“Rethinking I-81”: OCL’s Study Blog

June 4, 2009

Making Streets Behave

New York City has issued its first street design manual, in an effort to make streets more environmentally friendly, and more amenable to bicyclists and pedestrians.  Urban planners see the document as a blueprint for designing the infrastructure for a 21st century city – one that thinks about streets as “…not just thoroughfares for cars, but as public spaces incorporating safety, aesthetics, environmental and community concerns.”  The guidelines help developers, both public and private, know what is expected of them throughout the five boroughs.

Here is what the manual says about itself:  The Manual builds on the experience of innovation in street design, materials and lighting that has developed around the world, emphasizing a balanced approach that gives equal weight to transportation, community and environmental goals. It is designed to be a flexible document that will change and grow, incorporating new treatments as appropriate after testing. The use and continued development of the Street Design Manual will assure that New York City remains a leading innovator in the public realm as it becomes a greater, greener city.

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