Global Street Design Guide

Download caret-down
Table of Contents
gdci-stacked-color copy
Table of Contents

Global Street Design Guide

Existing Conditions

The illustration above depicts a wide elevated structure that dominates,the street and carries six lanes of traffic.

At grade, this urban street serves fast-moving through-traffic with service lanes, central travel lanes, and on-street parking. Motorists, cyclists, and transit operate in traffic with frequent conflicts due to differences in operating speeds.


Medians that carry the structure of the elevated road divide the service lanes from the central lane and block the pedestrian crossing.

A lack of marked pedestrian crossings and long distances make it impossible for pedestrian to cross the street without risking conflicts with moving vehicles.


Large structural elements severely limit visibility.

Narrow sidewalks are filled with obstacles, forcing pedestrians to walk on the street in unsafe conditions.

Design Guidance

The elevated structure is removed to create an equitable street for multiple users. Accommodating transit lanes increases the street’s capacity. Cycle facilities and an improved pedestrian realm result in safer and more-comfortable experiences for walking and cycling.


 Add dedicated, center-running transitway with wide medians that serve as transit boarding areas, pedestrian refuge islands, and green infrastructure opportunities. See: Transit Facilities.

Maintain curbside parallel parking, adding curb extensions near intersections and mid-block crossings to shorten pedestrian crossing distances and maintain local business access.


 Add a dedicated, bidirectional cycle track on one side of the street.

Widen sidewalks to help revitalize building frontages and attract new commercial uses. Provide space for street vendors. See: Sidewalks.

Add trees and landscaping to sidewalks to improve air quality, stormwater management, and to provide shade.

San Francisco, USA

Adapted by Global Street Design Guide published by Island Press.

Case Study: Cheonggyecheon; Seoul, Korea

Next Section —

Case Study: Cheonggyecheon; Seoul, Korea