Designing Safer Streets

Over the past several years as the desire to create a more balanced transportation system that works safely and more efficiently for a variety of users has taken hold in many states and communities across the United States, a growing list of design standards and guidance manuals specifically aimed at designing, operating and maintaining a system of Complete Streets is now available. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) released a memorandum in 2013 supporting a flexible approach to bicycle and pedestrian facility design. The memo specifically supports the use of the following resources:

AASHTO Guide for the Planning, Design, and Operation of Pedestrian Facilities, July 2004
AASHTO Bicycle Facilities Design Guide, 2012
NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide
ITE Designing Urban Walkable Thoroughfares: A Context Sensitive Approach

FHWA encourages transportation agencies to go beyond the minimum requirements, and proactively provide convenient, safe, and context-sensitive facilities that foster increased use by bicyclists and pedestrians of all ages and abilities, and utilize universal design characteristics when appropriate. Other go-to resources include:

FHWA Guide for Maintaining Pedestrian Facilities for Enhanced Safety
National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) Urban Street Design Guide
Cornell Local Roads Program Complete Streets Manual

Guidance from other states & cities: The Model Design Manual for Living Streets, Los Angeles County
Massachusetts Highway Project Development and Design Guide
New York City DOT Street Design Manual

For more resources and guides on designing roadways that are safe for all users download the APBP List of Resources & Guides.