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Elements of Sustainable Transportation

Home Arterial Streets
Arterial Streets

Arterial Streets

Arterial streets (primary cross town streets) are often the lifeblood of a community, connecting neighborhoods, businesses, open space, schools, and all sorts of community services.  Streets are a main reason that people can live in the same community.  Streets are a common good, a shared public space.  How we design, build, and think about streets is one of the most critical tasks facing society today.

The three primary classifications of streets are arterial, collector (serving to connect arterials), and local, or neighborhood, streets.

Rich streetscape
Plants, illumination, paving material, parking, center islands, and non-motorized facilities are some of the considerations for a street.

The Higgins Bridge in Missoula could use a makeover- two 'car lanes' would work better than four, the bikeway could be wider and separated from cars with a curb or landscaping, and the sidewalk should be at least wide enough for two people to walk comfortably side-by-side.


In this intersection in Vancouver B.C. note the crosswalk design and the position of the stop-bar for cars. Putting the stop-bar back from the intersection another two feet would create a larger buffer space between front bumpers of waiting cars and crossing pedestrians.

This street in Copenhagen has many elements: motorways, bikeways, and pedways.


Report on building new roads:

Not only can building more roadway induce more traffic, but building roadway can actually decrease existing capacity. An Atlantic Monthly article that explains this phenomenon.

This rural road has a bike slip on the outside of a speed table.

A street scene from Juneau, Alaska. Parking on one side, well-marked cross walks, minimum car lanes, and a covered walkway are some of the features.

Conservation of resources, like asphalt, are becoming increasingly important. This picture shows that we may have opportunities to use less surfacing materials in order to provide mobility. We can learn from the patterns that snow, and even leaves, create in our streets.

This is a street scene from China. Notice the absence of a middle yellow line (less clutter, less maintenance), the dotted bike lane line for ease of passing, and the width of the bike lane for added bicycle capacity.  While this street scene is from the late 1990's, if this were built in Amercia today this would be called Advisory Bike Lanes.




an article on great streets

Road Diets
Sometimes a street is too big and needs to be put on a diet

sample of cities with narrower travel lanes


Project for Public Spaces

Website for Context-Sensitive Highway Design- The Federal Highway Administration

American Planning Association

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