Pedestrian Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System
This curb extension at an intersection shortens the crossing distance for pedestrians and creates space for landscaping.
pedbikeimages.org - Carl Sundstrom
Curb extensions—also known as bulb-outs or neckdowns—extend the sidewalk or curb line out into the parking lane and reduce the effective street width. Curb extensions must not extend into travel lanes and should not extend across bicycle lanes. This countermeasure improves pedestrian crossings by reducing the pedestrian crossing distance, reducing the time that pedestrians are in the street, visually and physically narrowing the roadway, and improving the ability of pedestrians and motorists to see each other. Curb extensions also create space for the addition of a curb ramp.
Motorists are encouraged to travel more slowly at intersections or midblock locations with curb extensions, as the reduced street width sends a visual cue to motorists. Turning speeds at intersections can be reduced with curb extensions (curb radii should be as tight as is practicable). Additionally, curb extensions placed at an intersection essentially prevent motorists from parking in or too close to a crosswalk and from blocking a curb ramp or crosswalk. Motor vehicles parked too close to corners present a threat to pedestrian safety, since they block sightlines, obscure visibility of pedestrians and other vehicles, and make turning particularly difficult for emergency vehicles and trucks.
Authors and Acknowledgements