On-Street Parking Enhancements:

On-street parking can be both a benefit and a detriment to pedestrians. On-street parking does increase positive “friction” along a street and can narrow the effective crossing width, both of which encourage slower speeds; parking can also provide a buffer between moving motor vehicle traffic and pedestrians along a sidewalk. In addition, businesses reliant on on-street parking as opposed to parking lots are more geared toward pedestrian access. This attention can foster a more vibrant pedestrian commercial environment.

On the other hand, parking creates a visual barrier between motor vehicle traffic and crossing pedestrians, especially children and people using wheelchairs. Therefore, where there is parking, curb extensions should be built where pedestrians cross. Parking needs to be removed on the approaches to crosswalks.

At least 6 m (20 ft) of parking should be removed on the approach to a marked or unmarked crosswalk and about 6 m of parking should be removed downstream from the crosswalk. Some agencies require that parking be removed 9 to 15 m (30 to 50 ft) from intersections for pedestrian safety reasons. Well-designed curb extensions can reduce these distances and maximize the number of on-street parking spaces.



  Purpose
• Provide motorist access to destinations along a street.
• Aid in speed reduction by increasing friction along the street.
• Provide a buffer between sidewalk edge and moving traffic.
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  Considerations
• Parking may take up space desired for other uses, such as wider sidewalks or bicycle lanes.
• Approaches to crosswalks and intersections should be cleared and curb extensions added at crossing locations for pedestrian safety.
• Parking meters should be used in downtown areas where there is a need for parking turnover. This can generate revenue for the community.
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  Estimated Cost
$30 to $150 per sign. About $300 per parking meter and installation. Curb paint and stall marks or striping costs are additional (optional).
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  Case Studies
Clemson, SC 
Eureka, CA 
Oneonta, NY 
Tempe, AZ 
Cathedral City, CA 
Hendersonville, NC 
Bellevue, WA 
Portland, OR 
New York City, NY 
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Sketch by Michael Kimelberg


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U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration