Tags: Transportation

Building for Safety: The Importance of Dimensions and Standards in Sidewalk and Roadway Design

Sidewalks are an important part of the transportation infrastructure in the United States, providing safe and accessible routes for pedestrians to travel on foot. In order to ensure that sidewalks are safe and comfortable to use, there are standards in place for their dimensions.
According to the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s (TDOT) “Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets,” the minimum sidewalk width in urban areas is typically six feet. In areas with high pedestrian activity, a width of eight feet is recommended. Sidewalks in rural areas may be narrower, with a minimum width of four feet.

The maximum cross-slope allowed by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is 2%. This means that for every 50 feet of sidewalk, the slope can rise no more than one foot. The maximum slope allowed for a sidewalk is typically 5%, although steeper slopes may be allowed under certain conditions.
In addition to width and slope, the TDOT guidelines also specify requirements for curb ramps and crosswalks. Curb ramps must be provided at intersections to provide a smooth transition from the sidewalk to the street, and must be designed to meet ADA requirements. Crosswalks must be marked with appropriate signage and pavement markings to help pedestrians navigate intersections safely.