Urban Street Design Guide


8-1/2″ x 11″, hardcover, 192 pages,
Island Press.

SKU: CU0001 Category:


 Streets make up more than 80 percent of public space in cities, but they often fail to provide the surrounding community with a space where people can safely walk, bicycle, drive, take transit, and socialize.

The Urban Street Design Guide covers the principles and practices of the nation’s foremost engineers, planners, and designers working in cities today. And it shares their approaches to making streets safer, more livable, and more economically vibrant. The guide outlines both a clear vision for complete streets and a basic road map for how to get there.

Urban Street Design Guide is organized around six core principles of world-class street design:

  • Streets as public spaces. Streets play a much larger role in the public life of cities and communities than just thoroughfares for traffic.
  • Streets as tools for economic development. Well-designed streets generate higher revenues for businesses and higher values for homeowners.
  • Streets as ecosystems. Well-designed streets can enhance the long-term sustainability of the city.
  • Enhancing safety. Streets must provide a safe space for walking, parking, shopping, bicycling, working, and driving.
  • Enhancing flexibility. Streets must be responsive to current needs. Street space may also be reused for different purposes, such as parklets, bike share, and traffic calming.
  • Reducing time to implement. Projects may be implemented quickly and inexpensively using temporary materials to help inform public decision-making.

Urban Street Design Guide is an exceptional resource for redesigning streets to serve the needs of 21st century cities, whose residents and visitors demand a variety of transportation options, safer streets, and vibrant community life.

Table of Contents

  1. Streets
    • Street design principles
      Phases of transformation
      Street design in context
    • Downtown streets
      Downtown 1-way street
      Downtown 2-way street
      Downtown thoroughfare
    • Neighborhood main street
    • Neighborhood street
    • Yield street
    • Boulevard
    • Residential boulevard
    • Transit corridor
    • Green alley
    • Commercial alley
    • Residential shared street
    • Commercial shared street
  2. Street Design Elements
    • Lane width
    • Sidewalks
    • Curb extensions
      Bus bulbs
    • Vertical speed control elements
      Speed hump
      Speed table
      Speed cushion
    • Transit Streets
      Dedicated curbside/offset bus lanes
      Dedicated median bus lanes
      Contra-flow bus lanes
      Bus stops
    • Stormwater Management
      Flow-through planters
      Pervious strips
      Pervious pavement
  3. Interim Design Strategies
    • Moving the curb
    • From pilot to permanent
    • Parklets
    • Temporary street closures
    • Interim public plazas
  4. Intersections
    • Intersection design principles
    • Major intersections
    • Intersections of major and minor streets
    • Minor intersections
      Raised intersections
      Mini roundabout
    • Complex intersections
      Complex intersection analysis
  5. Intersection Design Elements
    • Crosswalks and crossings
      Conventional crosswalks
      Midblock crosswalks
      Pedestrian safety islands
    • Corner radii
    • Visibility/sight distance
    • Traffic signals
      Signalization principles
      Leading pedestrian interval
      Signal cycle lengths
      Fixed vs. actuated signalization
      Coordinated signal timing
  6. Design Controls
    • Design speed
      Speed reduction mechanisms
    • Design vehicle
    • Design hour
    • Design year
    • Performance measures
    • Functional classification

About the Author

Urban Street Design Guide was prepared by a team of researchers at the National Association of City Transportation Officials with input from directors of planning, public works, transportation, and urban design from across North America.

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Read the Foreward


Urban Street Design Guide is guaranteed. If you are not 100% satisfied, you may return it within 30 days for a full refund.


“The Urban Street Design Guide is an easy-to-use playbook for building safe and sustainable streets.”
— Janette Sadik-Khan,
Commissioner, New York City Department of Transportation, NACTO President