Sidewalks are not just pedestrian thoroughfares: they are social places in communities as well which serve adjacent land uses. Design of sidewalks responsive to context deals with the full variety of functions the sidewalk will serve.
Article / Paper / Report
Designing Sidewalks and Trails for Access: Part I: Review of Existing Guidelines and Practices
This report presents the findings of the
Phase I study. A number of factors that
affect the accessibility of sidewalks and
trails in the United States are presented.
The history of accessibility legislation
and an overview of current accessibility
laws are provided as a social backdrop
to the study. The travel characteristics
of people with disabilities, children, and
older adults are analyzed in relation to
their use of sidewalks and trails. The
effects of current legislation pertaining to
sidewalk and trail project planning and
funding are reviewed. Current design
practices used in the design of sidewalks
and trails are described and analyzed in
terms of accessibility, engineering, and
Federal Highway Administration
Article / Paper / Report
Designing Sidewalks and Trails for Access: Part II: Best Practices Design Guide
This guidebook is the second part of
a two-phase project focused on designing
sidewalks and trails
for access. It was
created to provide
engineers with a
of how sidewalks
and trails should
be developed to
access for all users,
Federal Highway Administration
Sidewalks and Pedestrian Paths "[Sidewalks accomodate] pedestrians along the traveled way ... [and they are] equally important as the provision for vehicles ... The sidewalk can either be placed flush with the roadside edge ... or next to a buffer area, such as a planted strip, ... located between the sidewalk and roadside ... Sidewalks can also provide space for street furniture and necessary traffic poles and signals ... The wider the sidewalk, the greater the number of pedestrians that can be accomodated..." more...
Flexibility in Highway Design
When Main Street is a State Highway
This handbook is a comprehensive outline for a groundbreaking project development process and uses a team approach to present a means of organizing, developing and working cooperatively with SHA on highway improvements that reflect community goals.
-- State Highway Administration: Maryland Department of Transportation
Article / Paper / Report
Building Communities With Transportation
"Important change ... is happening in rural hamlets, middle burgs and huge metropolises. While some folds are just getting from feet into mechanical transport for the first time in civilizations' history, others are learning to return to their feet and to build with proper scale and proportion in land use. My lecture focuses on the early steps of returning towns and people to sensible, smart growth, sustainable, people-focused transportation and land use practices. I will reflect on what is going on in both urban and suburban places."
Creating Places I "If a street is to become a comfortable, convenient and enjoyable place, it must be looked at holistically, that is, as a distinctive environment with many different interrelated elements reflecting the character, needs and aspirations of a particular community. It is the integration of these elements, including traffic calming, that both improves a street's balance between pedestrians and vehicles and creates a community friendly street environment." more...
Getting Back to Place: Using Streets to Rebuild Communities, pp. 17-23
Article / Paper / Report
An Improved Traffic Environment, A Catalogue of Ideas
"The catalogue contains a brief description on the development of the traffic calming concept, the planning process, a short account of what can be achieved by reducing car traffic volume and lowering car speed, introduction of the concept of traffic management by design, the elements of urban space and speed levels - streets and roads, squares, points - from both large and mall towns, cheap and expensive solutions and both wholly and partly implemented schemes. Each example includes a description in text and pictures of the conversion and the results achieved."
-- Lene Herrstedt, Kenneth Kjemtrup, et al., Danish Road Directorate
Rennes, France Approach Road Rennes,
"As part of the French government's programme 'Ville plus sure, Quartiers sans accidents' (Safer Town, Urban Areas without Accidents) one of the approach roads to Rennes has been rebuilt. A roundabout has been established together with speed reducing measures such as staggerings and changed road surfaces, and the urban environment has been further improved by objects d'art and plantings."
Bulbouts in Encinitas, CA Encinitas, CA
Landscaped sidewalk extension with a bench and a mosaic trash can. This treatment was given to intersections along historic Route 101 with attention to details, and public art.
Downtown Revitalization, Safety & Congestion Improvements, SR-14 - Bingen Bingen, WA
The purpose of this project was to reduce traffic congestion through this section of SR-14, which improved safety and traffic flow (mobility). The city of Bingen needed economic revitalization of the downtown corridor, and anticipated that their efforts to improve the transportation system would result in improved economic vitality.
Aesthetic and Safety Improvement, SR-99 Des Moines, WA
The purpose of the project is to improve traffic congestion, operations, and safety; provide facilities for transit and pedestrians; and encourage economic redevelopment along the SR-99 corridor through the city of Des Moines.
Route 9 Reconstruction New York, NY
After more than 20 years of planning and design efforts, the reconstruction of what was formerly known as the West Side Highway in Manhattan finally began. A proposal originally conceived in the early 1970s for the construction of a six-to-eight lane interstate freeway facility known as Westway, which would have been partly elevated and partly depressed below grade, was withdrawn in 1985. In 1987, the city of New York and New York State established a joint West Side Task Force in an attempt to reach a consensus on what action should be taken to replace the deficient interim highway, and the alternative ultimately was a basic six-lane urban boulevard with three travel lanes provided on either side of a raised, landscaped median. This project shows how a collaborative, multidisciplinary planning and design process, incorporating a high level of continuous public involvement, can result in the creation of a world-class street design and also how detailed investigations of travel demand and traffic movement patterns can result in a dramatic change in the scale of the proposed improvement.
Washington SR 99 - International Boulevard Seattle-Tacoma, WA
International Boulevard is a major N/S arterial that serves local and regional traffic within Seattle-Tacoma, Washington. The Incorporated City of SeaTac developed Comprehensive and Transportation Plans that established land-use goals and proposed transportation facility improvements including the expansion of this boulevard and the improvement of its pedestrian access. This project illustrated well that dealing with multiple, conflicting stakeholders within a constrained budget and schedule is possible as long as the key stakeholders understand the problem, have a clear vision of the solution, employ an open and creative process, and commit themselves to compromise.
East Main Street Reconstruction Westminster, MD
After more than a year of planning and design, the Maryland State Highway Administration's consultants completed their drawings for Westminster, Maryland's, East Main Street's revitalization. However, the administration and public balked at the plan which called for the removal of 42 100-year-old trees. MD DOT promptly appointed a task force to develop a new plan that would save Main Street's trees, widen sidewalks and improve the efficiency of traffic flow. Through this project, the city and State learned that citizen involvement at the beginning saves time and can result in a project that preserves the heritage of the community and pleases the community members themselves.
Carson Street Reconstruction Torrance, CA
Carson Street is a major east-west arterial street running through the middle of the city of Torrance, CA. High levels of traffic congestion on the original four-lane undivided cross sections and the absence of left-turn lanes were responsible for a high rate of accidents on this predominately residential street. After roadway improvements, curb, gutter, and sidewalks were added along both sides of the entire project to provide improved roadway drainage and to accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists. However, it's the improvement to the general aesthetics of the street, including the undergrounding of utilities, that is a major distinguishing feature of the project.
Bulbouts in Easton Town Center in Columbus,OH Columbus, OH
In Easton Town Center sidewalk extensions have been added to many streets along with inset parking, and a number of sidewalk amenities including contextual lights, trash receptacles, signage, bollards, landscaping, a kiosk, and chairs and tables.
Maryland Route 355 Montgomery County, MD
Significant regional traffic growth and localized development has resulted in traffic increases along Route 355, a two-lane highway in rural and suburban Maryland. Completion of this mobility-enhancing project required a comprehensive approach involving design creativity, stakeholder involvement, and agency coordination. Stakeholders learned that converting a two-lane highway into a six-lane arterial in a built-up area is no small feat, especially when the conversion is done in a manner in which the finished product fits with the surrounding area.
Odense Town Center, Denmark Odense,
"In connection with Odense's 1000th years' anniversary in 1988 a number of new developments were inaugurated in the town centre: pedestrian streets, a bus street, and a bicycle route network. This has given the already lively town centre a significant lift, has stimulated the activity in the area, and has markedly improved the visual environment."
Shopping Street in Assens Assens,
"As part of the 'More Beautiful Streets' project in which the Road Directorate in cooperation with local authorities carry out traffic calming projects with a particular emphasis on the visual environment, the main street in Assens has been converted to a 20 km/h street."