Streets

Streets serve many functions beyond the passage of motor cars. Streets are corridors for utilities and for people walking, cycling, riding in buses and driving cars. Streets are also a form of open space. They create a sense of place, provide a focus for community interaction and can include attractive trees and gardens. A streets' fucntion should be clear from its design and landscaping.

A connected and legible street network with attractive frontages reduces local travel distances and encourages people to walk, cycle and use public transport. Such a network provides more direct access to public transport stops and allows more efficient bus operation. Interconnected streets can be opened or closed over time to manage traffic as communities change and develop.

Design objectives

  • To design connected and legible street networks that provide direct, safe and convenient pedestrian, cycle and public transport access; encourage responsible driving; provide a choice of routes; and provide safe and easy access across streets, including pedestrian crossings on streets and roads with heavy traffic volumes.

Design considerations

  • Slow traffic for safe streets and roads, especially in residential areas, near schools and in town centres. This can be achieved by traffic management and calming facilities, as well as speed limits. However, careful consideration needs to be given to bicycles and buses which find some traffic calming devices dangerous to negotiate.
  • Design hierachical grid street networks to provide a connected and legible street system. New developments should be integrated into the adjoining street network to improve connectivity and reduce local travel distances.
  • Support walking by creating stimulating and attractive routes, which include trees, seats, signage and public art. Utilise local features to terminate view lines.
  • Provide safe places to cross streets close to the direct line of travel for pedestrians and cyclists. Align crossing signals with the average walking speed of an older adult. Design on-street parking which does not obstruct pedestrian pathways.
  • Support on road cyclists with bicycle lanes and unobstructed paths of travel.
  • Support efficient bus operation with networks that directly connect houses with bus stops and bus routes with key destinations.
  • Create attractive and welcoming street frontages, with verandahs and shop fronts instead of high walls and garage doors.
  • Ensure streets are adequately lit and that lighting is well-maintained.

Key references

Additional resources

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