I like to ramble on and throw in a lot of anectdotes. But for brevity, I'll cut to the chase. I'm arguing with my own public works staff (no surprise).
They insist the minimum width, measured from curb face to curb face, that they would accept for a local street in a residential subdivision, with on street parking on one side of the street, is 29 feet. As typical, their reasoning is based on emergency vehicle (fire truck) clearance. I certainly don't want to hinder emergency vehicle access, but I know from my own personal experience, years of research, and review of standards from all over that in many locations, local streets of less than 29 feet width work fine for local streets. I am trying to create walkable communities with slower vehicular traffic, hoping this also leads to less vehicle (and vehicle-ped) crashes, and therefore, less demand for emergency response, as well!
BTW, I had never been to Seaside (TND community) but visited there today, and just like in the literature, it had narrow streets...no one seemed to suffer as a result. I am trying to get my colleagues to at least go down to 27 feet with parking on one side, if not less. Dan Burden notes few problems with properly designed narrow streets (I am starting to break my no anecdotes rule). WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Rx: Thanks, the Doctor