NACTO neighborhood main street

Second post on NACTO street types, the neighborhood main street, from the NACTO Urban Streets Design Guide. See NACTO yield street for the first, and some background on NACTO.

NACTO Neighborhood Main Street, two-way

The street has typical modes: motor vehicle lanes, bicycle lanes, parking areas, wide sidewalks. Features include curb extensions, short left turn lanes but long center medians, pedestrian scale and intersection lighting, planting strips with trees, but perhaps less than the yield street. The most important aspect is that there is only one general purpose travel lane per direction, meaning that the prudent driver controls the speed of other drivers. The design speed and posted speed might be as high as 30 mph, but would probably be less.

In my mind, the clutter of traffic signals is excessive. Whether signals are needed at all depends on the cross streets. If they are lesser and slower streets, stop signs or yield intersections would be much better at controlling traffic and keeping speeds low.

There are a number of streets similar to this in Sacramento. Some do not have bike lanes. Some have a center line instead of a two-way turn lane or medians. Examples of neighborhood streets in the central city include portions (but not all) of 9th, 10th, 15th, 16th, 19th, 21st, H, I, J, L, N, P and Q streets.

And interesting permutation of the neighborhood street is also offered by NACTO, the one-way single lane neighborhood street. These do not exist in Sacramento, but I think they are well worth exploring. There is one general purpose travel lane, one bike lane, parking on both sides, wide sidewalks, curb extensions and raised crosswalks, pedestrian scale lighting, and of course street trees. The following photo is from a Strong Towns tweet, which attributes the Vision Zero success of Hoboken to “narrow, one-way streets, high visibility crosswalks, raised intersections, curb extensions, bike & bus lanes, and removing parking spaces”. I am not, however, in favor of one-way multi-lane streets, in fact, most of them are a bane of Sacramento. I have mixed feelings about the separated bikeways (also called protected bike lanes) on 10th, P, and Q streets. Would it have been better to make these two-ways streets, or is the benefit of the separated bikeway worth it?

diagram of NACTO Neighborhood Street
NACTO Neighborhood Street
Hoboken streets with one-way narrow street and curb extensions
Hoboken streets with one-way narrow street and curb extensions

One thought on “NACTO neighborhood main street

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s