Narrow Lanes

As there is no sidewalk along this child’s route, reducing the lane width works to slow cars and provide a place to walk.

There are several ways to narrow a street. Paint is a simple, low cost, and easy way to narrow the street or travel lanes. If the narrower lanes can result in a striped shoulder, the shoulder will provide a buffer for pedestrians, a place for bicyclists to ride and a refuge for disabled motor vehicles. The shoulder stripe will also provide better motorist guidance. Interior traffic lanes can be narrowed to 10 feet wide to encourage slower speeds. Narrow lanes can also result from road-diet projects which can include painted medians, center turn lanes, bicycle lanes or parking lanes.

Treatment: Narrow Lanes


The reduction of lane widths to increase pedestrian safety.

Expected Effectiveness

  • The narrower lanes can reduce motor vehicle speed, which may reduce total pedestrian crashes. They also reduce lengths of pedestrian crossings.


Costs vary by technique.

  • Reducing the width of lanes due to adding bicycle lanes costs at least $5,000 per mile. However, costs can vary widely based on the condition of the pavement and need for resurfacing improvements (Bushell, Poole, Zegeer, Rodriguez, 2013).
  • Completely restriping a street to reduce lanes, add bicycle lanes or add on-street parking costs approximately $5,000 - $20,000 per mile (Bushell, Poole, Zegeer, Rodriguez, 2013).
  • Adding a raised median or widening a sidewalk is approximately $100,000 or more per mile [PEDSAFE, 2004].

Keys to Success

  • Adequate planning for large and emergency vehicles.
  • Capacity and level of service should be analyzed to ensure appropriate design.
  • Community involvement is needed to ensure balanced street safety throughout the area.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Potential diversion of traffic onto neighboring streets.
  • Potential adverse effects on large vehicles and bicycles.

Evaluation Measures

  • Pedestrian crashes and severity.
  • Reduction in motor vehicle speeds.