Paving materials are important to the function and look of a street, both
in the road and on the sidewalk. Occasionally, paving materials in
and of themselves act as a traffic-calming device (e.g., when the street
is paved in brick or cobblestone). However, some of these materials
may be noisy and unfriendly to bicyclists, pedestrians, wheelchairs,
or snowplow blades. In particular, cobblestones should not be used
in the expected pedestrian or bicycle path, although they may be used
as aesthetic elements in a streetscape design. Smooth travel surfaces
are best for all pedestrians.
The pedestrian walkway material should be firm, planar, and slip-resistant.
Concrete is the preferred walking surface. A different look can be achieved
by using stamped concrete or concrete pavers, which are available in
a variety of colors and shapes; however, jointed surfaces may induce
vibration, which can be painful to some pedestrians. They can also be
used on the top of raised devices.
It is important to ensure crosswalk visibility. High visibility markings
are often best. Textured crosswalks should be marked with reflective
lines since these types of crosswalks are not as visible, especially at
night or on rainy days.
Colored paving can often enhance the function of portions of the roadway,
such as a colored bicycle lane. This can create the perception of street
narrowing, in addition to enhancing the travel facility for bicyclists.