Global Street Design Guide

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Global Street Design Guide

Existing Conditions

This illustration depicts a neighborhood main street with excessive travel lanes and curbside parking, which fosters a chaotic and auto-centric streetscape. The street is used as a through-way and not as a destination.

Some buildings provide active frontage, while others are set back to accommodate parking.

Such streets might have narrow sidewalks, having been designed primarily for motorists.

Long stretches of fencing along property edges detract from the pedestrian experience and make walking distances seem farther than they are.

Wide travel lanes with narrow medians and a lack of organization and striping invite speeding and double parking.

A lack of dedicated cycle facilities puts cyclists at great risk, especially with high traffic volumes.

In some cases, utilities and services may block clear walking paths. The sidewalks and the adjacent roadbed may be encroached on by unregulated car parking, street vendors, and rickshaws, forcing pedestrians onto the roadbed.

São Paulo, Brazil

New Delhi, India

Design Guidance

The street is transformed by removing a travel lane in each direction, adding protected cycle lanes, and widening the sidewalks to encourage multiple mobility options.

 Configure a bidirectional cycle track on one side when the right-of-way width is limited. Vertical elements separating the cycle track are essential to preventing incursions and providing a high level of comfort. See: Cycle Facilities.

Widen sidewalks to provide space for vendors, street furniture, artwork, and trees that activate and revitalize the street edge.

 Locate active uses such as vendors along blank building walls, parking spaces, or fences in order to improve the pedestrian experience. See: Designing for People Doing Business.

 Provide parallel parking on one side of the street, alternating with trees and green infrastructure. Eliminate parking at intersections and extend curbs to improve safety and increase visibility.

 Use selected parking spaces for parklets to provide additional public space. See: Parklets.

For blocks larger than 100 m, design mid-block crossings between key destinations to increase permeability. See: Pedestrian Crossings.

Montreal, Canada

Lima, Peru. A parklet increases the public space available for people to enjoy with low-cost seating, paint, and recycled materials.

Adapted by Global Street Design Guide published by Island Press.

Example 3: 30 m

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Example 3: 30 m