On-street parking can be both a benefit and a detriment to pedestrians.
On-street parking does increase positive “friction” along a
street and can narrow the effective crossing width, both of which encourage
slower speeds; parking can also provide a buffer between moving motor
vehicle traffic and pedestrians along a sidewalk. In addition, businesses
reliant on on-street parking as opposed to parking lots are more geared
toward pedestrian access. This attention can foster a more vibrant pedestrian
On the other hand, parking creates a visual barrier between motor vehicle traffic and crossing pedestrians, especially children and people using wheelchairs. Therefore, where there is parking, curb extensions should be built where pedestrians cross. Parking needs to be removed on the approaches to crosswalks.
At least 6 m (20 ft) of parking should be removed on the approach to a
marked or unmarked crosswalk and about 6 m of parking should be removed
downstream from the crosswalk. Some agencies require that parking be removed
9 to 15 m (30 to 50 ft) from intersections for pedestrian safety reasons.
Well-designed curb extensions can reduce these distances and maximize the
number of on-street parking spaces.