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Shared streets are often the default condition in historic cities with narrow rights-of-way. One or two narrow travel lanes may be shared between cars, motorcycles, cycles, and loading vehicles. Due to the limited space, these streets may have narrow and inaccessible sidewalks, with utility boxes and light poles obstructing the pedestrian space. In some contexts, sidewalks are occupied by street vendors and informal parking, forcing pedestrians onto the roadbed.
Bandung, Indonesia. A narrow street hosts commercial activity and acts as a defacto shared street.
Design strategies must prioritize vulnerable users, ensuring that clear paths are maintained. Work with local accessibility groups to ensure design, materials, and facilities meet local guidelines or standards.
Consider local climate and material availability when developing design. Drainage channels and permeable materials should be provided in accordance with existing curb lines and slope.
Textures and paving must align with the curb to reinforce the pedestrian-priority of the street.
Provide tactile warning strips at the entrance to all shared spaces. Warning strips should span the entire intersection crossing. See: Universal Accessibility.
Maintain a clear path for delivery vehicles, and mark dedicated areas for vehicular movement with a change in paving pattern or type.
Use street furniture, including benches, planters, artwork, trees, water fountains, bollards, and cycle parking, to provide definition within the shared space and to delineate the travel lane from pedestrian-only areas.
Depending on the overall street width, consider providing a 1.8 m wide, continuous clear path that is protected from traffic to ensure universal accessibility.
Install signage to educate the public on how to use a shared street in the early stages of conversion.
Light the streets evenly to create a safe and inviting environment. Light poles and fixtures for shared streets can be designed to add character and a sense of the local context. See: Lighting design Guidance.
Include landscaping, such as planters and trees, where possible. Incorporate permeable pavers and rain gardens as a part of the larger green infrastructure and water- management strategies.
Use movable planters to restrict vehicular traffic access at certain times of the day.
Cities are encouraged to experiment with car-free hours or test shared streets using temporary materials to evaluate the potential impact on traffic operations.
Adapted by Global Street Design Guide published by Island Press.
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