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Narrower residential streets safer?

Leslee Bangs

Is there any hard data that supports the belief that a narrower residential street is safer than a wider (i.e. 36' curb to curb)?
are narrower residential streets (less than 36" cur

Yes. I just read a study conducted by the firm Swift Associates which presents a strong correlation between residential street typology and injury accident frequency. They found that 24 feet was the safest width in their study area. Call Peter Swift at 303-772-7052 for more information.

Good luck!

Justin Hollander
Regional Planner
Montachusett Regional Planning Commission
Fitchburg, MA 01420



are narrower residential streets (less than 36&amp;quot; cur

I just read Justin's response regarding street widths. It would make sense that a residential street that by its very width restricts curbside parking would reduce injuries and accidents. The three most prevalent accident types in residential communities are people walking out into traffic from between parked cars, cars being sideswiped by moving vehicles in the roadway, and cars colliding with vehicles pulling out of parking spaces along the street. If you can imagine a 24 feet wide street with all offstreet parking (in driveways or community parking areas), the two-lane street (tow twelve feet wide lanes) would be the safer alternative for the driver. Children are more visible when entering the street and you can see cars pulling out of driveways easier than cars pulling out of a curbside space. The text "Site Planning for Cluster Housing" Unterman and Small 1977 recommends narrower streets with more curves to slow drivers in residential streets. Please avoid speed bumps!!!!!!! Gus Drum
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