Full Street Closure:

A full street closure is accomplished by installing a physical barrier that blocks a street to motor vehicle traffic and provides some means for vehicles to turn around. 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 on 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 control at critical intersections.

If a street closure is done, it should always allow for the free through movement of all 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 is electronically operated, permitting only large vehicles to traverse it. Examples are mountable curbs or an accessway with a raised element in the center that a low vehicle would hit, though those treatments may not be able to stop pickups or sport utility vehicles. This is usually only appropriate for places with no snow (otherwise the device would be covered with snow and the accessway could not be cleared).



  Purpose
• Ultimate limitation of motor vehicle traffic to certain streets.
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  Considerations
• Part of an overall traffic management strategy.
• 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 turnaround area for motor vehicles, including service vehicles, and provide for surface drainage.
• Full street closures may be considered for local streets, but are not appropriate for collector streets.
• Do not use if the street is an emergency or school bus route.
• Do not adversely affect access to destinations in the community by pedestrians and bicyclists.
• Not an appropriate measure for addressing crime or other social problems.
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  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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  Case Studies
Madison, WI 
Burlington, VT 
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Sketch by Yan Jia

Photo by Dan Burden
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Photo by Dan Burden
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U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration