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Section 6: Pedestrian Considerations

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General Guidelines

Accommodating pedestrians and vehicular traffic at the junctions of sidewalks and driveways presents a variety of challenges. Some general principles are:

  • The maximum cross-slope at any point on a sidewalk (including the crossing of a driveway) is two percent (2%)
  • Consider using right-turn deceleration/storage lanes so that right-turning drivers can safely wait in the auxiliary lane, clear of through traffic, while pedestrians are present in, or near, the driveway.
  • Consider using a triangular island for pedestrian refuge in a high-volume driveway. The minimum refuge area is 5 feet x 5 feet and preferably larger. (See Figure C-12).
  • Locate sidewalks far enough from the curb, or edge of pavement, to provide a suitable vertical curve transition between the pavement cross-slope and the driveway apron and to allow the driveway to cross the sidewalk at the sidewalk’s normal elevation (see Section 4, Profiles on Curb and Gutter Sections for illustrations of driveway profiles.)

     Channelizing Island to Provide Pedestrian
Refuge (click in image to see full-size image) Anchor: #UYTABTICgrtop

    Figure C-12. Channelizing Island to Provide Pedestrian Refuge

  • Where driveways are closely spaced, consider the use of right-in/right-out driveways to eliminate conflicts between left-turning vehicles and pedestrians and bicyclists. In this case it is recommended that provisions be made for the left-turns only at locations where the vehicular-pedestrian conflict can be safely addressed by appropriate design and traffic control.
  • Provide adequate throat length so that a vehicle backing out of a space does not back over the sidewalk (see Figure C-13). Vehicles should not block the sidewalk when parked in driveway.

Throat Length is of Sufficient Length to
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Figure C-13. Throat Length is of Sufficient Length to Allow Entering Vehicle to Clear the Through Traffic Lane

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Sidewalk and Driveway Intersections

Driveways crossing a sidewalk should be designed so that both pedestrians and drivers are able to negotiate the sidewalk-driveway crossing efficiently and safely. When the change in cross slope is too severe, one wheel of a wheelchair or one leg of a walker may lose contact with the ground. Pedestrians are also more prone to stumble on surfaces with rapidly changing cross slopes. For this reason, the maximum cross-slope at any point on a sidewalk (including the crossing of a driveway) is two percent (2%). Wherever possible the sidewalk should be carried across the driveway without a change with respect to the normal sidewalk profile. When the sidewalk abuts the back of the curb, a “walk-around” (see Figure C-14) should be considered. This design transitions the sidewalk laterally to provide greater distance between the flow line of the gutter and the sidewalk. This allows the sidewalk to remain at normal elevation without requiring an excessive driveway slope. The “walk around” design may not be possible if there is insufficient right-of-way available. In this case, the sidewalk grade must be lowered but preferably not all the way to street grade so that drainage in the gutter is maintained.

Illustration of a “Walk-Around” Design (click in image to see full-size image) Anchor: #TCAMKBKHgrtop

Figure C-14. Illustration of a “Walk-Around” Design

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