Driveway Improvements:

Several driveway designs may cause safety and access problems for pedestrians, including excessively wide and/or sloped driveways, driveways with large turning radii, multiple adjacent driveways, driveways that are not well defined, and driveways where motorist attention is focused on finding a gap in congested traffic. In addition, driveways without a level sidewalk landing may not comply with ADA standards. Refer to Chapter 5 in Designing Sidewalks and Trails for Access, Part II of II: Best Practices Design Guide for further guidance.1

Examples of driveway improvements include narrowing or closing driveways, tightening turning radii, converting driveways to right-in only or right-out only movements, and providing median dividers on wide driveways.

When driveways cross sidewalks, it is necessary to maintain a sidewalk level across the driveway of no more than 2 percent sideslope (see sketch). This is more usable for all pedestrians, especially those in wheelchairs, and makes it clear to motorists that they must watch for pedestrians. It is important to minimize large signs and bushes at driveways to improve the visibility between motorists and pedestrians. The sidewalk material (usually concrete) should be maintained across the driveway as well.

• Reduce pedestrian/motor vehicle conflicts.
• Improve access for people with disabilities.
• Improve visibility between cars and pedestrians at driveways.
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• It is best to properly design and consolidate driveways at the outset. Local regulations can require appropriate design when driveways are created.
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  Estimated Cost
No additional cost if part of original construction.
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  Case Studies
Grand Junction, CO 
Portland, OR 
Arlington County, VA 
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Adapted from Designing Sidewalks and Trails for Access, Part II of II, Washington, DC, 2001

Photos by Peter Lagerwey
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U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration