National Association of City Transportation Officials – nationwide

NACTO Urban Street Design Guide

The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) aims to provide an urban perspective on street design, helping create both safer streets and streets that support vibrant neighborhoods. They saw a need to shift the conversation from a bias toward highway designs that simply don’t meet the complex needs of cities toward building more sustainable streets.

Nelson\Nygaard collaborated with NACTO staff, Pure+Applied, and BlinkTag to develop national street design guidelines relevant to cities. The Urban Street Design Guide is a blueprint for designing 21st century streets where people can walk, bike, drive, park, take transit, and socialize. Divided into six chapters, it focuses on types of streets; street design elements including lane widths, sidewalks, and curb extensions; interim design strategies such as parklets and temporary street closures; types of intersections; intersection design elements such as crosswalks and pedestrian islands; and design controls, the criteria used to measure a street’s success.

The guide provides examples throughout the country as well as the tools to implement these tactics to create cherished public spaces. It encourages cities to be nimble; instead of undergoing a lengthy process to update street design, change can be tested first by using low-cost solutions, such as paint and planters.