fenced sidewalks impede pedestrians from crossing the street along natural or desired paths, reinforcing a hostile walking environment. High volumes of pedestrian activity are funneled into a tight space.
Crosswalks are recessed from the intersections, increasing walking time and distances for pedestrians. Long crosswalk distances and inadequate refuge islands create unsafe conditions.
Cyclists ride on sidewalks where they conflict with pedestrians, or in mixed traffic, where they are forced to negotiate congestion and fast-moving vehicle traffic.
Heavy rains overload below-grade stormwater drainage, causing frequent flooding and ponding, especially at curb ramps and pedestrian access points.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
This street provides an opportunity for increased capacity and improved public space through the introduction of mass transit, management of travel lanes, and additional pedestrian facilities.
Introduce a center-running light rail service to increase the total capacity and improve transit access at a regional scale.
Design transit stops to allow level boarding for universal accessibility.
Add mid-block crossings near the transit stops to reduce walking distances, with appropriate traffic controls. Provide transit shelters to create a comfortable waiting space, protected from the weather.
Widen sidewalks to improve accessibility and increase space for pedestrian and commercial activity. See: Sidewalks.
Eliminate fences and ensure frequent pedestrian crossings. Align crossings with sidewalks for a direct and continuous clear path.
Maintain one travel lane in each direction to be shared by cyclists and motorists. Provide parking spaces and loading bays on blocks with no transit stops.
Turns across oncoming traffic are a common cause of conflict and should be carefully managed. Turns across the transit lane create conflicts and slow transit operations. Left turns should either be prohibited or managed in separate turn lanes with protected signal
phases. Especially in dense street grids, turns may be rerouted to non-station blocks or through the grid. See: Signs and Signals.
Add green infrastructure such as bioswales, rain gardens, and connected tree pits and trenches to better manage stormwater runoff and recharge the water table. Permeable surfaces like pavers and pervious concrete can be applied on lightly used surfaces—such
as pedestrian spaces—to supplement stormwater management, so long as materials are kept clean of debris and blockages.
Adapted by Global Street Design Guide published by Island Press.
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