An especially useful post entitled Rethinking the Street Space: Toolkits and Street Design Manuals appears today on Planetizen. Amber Hawkes and Georgia Sheridan review a number of publications from New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle. Most are available free on line.
The common goals of all toolkits include the following, as defined here by the authors.
- Livability and Placemaking: Making streets places to linger and places to cherish.
- Access and Mobility: Improving the public right-of-way for all users.
- Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety: Supporting design improvements such as raised crosswalks, bulbouts, bike lanes, and roundabouts that improve safety for pedestrians and bike riders.
- Flexibility: Giving designers choice, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.
- Context: Designing streets based on their place within a hierarchy of streets and their relationship to surrounding land uses, densities, and commercial activities.
- Balance: Maintaining several functions in the street that include safety, roadway infrastructure, environmental sensitivity, and others.
- Healthy Environment: Minimizing negative environmental effects and creating places that encourage walking and exercise.
- Visual Excellence: Improving the overall aesthetic with an emphasis on high quality, lasting design and materials.
Most of cities have created regulatory manuals in which street design methods and improvements are directly integrated into current zoning and regulation. An exception is the Seattle manual where “street design methods and improvements are directly integrated into current zoning and regulation.”
Earlier posts by the authors of the three part series are Rethinking the Street Space: Why Street Design Matters and Rethinking the Street Space: Evolving Life in the Streets .
All appear to be profusely illustrated and written for citizen advocates as well as specialists.