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Thread: Walkways off cul-de-sacs

  1. #1
    Cyburbian JNL's avatar
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    Walkways off cul-de-sacs

    I split this question off from my thread about current thinking on cul-de-sacs. I've been asked to talk about good and bad design for pedestrian and cycle connections off cul-de-sacs, at a national meeting next week.

    I'm interested in your thoughts about what makes a well-designed path to connect a cul-de-sac to an adjacent street, and any regulations related to this.

    Here's a draft list, please feel free to comment, and if you have any photos to illustrate I will LOVE YOU FOREVER!!!

    Good ped/cycle connections off cul-de-sacs are..
    short
    straight (to give sightlines right through)
    low fences and overlooked by neighbouring properties
    well lit
    wide, but prevent any through-traffic from motor vehicles
    have a general feeling of being clean, light and open
    are well sign-posted
    have appropriate paving

    Bad ones are...
    long
    winding or curved
    high fences
    not overlooked by anything (a person moving through can be hidden from sight)
    poorly lit or not lit
    Last edited by JNL; 24 Feb 2005 at 10:38 PM.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
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    A good one would be creative with the method that it uses to keep vehicular traffic off of it - ie instead of the boring staggered fence approach, perhaps two stylized traffic pedestal things, of the sort you would see in an older part of town (knee high, painted green or black typically, and so forth).

  3. #3
    Cyburbian JNL's avatar
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    This, IMHO, is a very badly designed connecting walkway. Unfortunately we have many like this in NZ. It widens out in the middle where you can see some grass, to include a playground halfway along (!), then veers off to the right. There is graffiti, barbed wire, and litter lying around. This pic is taken at (my) eye height, which gives you an idea how high those fences are!

    Last edited by JNL; 24 Feb 2005 at 10:27 PM.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    also have some low-level landscaping
    connections to schools and non-residential areas, where possible
    maintained by the homeowner's association!

  5. #5
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    Upper Marlboro, MD
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    Walks

    It seems like this should be part of your SubRegs (sidewalk width, planting space, handicapped access, paving type) but if you want to try something new you could make connections through open space or parkland. I always try to think of stormwater runoff as another issues and minimize paving if possible, one sidewalk per street and permeable material. Make sure you have enough room to plant street trees (5" Min width). I have always wanted to see New Zeeland.

  6. #6
         
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    As per abrowne's comment, bollards are much more cycle-friendly than the staggered fence gates. Having low fences in order to maintain visibilty is one thing, however trying to maintain it when the walkway borders onto a private lot is another. Sometimes the owner won't want people peering into their back/side yard and so will install a taller fence or plant tall trees on their side, thus obstructing the view. The key here is to keep the walkway as short as possible. Have the walkway in line with the sightline of the cul-de-sac, that way if no one is looking (or wants to look) on either side you at least have traffic (pedestrian or vehicluar) providing some sort of Jacobian eyes-on-the-street security.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian cmd uw's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by abrowne
    A good one would be creative with the method that it uses to keep vehicular traffic off of it - ie instead of the boring staggered fence approach, perhaps two stylized traffic pedestal things, of the sort you would see in an older part of town (knee high, painted green or black typically, and so forth).
    In Edmonton and other adjacent communities, knock-down bollards are used to keep vehicles from entering the pedestrian paths. When municipal or emergency vehicles need access via the pathway, the bollards can be unlocked and 'knocked down'.

    These walkways are also maintained and the responsibility of the municipality.
    "First we shape our buildings, and then our buildings start shaping us." - Sir Winston Churchill

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