Barry Watkins, Updated 11/13/2015
Here are some of our recommendations for raising the walkability and bikeability standards for streets throughout the populated areas of our county and cities:
- Keep the design and posted speed at or under 35 miles per hour.
- The number of vehicle lanes should rarely exceed 2 thru-lanes in each direction and 1 periodic dedicated left turn lane in each direction in the median. Special approvals required to exceed this standard limit.
- Keep vehicle lanes 10′ wide maximum.
- The number of vehicle lanes at any intersection shall not exceed the following: 2 thru-lanes in each direction and 1 dedicated left turn lane in each direction. Special approvals will be required in the rare circumstance where additional lanes are actually needed.
- Eliminate accel/decel lanes.
- Minimize turn radii at street corners, 20′ max.
- Don’t use channeled vehicle lanes.
- Make sidewalks a minimum of 5′ wide.
- In activity centers use 12′ min wide sidewalks with shade trees in tree wells. For locations outside activity centers put a landscape strip between the sidewalk and the curb 8′ minimum wide.
- Plant shade trees (not palm trees) between the sidewalk and the curb a minimum of every 30′.
- Separate bicycle lanes from vehicle lanes with raised planters as a standard practice. Planters are optional for bike lanes on medium and lower volume streets. Painted 7′ bike lane can be used in that case.
- Don’t make rights-of-way inordinately wide.
- Minimize median widths if this helps keep the right-of-way a manageable width. Don’t sacrifice the space needed for pedestrians and bicycles.
- Provide pedestrian refuges for crosswalks that cross more than 5 lanes.
- Provide signaled crossings at least every 1/4 mi.
- Plan thru-streets at least every 1/2 mi.
- Multi-lane streets should have a landscaped median.
We need to also consider these additional items as part of a holistic strategy for meeting our transportation needs:
- Improve bus service to help convert some trips away from passenger vehicles. This especially makes sense as a way of serving the needs of the elderly, handicapped, lower income residents, and young people.
- Work with land planners to create walkable village and neighborhood centers to convert trips away from cars to other modes and to shorten travel distances to meet daily needs.
- Plan alternative routes.
- Work with land planners to restrict continued expansion of development on the edge of town that overburdens the transportation network.
Walkable Brevard, the non-profit organization that I founded, provides walkability and bikeability consulting for free or at a very low cost. Contact us to see how we can help! We are working with citizens, community leaders, and businesses to improve walking and bicycling all over Brevard.