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Neighborhood Traffic Management Program (NTMP)

Tools to Address Speeding and Pedestrian Safety

Curb Extensions

Top view of a street with curb extensions

"Curb Extensions" is a group term, which can apply to chokers and slow points, semi-diverters, and bulb-outs. The term is most often used at pedestrian crossings - both at intersections and mid-block, where the extension of the curb into the roadway narrows the distance between curbs and improves the pedestrian environment. Visibility is also improved for both pedestrians and drivers.

At intersections they can be used to control traffic flow by preventing vehicles from passing turning vehicles. Landscaping can be applied to the extended curb. However, some parking may be lost and bike lanes may need to be terminated prior to the extension.

Culver City, CA

Curb extension temporary installation

Temporary Installation

Manhattan Beach, CA

Curb extension permanent installation

Permanent Installation

PROS

  • Creates more pedestrian friendly intersection.
  • Reduces pedestrian crossing distances.
  • Reduces speeds at location if travel lanes reduced sufficiently.
  • Widely used traffic calming measure.

CONS

  • Can be expensive if landscaped.
  • May affect buses or larger vehicles if intersection radii are tightened.
  • Require maintenance.
  • Tend to collect or trap trash.
  • Interfere with established drainage patterns.
  • Place pedestrians close to travel way.
Summary of Effectiveness
Volume Reduction Yes
Speed Reduction Yes (Slight)
Safety Improvement Yes (Peds)
Streets to Use On Collector, Local Local/Collector
Use on Bus Route Yes
Use with Curbs and Gutters Yes
Spot or Area-wide Use Spot
Emergency Service Access Issues Minimal
Impacts on Arterials Minimal
Change in % Truck Unknown
Environmental Changes No
Dependence on enforcement No
Level of Violation N/A
Aesthetics and Landscaping Yes