Planning/Urban Design

Daylighting

To “daylight” an intersection is to clear sight lines between pedestrian crossings and oncoming cars, usually by creating no-parking zones at the curbs in front of crosswalks at that intersection.

Guidance
  • Install no-parking signs to mark the existence and length of no-parking zones
  • Daylight at least 20′ (about one parking space) from the crosswalk at the near and far side of the intersection on urban streets with 20–30 mph speed limits
  • Daylight at least 50′ (about two parking spaces) in advance of crosswalks at each intersection approach on streets with 35–45 mph speed limits
  • Daylight at least 30′ in advance of each signal, stop sign, or yield sign
  • Prohibit drivers from standing or parking vehicles at the curb within 20′ of a crosswalk at an intersection or within 30′ of any signal, stop or yield sign, or traffic-control signal
  • Evaluate impacts of daylighting by collecting crash data
Benefits
  • Improves drivers’ sight lines of pedestrians waiting at intersection curbs, particularly of children and people in wheelchairs who are blocked from view by parked cars
  • Improves visibility between pedestrians and drivers making turns
  • Improves pedestrians’ sight lines of approaching cars, allowing them to make eye contact with drivers from the sidewalk
Considerations
  • Decreases the amount of available curbside parking
  • Removing on-street parking could increase vehicle speeds
Where to Use It
  • Intersections where pedestrian crashes are common
  • Intersections where no sidewalk exists or sight lines are poor
  • Intersections where parked vehicles next to the crosswalk block sight lines
  • Intersections near schools
Professional Consensus
  • Parking setbacks are included in AASHTO guidelines
Examples

This material is the product of a partnership between America Walks and Sam Schwartz Engineering. Visit here for more information on the partnership.