Planners and Architects

Adopt Context-Sensitive Street Design Guidelines

Context-sensitive street design guidelines require a collaborative approach to transportation planning. They need a shared stakeholder vision, comprehensive understanding of contexts, and design flexibility to balance the transportation needs of multiple modes while enhancing community and natural environments.

  • Use interdisciplinary teams
  • Involve stakeholders
  • Seek broad-based public involvement
  • Achieve consensus on purpose and need
  • Address alternatives and all travel modes
  • Consider a safe facility for users and community
  • Maintain environmental harmony
  • Address community and social issues
  • Address aesthetic treatments and enhancements
  • Consider designing roads to meet a target, or desired travel speed, rather than a ‘design speed,’ or essentially the maximum speed that can be maintained by the design features of the roadway.  Consider retrofitting roads to achieve those target speeds
  • Helps integrate land use and transportation planning
  • Helps preserve environmental, scenic, aesthetic, historic, and natural resources
  • Accommodates all road users
  • Generally improves safety
  • Helps make communities more livable
  • Increases stakeholder receptiveness
  • Increases walking opportunities
  • Accommodating competing uses within a limited amount of space
Where to Use It
  • Local street design guidelines
  • State and local departments of transportation strategic-plan and project-management manuals
  • Federal and state project-management guidance
Professional Consensus

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