Quick build street design: what is it and why we need it
The typical timeline for projects that add complete Streets elements or otherwise change streets to make them safer for bike riders and pedestrians can take years to implement. Smaller projects, such as adding a bulb-out to reduce the width of a pedestrian crossing or adding a protected bike lane, don’t have to be costly or time-consuming. The first part of quick-build street design is to use low-cost, temporary materials. Quick-build street design is not set in stone (or concrete), so elements can be changed in response to on-the-ground feedback.
That feedback to the actual temporary design becomes the public input process for the eventual project, if the public supports making it permanent. It is usually much better than traditional planning processes, where stakeholders are asked to imagine how it will feel to use a new street based on renderings. Quick-build projects extend the public comment period beyond implementation. Unlike asphalt and concrete infrastructure, quick-build street designs can be easily adjusted by adding a planter box, moving bollards, or restriping a lane.
Quick Build Design Elements
Offset curb extensions on residential or low volume streets create a chicane effect that slows traffic speeds
considerably. Chicanes increase the amount of public space available on a corridor and can be activated using benches, bicycle parking, and other amenities.
Bike Crossing Markings
Painted intersection crossing markings indicate the intended path of bicyclists. They guide bicyclists on a safe and
direct path through intersections, including driveways and ramps. They provide a clear boundary between the
paths of through bicyclists and either through or crossing motor vehicles in the adjacent lane.
Effectively widens the sidewalk to shorten pedestrian crossings, increase visibility, and slow turning vehicles.
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