NYC’s model Street Design Manual

Ok, so it’s not the sexiest title for an article, but the newly introduced NYC Street Design Manual is pretty darn significant, and will lead to a myriad of pedestrian-oriented places that elicit enjoyment and enthusiasm. Created by one of the most innovative government agencies anywhere, the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT), it’s one of the most comprehensive, well-illustrated, user-friendly guides to building pedestrian-oriented streets and plazas in the U.S. Janette Sadik-Khan, the DOT commissioner, “If we’re going to be a world-class city, we need guidelines that lay out the operating instructions of how we get there.”

The guide’s seven goals:
1. Design for Safety: Move people and goods safely.
2. Design for Access and Mobility: Accommodate all street users, giving priority to the most energy– and space–efficient modes.
3. Design for Context: Respond to neighborhood character.
4. Design for Livability: Create a vibrant public realm with high–quality public spaces.
5. Design for Sustainability: Contribute to a healthier and more sustainable environment.
6. Design for Visual Excellence: Create coherent and harmonious streetscapes.
7. Design for Cost–Effectiveness: Provide the greatest possible value to the public.

The DOT will begin reviewing development plans to ensure it follows progressive guidelines favoring pedestrians in the following categaries:
Geometry: Roadways & Lanes, Sidewalks & Medians, Traffic Calming, Street Trees & Plantings
Materials: Roadways, Crosswalks, Sidewalks, Sidewalk Furnishing Zones, Curbs, Plazas
Lighting: Street Lighting, Pedestrian Lighting, Traffic Signal Poles
Furniture: Bike Racks, Bus Stop Shelters…

Check out a cool before/after street design via the New York Times article, City Issues Street Design Manual. Download the guide itself right here.

Photo of Stone Street, Manhattan, New York City.

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