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)


"Woonerf" ("Street for living") is a Dutch term for a common space created to be shared by pedestrians, bicyclists, and low-speed motor vehicles. They are typically narrow streets without curbs and sidewalks, and vehicles are slowed by placing trees, planters, parking areas, and other obstacles in the street. Motorists become the intruders and must travel at very low speeds below 16 km/h (10 mi/h). This makes a street available for public use that is essentially only intended for local residents. A woonerf identification sign is placed at each street entrance. Consideration must be given to provide access by fire trucks, sanitation vehicles and other service vehicles (school buses and street sweepers), if needed.

• Create a very low automobile volume, primarily on local access streets.
• Create a public space for social and possibly commercial activities and play by area children.
top of page

• A woonerf is generally not appropriate where there is a need to provide nonresident motorists with access to services or through travel.
• The design needs to keep vehicle speeds very low in order to make the streets safe for children.
top of page

  Estimated Cost
The cost to retrofit a woonerf may be quite high, but there would be no extra cost if designed into the original construction.
top of page

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


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.