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Serpentine Designs | Woonerf

Whole Street Designs
Serpentine Designs

Serpentine design refers to the use of a winding street pattern with built–in visual enhancements through a neighborhood, which allow for through movements while forcing vehicles to slow. The opportunities for significant landscaping can be used to create a park like atmosphere.

Such designs are usually implemented with construction of a new neighborhood street or during reconstruction of an existing street corridor. This type of design can be more expensive than other traffic calming options and needs to be coordinated with driveway access.

The serpentine street pictured above is a curving roadway that helps slow traffic through the use of curbs and landscaping.

The material provided on this page is from the FHWA publication "Pedestrian Facilities User Guide." This guide is currently under review by practicioners and others in the field. Subsequently, the material provided on this page is subject to change in the future.

Roadway Narrowing

Lateral / Horizontal Shifts

Raised Devices

Complementary Tools

Whole Street Designs


• Changes the entire look of a street. Sends a significant message to drivers that the nature of the road is not for fast driving.

• Often created where slow streets are being designed into new neighborhood construction.


• Where costs are a concern, lower cost, equally effective traffic calming strategies may be preferable.

• Most cost-effective to build as a new street or where a street will soon undergo major reconstruction for utility or other purposes.

Estimated Cost:

The cost can be high ($60-90,000) to retrofit a street, but may be no extra to build a new street with this design.

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