Shared Street (Green Street)

This street is uses paving treatments rather than curbs and allows pedestrians and vehicles to interact.

A shared street is 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 or businesses. A shared street can be a residential street, or it can be a street in a commercial area. In the latter case, the streets are often populated by restaurants, cafes, merchant displays, street vendors, and other outdoor commercial uses.

"Shared street" is the term that is being commonly used in English; its origins are based in the concept of a "woonerf," which is a Dutch term loosely meaning "Street for living." In Seattle and other locations, they are sometimes referred to as "green streets".

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 interactions, commercial activities, or children's play


  • A shared street 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.

Estimated cost

The cost to retrofit a shared street may be quite high, but there would be no extra cost if designed into the original construction.

A video example of pedestrian priority zones in Switzerland can be seen here (also available in French and German).