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Objective

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The general expectations from a street are listed below. In other words, these are the principles/objectives on which street design should be based.

1. Safety

This is the primary concern. A road should be safe for all users, including and specially pedestrians, bicyclists, the elderly and the handicapped. In the absence of good designs and enforcement, might is right rules, traffic can be chaotic and unsafe.

2. Ease of navigation

We frequently have faced situations when a parked car is abutting a road, or pedestrians standing in the middle of the road causing the vehicle driver to swerve, or at U-turn with cars piled up obstructing the straight moving traffic. All this results in the driver always on the edge, and can never relax. This makes the whole driving experience a stressful one. Similar is the case with pedestrians. With no clear cut footpath or at intersections it can be a very stressful experience just crossing a road. This need not be the case.

Ease of navigation can always be achieved, as against speed of navigation. Speed depends on the road available and traffic. However, navigation, irrespective of traffic density, both of pedestrians or vehicles can be made easier and stress free by better designs of roads and intersections.

3.   Quick and smooth movement

Design should ensure quick and smooth movement of vehicles. This does not mean that vehicles should go with high speed, rather that they can maintain a decent average speed over their drive.

 

4. Aesthetics

Pretty, Neat, Clean and Green.

Should be beautiful and beautiful roads is what  makes the city look pretty.

Neat, with clearly marked lanes, straight footpath edges, no protrusions, are all required of the road.

Of course, cleanliness should be maintained.

Roads present a wonderful opportunity to add to the green cover of the city. Trees and other greenery along the roads can make it a very pleasant experience.

 

5. Optimal space utilization

To achieve all the above, we must keep in mind that space is at a premium in the urban cities. All the above must be achieved within the given or reasonable width of road. To do this one must design innovative and efficiently.

 

Thus the roads must be comprehensively designed to make efficient use of available space, taking into account all its uses. Examples of some functions are street furniture such as bus-stops, street lighting, utility lines such as electrical, water and drainage, cables etc.

 

What are the requirements/ specifications of each aspect of the road, so as to meet the above objectives ? How does one approach the design to meet the above ? This are some of the things this document is about and we will address theses in the coming sections

 

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