walkinginfo.org -> part of the pedestrian and bicycle information center

print page Print Page

Exit Print Page and Return to Serpentine Design

Serpentine Design:
Making Streets That Work, Seattle, 1995

Serpentine design refers to the use of a winding street pattern with built-in visual enhancements through a neighborhood, which allow for through movement 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.

Photo by Cara Seiderman
The serpentine street is a curving roadway that helps slow traffic through the use of curbs and landscaping.

• Change the entire look of a street to send a message to drivers that the road is not for fast driving.
top of page

• 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.
top of page

  Estimated Cost
The cost can be high ($60,000 to $90,000 per block) to retrofit a street, but may be no extra to build a new street with this design if adequate right-of-way is available.
top of page