walkinginfo.org -> part of the pedestrian and bicycle information center
sitemap about us links join email list ask us a question
  search     go to bicyclinginfo.org
community problems and solutions design and engineering digital library education and enforcement health and fitness insight transit research and development rails and trails policy and planning pedestrian crashes news and events outreach and promotion
design & engineering home

Pedestrian Facility Design
Roadway Design
Intersection Design
Traffic Calming
Traffic Management
Signals and Signs
Other Measures

its technologies (pedsmart)



Chokers are curb extensions that narrow a street by widening the sidewalks or planting strips, effectively creating a pinch point along the street. Chokers can be created by bringing both curbs in, or they can be done by more dramatically widening one side at a midblock location. They can also be used at intersections, creating a gateway effect when entering a street.

Chokers can have a dramatic effect by reducing a two-lane street to one lane at the choker point (or two narrow lanes), requiring motorists to yield to each other or slow down. In order for this to function effectively, the width of the travelway cannot be wide enough for two cars to pass: 4.9 m (16 ft) is generally effective (and will allow emergency vehicles to pass unimpeded). This kind of design is usually only appropriate for low-volume, low-speed streets.

• Slow vehicles at a mid-point along the street.
• Create a clear transition between a commercial and a residential area.
• Narrow overly wide intersections and midblock areas of streets.
• Add room along the sidewalk or planting strip for landscaping or street furniture.
top of page

• If two travel lanes are maintained on a two-way street and/or the travel-lane widths are unchanged (at the location of the choker), it will have a minimal effect on speed.
• Consult with local fire and sanitation departments before setting minimum width.
• Ensure that bicyclist safety and mobility are not diminished.
top of page

  Estimated Cost
$5,000 to $20,000, depending on site conditions and landscaping. Drainage may represent a significant cost.
top of page

print page bookmark page send to a friend
view purpose
view considerations
view estimated cost

Making Streets That Work, Seattle, 1996" border="0">


Maintained by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center with funding from
the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.