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Full street closure

A full street closure is accomplished by installing a physical barrier that blocks a street to motor vehicle traffic either in initial design (e.g., new cul-de-sac) or by closure of an existing street. Full street closures should be used only in the rarest of circumstances. Neighborhoods with cul-de-sac streets require extensive out-of-the-way travel, which is not a mere convenience issue, but has serious implications for impacts to other streets. All traffic is forced to travel on feeder streets, which has negative consequences for the people who live on those streets and forces higher levels of controls at critical intersections.

If a street closure is done, it should always allow for the free through movement of pedestrians (including wheelchair users) and bicyclists. Emergency vehicles should also be able to access the street; this can be done with a type of barrier or gate that permits large vehicles to traverse it but not automobiles. Examples are mountable curbs or an access way with a raised element in the center that a low vehicle would hit. This second is usually only appropriate for places with no snow (otherwise the device would be covered with snow and the access way could not be cleared).

Access is closed on this residential street in Phoenix, AZ.

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.


full street closure

partial street closure

pedestrian streets / malls


• Ultimate limitation of motor vehicle traffic to certain streets.

• Part of an overall traffic management strategy.


• Does not adversely affect access by service vehicles.

• Analyze whether other streets would receive diverted traffic as a result of the street closure, and whether alternative streets exist for through traffic.

• Provide a turn-around area for motor vehicles including service vehicles and provide for surface drainage.

• This device will not address speeding problems.

• Full street closures may be considered for local streets but are not appropriate for collector streets.

• Does not adversely affect access by children to community areas.

• Not an appropriate measure for addressing crime or other social problems.

Estimated Cost:

The cost for a full, landscaped street closure varies from approximately $30,000 to $100,000, depending on conditions.

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