Step 5 – Design Appropriate Measures

The next step is to design the selected facilities and care should be taken to ensure that the final product will achieve the original objectives. Cities typically develop their own design standards for pedestrian facilities based on international best practice and national guidance. Some standards from Japan for footpath design are provided below. The UK Transport Research Laboratory produces guidance notes (TRL Notes) on cycle and pedestrian facilities. In the case of India, further advice notes on the appropriate design of pedestrian facilities are set out within the ‘Pedestrians FIRST’ publication.

Footpath Design

According to Road Design Requirements practiced in Japan, the minimum space (width) required for one pedestrian to walk is 0.75 m. and in the case of a wheelchair 0.9 m. For this reason the minimum width of a sidewalk should be 2.0 m. With this width, two persons walking, or one person walking with another in a wheelchair, will be able to proceed along the sidewalk comfortably. If a bench is provided on the sidewalk, an additional 1.0 m. should be added and 1.5 m. for the planting of roadside trees. The Japanese standard for Road Structure states minimum width of sidewalk according to road location / class as shown in Table 8. A class 4 road is located within an urban area and is administrated by the Municipality. Category A refers to desirable width, and B is for low pedestrian flows. The unique characteristic in Japan is that bicycles can be allowed to pass on sidewalks upon police approval of the passable section. The above standard does not take into account pedestrian volume and the Japanese government is currently in the process of revising this to include actual volume. These standards are expected within a year and an approximate outline is 3.5 m. for high volume area and 2 m. for others.

Table 8 Japanese Standards for Footpath Width

Class Vehicles (AADT) Required width of sidewalk where bicycle are allowed to pass Required width of footpath
A (m) B (m) A (m) B (m)
1 Over 10,000 3.5 2.75 3 2.25
2 4000 – 10,000 3.5 2 3 1.5
3 500 – 4000 2 1.5 1.5 1
4 Less than 500 2 1.5 1.5 1

For comparison, the UK IHT guidelines on ‘Providing for Journeys on Foot’ quotes absolute minimum footway width as 1.8 m., desirable minimum width of 2.0 m. and preferred width of 2.6 m.

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