street glossary

8-80 Street - a street designed for people age 8 to age 80 (similar to complete street)

Bulb out - an extension of the sidewalk, usually at pedestrian intersections and crosswalks

Community building - creation or enhancement of community and connectedness among individuals within a local geography or with a common interest

Community-led design - positions local community members at the center of making changes in their neighborhoods. Community members develop a collective vision for change, make impactful decisions throughout the evolution of the design process, and champion the final design and/or project

Continental crosswalk - pedestrian crosswalks designed for the highest level of visibility and safety for all street users; consists of a series of wide painted stripes parallel to the curb for the length of the crossing

Crash/collision - used instead of the word “accident," as accident implies no one is truly at fault

Drought tolerant landscape - plants that are appropriate for the local climate can greatly reduce urban water consumption, since climate-appropriate plants require minimal irrigation for annual survival

"Eyes on the street" - natural surveillance of the street via round-the-clock activity and people using the street for multiple uses

Green alleyways - transform uninviting, concrete alleys into safe, clean, green, community spaces

Maintenance - upkeep of the street, including cleaning, watering trees, filling potholes, re-striping the road, etc.

Open street/play street - a car-free street that provides children and communities with accessible open space for engaging in active play and physical activity. Typically applied in neighborhoods with little access to safe parks and open space

Organized Street - a street that is laid out to accommodate all road users

Parklet - public park and sidewalk extension, temporary, usually in place of one or two parking spots along the street

Placemaking - a collaborative approach to the planning, design, and management of public spaces that capitalizes on a local community's assets and inspiration. Focuses on creating  a safe, accessible, and contextually appropriate public space will meet needs and promote health, happiness, and well-being in a local neighborhood

Pop-up/pilot - temporary open street event that demonstrates a project idea

Protected Bike Lane / cycle track - a space on the street for people riding bikes, buffered from moving vehicles by a physical barrier

Public right of way - a public place reserved for the movement of people; can include sidewalks, roadways, etc.

Public space - accessible, comfortable, sociable spaces where a diverse range of people are engaged in a variety of activities

Shop local/Support small businesses - campaign to encourage consumers to buy products that will be kept within the local community. Small business owners are also more likely to do good for their community, provide local jobs, and establish a better sense of social connectedness

Smart growth - urban planning theory that holds compact, walkable cities in the highest regard, anti-sprawl

Stormwater recapture - capturing rainfall and runoff from open space and urban lands for either direct use or allowing the water to percolate into groundwater basins for future use

Street furniture - moveable furniture designed for use on a sidewalk or park

Street vending - the sale of goods or services where items are sold out of mobile stalls on sidewalks and in parks without a permanent storefront

Tactical urbanism - collection of low cost, temporary treatments to streets, intended to create long term changes in a neighborhood or city

Tree Canopy - tree cover can have numerous benefits, from reducing temperatures to improving social ties among neighbors

Vacant lot activation - you can find a list of vacant lots here

Vision Zero - initiative to reduce traffic-related deaths to zero

Walkability - a measure of how friendly an area is to people walking, including health, environmental, and economic benefits. Factors influencing walkability include the prevalence and quality of sidewalks, traffic and road conditions, land use patterns, and safety. Experiences of people in wheelchairs, pushing strollers and carts, and other travel modes allowed on sidewalks are also considered in measuring “walkability”